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Tag Archive: Budget

Getting a Receipt this Year?

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Hate 'em or love 'em, you almost certainly invested more of your hard earned money into the government last year than you did any other thing in your life. In fact, it's likely that you spent more on government than you did food, clothing and shelter combined. And did you get a receipt for it?

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Congress Disinterested in Whether USDA Program Works, Washington Post Reports

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Department of Agriculture efforts intended to create jobs in rural areas, including the Rural Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, haven't quite worked as planned:

Funds have gone to firms that have hired foreign workers instead of Americans. Millions more have gone to failing and bankrupt businesses. Most of the jobs are not new. Many are low-tech and low-wage. In addition to the loan program, the USDA has handed out almost half a billion dollars in rural development grants to businesses and nonprofits since 2001. Loan guarantees or grants have gone to a car wash in Milford, Del.; a country club in Great Falls, Mont.; a movie theater in Smithfield, N.C.; a water park in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; an alligator hunter in Dade City, Fla.; snowmobile clubs in Maine; and dozens of gas stations and convenience stores in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.
The article, written by Gilbert M. Gaul in today's Washington Post, provides the kind of in depth examination of government spending that should be routine but sadly, rarely happens. Perhaps his most disturbing finding about the Rural Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program is this: "More than three decades after the loan program was created, USDA officials still don't know whether it works." Office of Management and Budget assessed the program in 2003, at which time USDA disclosed that, "No independent performance evaluations have been conducted to assess the program's impact on improving economic opportunities in rural communities." And, Gaul reports, members of Congress have other interests: making sure the money spigot stays open.

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Budget Graph Shows How Money is Spent

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TheBudgetGraph.com just released their 2008 poster that brilliantly shows where taxpayer dollars are spent in the Federal government. Not surprisingly, over one-third of the poster is made up of defense spending. The office/agency checking in with the lowest budget is also not surprising - the Office of Government Ethics with $12 million. See more numbers below or click through to check out the poster yourself.

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