Where is the Money Going?

97 to 112 of about 1799 News
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What Happened to the $288 Million the Public Donated to Presidential Campaigns that Candidates Don’t Want?

It’s one of the first boxes you see on a tax form. Before you even tell the IRS whether you’re married, you’re asked whether you want to reserve $3 to fund presidential campaigns. But in this age of multi-million-dollar super PACs, where does that money go? Given that candidates have long been ignoring the fund, their roving eyes targeting greener and richer pastures elsewhere, what has become of all those millions?   read more

Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. Economy $250 Billion a Year

Binge drinking and its associated costs have been increasing. The costs are up 2.7% since 2006. All forms of lost productivity accounted for about $179 billion of alcohol-related costs, while the cost of people showing up (or not) at work hung over cost $90 billion. The government wound up covering about 40% of the $250 billion total. Costs related to motor-vehicle crashes amounted to $13 billion, while the cost of arresting people and court fees related to drinkers was $15 billion.   read more

Federal Agencies Increasingly Use College Loan Payoff Assistance as Means of Attracting and Keeping Employees

Last year, 33 departments and independent agencies paid nearly 8,500 workers more than $58.7 million in student loan repayment benefits, according to a report from OPM. That came out to an average of just more than $6,900 per employee. Eighty percent of the money was paid by the Justice, Defense, State and Veterans Affairs departments, along with the SEC. Fifteen percent more workers received this assistance in 2014 than in 2013.   read more

In Most States, Infant Care Costs Exceed College Tuition

The costs of child care vary depending on the region of the country. In Mississippi, center-based infant care costs $468 a month, but in Washington D.C., it’s $1,868. For single-parent families with two children, center-based child care consumed 11.7% of family budgets in New Orleans, but 33.7% in Buffalo, New York. “How are young parents supposed to be able to afford the equivalent of a college tuition?” said EPI's Elise Gould. “This is out of reach for many [higher-income] families.”   read more

$15 Hourly Wage Seen as Too Low to Meet Nationwide Cost of Living

A report from Alliance for a Just Society says $15 an hour is not enough for people to make ends meet in at least 35 states and the District of Columbia. A true livable wage would be an average of $16.87 an hour, the group says. In Arkansas, a wage of $14.26 would suffice. Washington D.C. workers would need to earn $21.86 an hour. “Our emphasis...is to show just how modest a figure $15 really is,” said Allyson Fredericksen. “It is not an extravagant wage and it is not the only solution.”   read more

45% of Americans Don’t Pay Income Tax (but They Pay other Taxes)

Romney had used the 47% figure to imply there were a lot of Obama supporters who weren’t contributing their fair share to the government. But the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, pointed out that about two-thirds of those who don’t pay income tax still pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and other levies. Only 17.3% of Americans pay neither income tax nor payroll tax and most of those are retired seniors making do with very small incomes.   read more

Medicare Paid $54 Million for Unnecessary Ambulance Rides

Of the nearly 16,000 ambulance services in the U.S. used to transport Medicare patients, one in five were found to have one or more questionable bills. The inspector general found that $30 million was spent transporting patients for whom a corresponding covered service could not be found. Another $24 million was spent on service to places, such as doctors’ offices, to which ambulance rides are not covered. Not surprisingly, the IG also found signs of overbilling via inflated mileage charges.   read more

Education Dept. Pours Money into Charter Grant Program that Doesn’t Work

The majority of charter schools still open scored in the bottom 16% on the 2014 Ohio Performance Index, which measures student performance on state assessments. “Ohio has a real quality control problem,” said Alex Medler. “Ohio’s more broken than the Wild West.” Charter schools in that state spend more than twice as much of their revenue on administrative costs than public schools. That leaves less to spend on teachers and students.   read more

Valeant Leads Big Pharma Trend of Skyrocketing Drug Prices

Valeant’s corporate strategy has nothing to do with finding cures for disease. Instead, it buys other drug firms that own older medicines. Then it jacks up the price. If “products are sort of mispriced and there’s an opportunity, we will act appropriately in terms of doing what I assume our shareholders would like us to do,” Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson told analysts. In other words, he’s happy to squeeze money out of patients for the sake of his shareholders.   read more

Most of $20.8 Billion BP Penalty Is Tax Deductible as a Cost of Doing Business

The Justice Dept. didn't point out how much of the settlement BP can write off come tax time. Advocacy group US PIRG said not only can BP deduct more than $15 billion from its income, it can expect a tax windfall of $5.35 billion from it. “This not only sends the wrong message,” said PIRG’s Michelle Surka, “but it also hurts taxpayers by forcing us to shoulder the burden of BP’s tax windfall in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public programs, and more national debt.”   read more

Poor White School Districts Receive Better Funding than Poor Minority Districts

The Atlantic’s Gillian White explained this “means that no matter how rich or poor the district in question, funding gaps existed solely based on the racial composition of the school. Just the increased presence of minority students actually deflated a district’s funding level.” Mosenkis’ research showed districts that “have a few more students of color get lower funding than the ones that are 100 percent or 95 percent white.”   read more

Millions Wasted Building Oversized Prisons in Navajo Nation

The jails, which are largely empty, cost the federal government $70 million to build, but should have cost less than $40 million The prisons are not only bigger than what’s needed, they’re also too big to operate. The Bureau of Indian Affairs can afford only 40% of the staffing for prisons that size. It can pay for just 25 of the 63 full-time correction officers needed to staff the Tuba City jail, which is 82% vacant for want of funding to pay corrections officers.   read more

Presidential Campaigns in High Gear ... to Meet Increasing Demands of Big Donors

As presidential campaign donations have increased, so has the need for campaigns to respond quickly to donors’ needs. “Donors are demanding a lot these days, man, and they want answers and they want results, and a lot of them hit the panic button a lot,” said Republican lobbyist and Jeb Bush supporter Theresa Kostrzewa. “Donors consider a contribution like, ‘Well, wait, I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.’”   read more

83% of Mortgages Sold by Government to Banks and Hedge Funds End in Foreclosure

More than 98,000 mortgages—representing more than $16.7 billion in total debt—were sold to investors “at times as little as 41 percent of the mortgages’ collective value,” wrote the Center's Bennett. However, only 16.9% of the mortgages sold between 2010 and 2014 avoided foreclosure. Housing advocates have criticized HUD for “primarily facilitating a massive wealth transfer, with thousands of homes going from distressed borrowers to wealthy investors simply looking to profit,” wrote Bennett.   read more

At National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation, 51 Employees are Supposed to Review 45,000 Complaints a Year

There’s no way a person can investigate an average of 900 complaints a year, so many fall through the cracks, such as the ongoing GM ignition switch defect responsible for the deaths of at least 124 people. Part of the reason for that has been that the NHTSA has relied on manufacturers to self-report problems with their cars. NHTSA has vowed change the way it does business. The agency still faces a roadblock, however. The Republican-controlled Congress has refused to increase its budget.   read more

Why do Medicines and Medical Devices Cost more in the U.S. than other Countries?

. Here are the prices for a month’s worth of selected drugs in the United States and Canada: Drug (treatment) U.S. Canada Enbrel (autoimmune) $3,000 $1,646 Cymbalta (depression) $240 $110 Nexium (acid reflux) $305 $30 There are similar price discrepancies between the United States and other countries for diagnostic tests such as MRIs and CT scans, as well as for medical procedures such as bypass surgery, knee replacement and others.   read more
97 to 112 of about 1799 News
Prev 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 113 Next

Where is the Money Going?

97 to 112 of about 1799 News
Prev 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 113 Next

What Happened to the $288 Million the Public Donated to Presidential Campaigns that Candidates Don’t Want?

It’s one of the first boxes you see on a tax form. Before you even tell the IRS whether you’re married, you’re asked whether you want to reserve $3 to fund presidential campaigns. But in this age of multi-million-dollar super PACs, where does that money go? Given that candidates have long been ignoring the fund, their roving eyes targeting greener and richer pastures elsewhere, what has become of all those millions?   read more

Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. Economy $250 Billion a Year

Binge drinking and its associated costs have been increasing. The costs are up 2.7% since 2006. All forms of lost productivity accounted for about $179 billion of alcohol-related costs, while the cost of people showing up (or not) at work hung over cost $90 billion. The government wound up covering about 40% of the $250 billion total. Costs related to motor-vehicle crashes amounted to $13 billion, while the cost of arresting people and court fees related to drinkers was $15 billion.   read more

Federal Agencies Increasingly Use College Loan Payoff Assistance as Means of Attracting and Keeping Employees

Last year, 33 departments and independent agencies paid nearly 8,500 workers more than $58.7 million in student loan repayment benefits, according to a report from OPM. That came out to an average of just more than $6,900 per employee. Eighty percent of the money was paid by the Justice, Defense, State and Veterans Affairs departments, along with the SEC. Fifteen percent more workers received this assistance in 2014 than in 2013.   read more

In Most States, Infant Care Costs Exceed College Tuition

The costs of child care vary depending on the region of the country. In Mississippi, center-based infant care costs $468 a month, but in Washington D.C., it’s $1,868. For single-parent families with two children, center-based child care consumed 11.7% of family budgets in New Orleans, but 33.7% in Buffalo, New York. “How are young parents supposed to be able to afford the equivalent of a college tuition?” said EPI's Elise Gould. “This is out of reach for many [higher-income] families.”   read more

$15 Hourly Wage Seen as Too Low to Meet Nationwide Cost of Living

A report from Alliance for a Just Society says $15 an hour is not enough for people to make ends meet in at least 35 states and the District of Columbia. A true livable wage would be an average of $16.87 an hour, the group says. In Arkansas, a wage of $14.26 would suffice. Washington D.C. workers would need to earn $21.86 an hour. “Our emphasis...is to show just how modest a figure $15 really is,” said Allyson Fredericksen. “It is not an extravagant wage and it is not the only solution.”   read more

45% of Americans Don’t Pay Income Tax (but They Pay other Taxes)

Romney had used the 47% figure to imply there were a lot of Obama supporters who weren’t contributing their fair share to the government. But the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, pointed out that about two-thirds of those who don’t pay income tax still pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and other levies. Only 17.3% of Americans pay neither income tax nor payroll tax and most of those are retired seniors making do with very small incomes.   read more

Medicare Paid $54 Million for Unnecessary Ambulance Rides

Of the nearly 16,000 ambulance services in the U.S. used to transport Medicare patients, one in five were found to have one or more questionable bills. The inspector general found that $30 million was spent transporting patients for whom a corresponding covered service could not be found. Another $24 million was spent on service to places, such as doctors’ offices, to which ambulance rides are not covered. Not surprisingly, the IG also found signs of overbilling via inflated mileage charges.   read more

Education Dept. Pours Money into Charter Grant Program that Doesn’t Work

The majority of charter schools still open scored in the bottom 16% on the 2014 Ohio Performance Index, which measures student performance on state assessments. “Ohio has a real quality control problem,” said Alex Medler. “Ohio’s more broken than the Wild West.” Charter schools in that state spend more than twice as much of their revenue on administrative costs than public schools. That leaves less to spend on teachers and students.   read more

Valeant Leads Big Pharma Trend of Skyrocketing Drug Prices

Valeant’s corporate strategy has nothing to do with finding cures for disease. Instead, it buys other drug firms that own older medicines. Then it jacks up the price. If “products are sort of mispriced and there’s an opportunity, we will act appropriately in terms of doing what I assume our shareholders would like us to do,” Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson told analysts. In other words, he’s happy to squeeze money out of patients for the sake of his shareholders.   read more

Most of $20.8 Billion BP Penalty Is Tax Deductible as a Cost of Doing Business

The Justice Dept. didn't point out how much of the settlement BP can write off come tax time. Advocacy group US PIRG said not only can BP deduct more than $15 billion from its income, it can expect a tax windfall of $5.35 billion from it. “This not only sends the wrong message,” said PIRG’s Michelle Surka, “but it also hurts taxpayers by forcing us to shoulder the burden of BP’s tax windfall in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public programs, and more national debt.”   read more

Poor White School Districts Receive Better Funding than Poor Minority Districts

The Atlantic’s Gillian White explained this “means that no matter how rich or poor the district in question, funding gaps existed solely based on the racial composition of the school. Just the increased presence of minority students actually deflated a district’s funding level.” Mosenkis’ research showed districts that “have a few more students of color get lower funding than the ones that are 100 percent or 95 percent white.”   read more

Millions Wasted Building Oversized Prisons in Navajo Nation

The jails, which are largely empty, cost the federal government $70 million to build, but should have cost less than $40 million The prisons are not only bigger than what’s needed, they’re also too big to operate. The Bureau of Indian Affairs can afford only 40% of the staffing for prisons that size. It can pay for just 25 of the 63 full-time correction officers needed to staff the Tuba City jail, which is 82% vacant for want of funding to pay corrections officers.   read more

Presidential Campaigns in High Gear ... to Meet Increasing Demands of Big Donors

As presidential campaign donations have increased, so has the need for campaigns to respond quickly to donors’ needs. “Donors are demanding a lot these days, man, and they want answers and they want results, and a lot of them hit the panic button a lot,” said Republican lobbyist and Jeb Bush supporter Theresa Kostrzewa. “Donors consider a contribution like, ‘Well, wait, I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.’”   read more

83% of Mortgages Sold by Government to Banks and Hedge Funds End in Foreclosure

More than 98,000 mortgages—representing more than $16.7 billion in total debt—were sold to investors “at times as little as 41 percent of the mortgages’ collective value,” wrote the Center's Bennett. However, only 16.9% of the mortgages sold between 2010 and 2014 avoided foreclosure. Housing advocates have criticized HUD for “primarily facilitating a massive wealth transfer, with thousands of homes going from distressed borrowers to wealthy investors simply looking to profit,” wrote Bennett.   read more

At National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation, 51 Employees are Supposed to Review 45,000 Complaints a Year

There’s no way a person can investigate an average of 900 complaints a year, so many fall through the cracks, such as the ongoing GM ignition switch defect responsible for the deaths of at least 124 people. Part of the reason for that has been that the NHTSA has relied on manufacturers to self-report problems with their cars. NHTSA has vowed change the way it does business. The agency still faces a roadblock, however. The Republican-controlled Congress has refused to increase its budget.   read more

Why do Medicines and Medical Devices Cost more in the U.S. than other Countries?

. Here are the prices for a month’s worth of selected drugs in the United States and Canada: Drug (treatment) U.S. Canada Enbrel (autoimmune) $3,000 $1,646 Cymbalta (depression) $240 $110 Nexium (acid reflux) $305 $30 There are similar price discrepancies between the United States and other countries for diagnostic tests such as MRIs and CT scans, as well as for medical procedures such as bypass surgery, knee replacement and others.   read more
97 to 112 of about 1799 News
Prev 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 113 Next