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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, voted against the GOP budget last week, saying it is irresponsible to pay for U.S. defense by adding to the debt. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul opposes GOP budget, says it's 'irresponsible' to add to debt

By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times

Sen. Rand Paul used last week's battle over the federal budget to reinforce his image as the top fiscal hawk in the 2016 presidential field, calling out his colleagues for demanding more military spending without showing how they would pay for it. Published March 29, 2015

Recent Stories

Dennis Ross pushes zero-based budgeting for federal government

- The Washington Times

Kraft Foods is the latest in a long line of acquisitions by a private equity firm whose budget-cutting initiatives are so aggressive that employees complain they're asked to justify the cost of a photocopy. Now some politicians and 2016 GOP potential presidential contenders are imaging a world where the U.S. federal government is asked to do the same.

In this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, is seen in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

HealthCare.gov still fixing tax-form blunder

- The Washington Times

The administration said Friday it still had to send corrected tax forms to 80,000 of the 820,000 HealthCare.gov customers who received erroneous information from the federal Obamacare exchange earlier this year.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., left, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., participate in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 6, 2014, following a Senate vote on military sexual assaults. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) **FILE**

Sens. McCaskill, Ayotte move to abolish wasteful federal agency

- The Washington Times

Sens. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, on Thursday announced plans to reintroduce a bipartisan bill to slash a federal agency that has wasted roughly $10 million in taxpayer money over the past decade producing government reports that are already available online for free.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday that he has had to take money away from answering phone calls and instead spend it on technology and personnel to carry out President Obama's health care law. (Associated Press)

IRS blames Obamacare for shoddy customer service

- The Washington Times

The IRS is blaming Obamacare for the agency's poor customer service, with Commissioner John Koskinen telling Congress on Wednesday that he has had to take money away from answering phone calls and instead spend it on technology and personnel to carry out President Obama's health care law.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. holds-up a synopsis of the House Republican budget proposal as he announces the plan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The plan includes a boost in defense spending but cuts in the Medicaid program for the poor, food stamps and health care subsidies. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

GOP budget repeals Obamacare, cuts $5.5 trillion

- The Washington Times

House Republicans unveiled a 2016 budget Tuesday that would cut $5.5 trillion from spending over the next 10 years, repeal Obamacare and change Medicare into a voucherlike system — key parts of a fiscally punishing blueprint designed to end red ink in less than a decade.

President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting on veterans issues at the Phoenix VA Medical Center Friday, March 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama says Phoenix VA had 'a few bad apples'

- The Washington Times

Visiting the Phoenix VA hospital where the veterans' health-care scandal began, President Obama said Friday that veterans shouldn't allow "a few bad apples" to cause them to lose sight of improvements to the system.

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse from TWT staff. (Golden Hammer cropped logo)

Employees at N.J. Naval base misused funds after Superstorm Sandy

- The Washington Times

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, civilian workers at New Jersey's Naval Weapons Station Earle used the base's money to buy ceramic tile, molding and toilet partitions for their personal houses and exploited overtime pay — with some putting in and being approved for 24-hour work shifts during the disaster.

President Obama Friday will visit the Phoenix VA facility where waiting list scandal was first exposed last year, and claim progress on agency fixes. Critics, like Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, say little has changed and that it is time for the administration to "step up and use the tools Congress gave it to reform the department." (Associated Press)

Obama to visit Phoenix VA, claim progress on fixes

- The Washington Times

President Obama will proclaim progress Friday on promised reforms in veterans' health care at the Phoenix hospital where the scandal erupted last year, but critics and whistleblowers say little has changed at the ailing Department of Veterans Affairs.

D.C. streetcars travel 2.4 miles along H Street and Benning Road Northeast but do not carry any passengers. (AP)

D.C. streetcars go back and forth to nowhere

- The Washington Times

After already spending more than $160 million (and millions more for the study and yakkety-yak) to design and construct a street line that runs a mere 2.4 miles, city leaders could scrap the project. And that might not be a bad idea.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. speaks at the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) ** FILE **

Elizabeth Warren hijacks Senate hearing, blasts corporate settlements

- The Washington Times

Sen. Elizabeth Warren hijacked a Senate committee hearing on recreational hunting, fishing and shooting Thursday to advance her crusade against big business, calling for new laws to expose the details of legal settlements between the government and corporations accused of wrongdoing.

Then-Nebraska Republican Senate candidate, now Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks in Lincoln, Neb., in this Oct. 22, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Senators demand to know how many illegals got Social Security numbers

- The Washington Times

The administration doled out about 90,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants in the first months of President Obama's first amnesty in 2012, according to two GOP senators who demanded Thursday to know how many since then have been granted, and whether any benefits are already being paid out.

President Barack Obama speaks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2015. Targeting stagnant wages in an otherwise improving economy, the president is calling on employers, educational institutions and local governments to ramp up training and hiring of high-technology in an effort to drive up higher-income employment.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama touts program to close high-tech skills gap, boost wages

- The Washington Times

Calling high-tech jobs "a ticket into the middle class," President Obama on Monday announced a new initiative aimed at training workers for high-paying 21st century jobs and said the government will partner with local leaders, private companies and colleges to drive more than 500,000 Americans toward better salaries.

Recent Opinion Columns

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Gov.-elect Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

A bad tax law puts the government in the preaching business

Flawed and cumbersome tax laws afflict taxpayers everywhere, but few are as irksome, as silly and as constitutionally dangerous as Maryland's "stormwater remediation fee," also known as "the rain tax," including whatever penumbras and emanations that followed. Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, vowed during his campaign to free taxpayers from the overreaching state law that claims to protect the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways from polluted runoff, flooding and erosion. Together with others, he argues persuasively that it amounts to little more than a weather levy, with accompanying clouds.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Lame-duck Congress may lay golden eggs for crony capitalists

The lame-duck Congress that will meet after the Nov. 4 election could lay a few golden eggs that will hatch into a new flock of crony capitalist ducklings. The gold would actually come from taxpayers. The politically well-connected are especially eager about an $18 billion giveaway to wind farms, a tax credit that benefits mostly millionaires and billionaires.

DUBAY: How to make a promising tax reform even better

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida recently laid out their vision of tax reform. They are right to push for reform. Our burdensome tax code is one of the major obstacles holding the economy back from reaching its potential. In the process, it is denying countless American families the opportunities they deserve.