Tag Archives: Federal Budget

Barack Obama’s Hawaiian vacation estimated to cost $4 million dollars

Obama plans to hit the golf course at taxpayer expense
Obama plans to hit the golf course at taxpayer expense

From Hawaiian Reporter. (H/T Director Blue)

Excerpt:

The U.S. Secret Service has arrived, street barricades are in place, and the U.S. Coast Guard has stationed itself in the waters surrounding Kailua, Oahu.

That is a sure sign President Barack Obama’s security team is preparing for the first family to arrive in the small beachside community as early as Friday night for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation.

The President and his family are traveling separately to Hawaii because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington – and his wife does not want to wait.

But the advanced trip and the cost that comes with it – as much as $100,000 (flight and security) – adds to an already expensive vacation for the taxpayers.

Hawaii Reporter research shows the total cost for the President’s visit for taxpayers far exceeded $1.5 million in 2010 – but is even more costly this year because he extended his vacation by three days and the cost for Air Force One travel has jumped since last assessed in 2000. In addition, Hawaii Reporter was able to obtain more specifics about the executive expenditures.

The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million. Here’s why.

TRAVEL: $3,629,622

The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.

However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii was not made available. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flightThat is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew’s per diem and hotel.

Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.

The rest of that article calculates the remaining components of the FOUR MILLION DOLLAR bill.

On another topic, here is a re-cap on our budget situation in 2012:

Barack Obama, Budget Deficit and Debt to GDP
Barack Obama, Budget Deficit and Debt to GDP

Remember, the Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January 2007, and that’s when the overspending started.

Why should we expect someone who can spend FOUR MILLION dollars on a vacation to have the discipline and frugality to balance the nation’s books?

New study finds that US rich pay a larger share of taxes than in any other country

Michele Bachmann posted this Wall Street Journal article about a new OECD study that shows how the rich pay most of the total tax burden.

Excerpt:

As President Barack Obama pushes to raise income taxes on high earners, opponents are seizing on data that indicates these U.S. households already pay a large and growing share of taxes, even compared with high-tax European countries. And a new congressional study concludes that the percentage of U.S. households owing no federal income tax climbed to 51% for 2009.

Republicans are expected to highlight these figures at a congressional hearing Tuesday. They oppose Mr. Obama’s proposal to increase taxes for high earners, defined as families making more than $250,000 per year, as a way to help close large federal budget deficits.

[…]Upper-income taxpayers have paid a growing share of the federal tax burden over the last 25 years.

A 2008 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, for example, found that the highest-earning 10% of the U.S. population paid the largest share among 24 countries examined, even after adjusting for their relatively higher incomes. “Taxation is most progressively distributed in the United States,” the OECD study concluded.

Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S. households paying no federal income tax has been climbing, and reached 51% for 2009, according to a new analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation. That was the first time since at least 1992 that more than half of households owed no federal income tax, according to JCT estimates.; earlier data were unavailable on Monday.

Here’s a useful graphic that shows who really pays the most taxes.

When 51% of the population doesn’t pay federal taxes, you have a situation where the majority of the people have no incentive to cut spending. This is a bad situation.

Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party cuts federal spending by 6.2%

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

More news from up north. (H/T Ben)

Excerpt:

Federal government expenditures are set to fall next fiscal year by $16.5-billion, or 6.2%, with big cuts to regional development and environment programs, according to documents tabled Tuesday.

That would leave total expenditures for the 2011-12 year at $250-billion, with the bulk taken up by transfer payments to individuals and governments, and operating costs. Just over $30-billion of that expense is attributed to refinancing Canada’s debt.

The figures, contained in spending estimates provided by the Treasury Board, sees budget increases for departments entrusted with security and law enforcement – such as a 21% boost to jails — but cuts of roughly 20% to Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Government is supposed to be concerned with security and law enforcement, not with environmentalist wastefulness.

Here’s Paul Ryan. He would like to cut our budget by 6.2% – and maybe even more.

If Canada is cutting their government waste, then why can’t we?

There are a lot of programs that we could be cutting.

Excerpt:

The federal government could save billions in taxpayer dollars annually by consolidating duplicative government programs, according to a new report.

The newly-released report from the Government Accountability Office “makes us all look like jackasses,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told reporters Monday night.

The conservative senator said the report — which identifies redundancies in more than 546 individual programs — reveals why the United States is $14 trillion in debt.

“Anybody who says we don’t look like fools up here hasn’t read the report,” he said.

[…]The GAO reviewed 34 areas (among them agriculture, defense and social services) where agencies, offices or initiatives have similar or overlapping objectives. The report also looked at 47 additional cost-saving opportunities related to more general government efficiency. For instance, the report said, “Improved corrosion prevention and control practices could help [the Defense Department] avoid billions in unnecessary costs over time.”

Addressing duplicative efforts on even a single issue could save billions, the report found. For instance, the GAO says the government could save up to $5.7 billion annually by addressing potentially duplicative policies designed to boost domestic ethanol production. Additionally, the Defense Department could save $460 million annually by making broader changes to the governance of its military health care system.

The report finds that there are 15 agencies involved in food safety, 80 programs involved in economic development and more than 100 involved in surface transportation. There are 10 agencies and 82 programs involved in teacher quality, and more than 20 agencies and about 56 programs involved in financial literacy efforts. There are about 2,300 investments across the Defense Department to modernize its business operations.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said today that in order to foster long term economic growth, “we’re going to deal with the pressing issues of regulatory waste in our agencies, as well as long term issues facing our country with entitlement programs.”

This is why we have to stop giving private sector money to government. They don’t earn any money by making things or helping people – they don’t sell anything useful. They just steal money from the productive workers and businesses and then they waste it and run up trillion dollar deficits. This kind of corruption, fraud and waste would not survive in small businesses, and probably not even in big businesses. Business have to be efficient or they go bankrupt. They have to perform or their competitors will have them for lunch. The consumer is king in the private sector.

Related posts

Obama budget is a ten-year, $1.5 trillion tax hike over present law

Here’s the analysis of Obama’s budget. (H/T The Blog Prof)

Excerpt:

President Obama released his budget this morning.  Rather than focusing on Washington’s over-spending problem, the budget calls for higher taxes on families and small businesses to pay for even more government spending.  Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021.  By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of GDP.

Tax hike lowlights include:

  • Raising the top marginal income tax rate (at which a majority of small business profits face taxation) from 35% to 39.6%.  This is a $709 billion/10 year tax hike
  • Raising the capital gains and dividends rate from 15% to 20%
  • Raising the death tax rate from 35% to 45% and lowering the death tax exemption amount from $5 million ($10 million for couples) to $3.5 million.  This is a $98 billion/ten year tax hike
  • Capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket rate.  This will effectively cut tax deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, state and local income or sales taxes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and unreimbursed employee business expenses.  A new means-tested phaseout of itemized deductions limits them even more.  This is a $321 billion/ten year tax hike
  • New bank taxes totaling $33 billion over ten years
  • New international corporate tax hikes totaling $129 billion over ten years
  • New life insurance company taxes totaling $14 billion over ten years
  • Massive new taxes on energy, including LIFO repeal, Superfund, domestic energy manufacturing, and many others totaling $120 billion over ten years
  • Increasing unemployment payroll taxes by $15 billion over ten years
  • Taxing management capital gains in an investment partnership (“carried interest”) as ordinary income.  This is a tax hike of $15 billion over ten years
  • A giveaway to the trial lawyers—not letting companies deduct the cost of punitive damages from a lawsuit settlement.  This is a tax hike of $300 million over ten years
  • Increasing tax penalties, information reporting, and IRS information sharing.  This is a ten-year tax hike of $20 billion.

Add it all together, and this budget is a ten-year, $1.5 trillion tax hike over present law. That’s $1.5 trillion taken out of the economy and spent on government instead of being used to create jobs.

The “tax relief” in the budget is mostly just an extension of present law, and also some refundable credit outlay spending in the tax code.  There is virtually no new tax relief relative to present law in the President’s budget.

So then how can the Obama administration claim that they are being fiscally responsible? Let’s see how. (H/T Hyscience)

Excerpt:

The Obama administration’s statement that the government will not be adding to the debt by the middle of the decade clashes hard against the facts, Republicans say, leaving officials straining to justify the budget claim they’ve pushed repeatedly over the past few days.

As it turns out, the administration is not counting interest payments. That means the budget team plans to have enough money to pay for ordinary spending programs by the middle of the decade. But it won’t have the money to pay off those pesky — rather, gargantuan — interest payments. So it will have to borrow some more, in turn increasing the debt and increasing the size of future interest payments year after year.

So how then, visibly agitated Republicans asked, can the administration claim that its 2012 spending plan sets the country on a course to “pay for what we spend” in just a few years?

Hyscience also linked to this McClatchy news article.

Excerpt:

He overlooks the fact that the government still would have to borrow to pay interest on the debt, much of it run up on his watch. Despite achieving “primary balance” in fiscal 2017, the government would have to borrow $627 billion to pay $627 billion in interest. Interest payments would rise annually through 2021.

Debt would rise as well, according to Obama’s proposed budget. Despite the budget reaching “primary balance,” the total gross government debt would rise from $21.9 trillion in fiscal 2017 to $22.9 trillion in 2018, $24 trillion in 2019, $25.2 trillion in 2020 and $26.3 trillion in 2021.

In all, the debt would jump by nearly $4.5 trillion in the four years after the government supposedly would stop adding to the debt because it had achieved “primary balance” – and that’s according to his own budget.

And a non-partisan fact-checking organization has found that Obama is lying about the budget. You can bet that the mainstream media will be backing him up, though.

House Republicans set to unveil $2.5 TRILLION in spending cuts

Republican Study Committee
Republican Study Committee

(Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn are members of the RSC)

From the Daily Caller. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending.

Jordan’s bill, which will have a companion bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, would impose deep and broad cuts across the federal government. It includes both budget-wide cuts on non-defense discretionary spending back to 2006 levels and proposes the elimination or drastic reduction of more than 50 government programs.

Jordan’s “Spending Reduction Act” would eliminate such things as the U.S. Agency for International Development and its $1.39 billion annual budget, the $445 million annual subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants, the $150 million subsidy for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and it would cut in half to $7.5 billion the federal travel budget.

But the program eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts. The bulk of the cuts would come from returning non-defense discretionary spending – which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year – to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.

Going back to 2006 levels would reduce spending by $2.3 trillion over ten years. It is a significantly more drastic cut than the one proposed by House Republican leadership in the Pledge to America last fall, which proposed moving non-defense, non-mandatory spending for the current fiscal year back to 2008 levels, which was $522.3 billion. Jordan’s proposal includes the recommendation from the Pledge for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.

The proposal would cut the federal work force by 15 percent and freeze automatic pay raises for government employees for five years.

You’ll remember that 2006 was the last year when the Republicans were in control of the House and Senate. Remember what life was like at the beginning of 2007? Unemployment was around 4% and the budget deficit was around 200 billion dollars. Then Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid came along and the spending started. Cutting spending can be a positive thing when you take money away from unions. And think of the jobs when companies realize that there will be an end to all this spending and they won’t be on the hook for it. And children will have a standard of living that isn’t worse than the ones that their parents had.

But now the Republican Study Committee wants to put a stop to all of that. The Republican Study Commitee is the conservative wing of the House Republican caucus and that’s where all the good policies come from.