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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. attorney for the District, has taken down council member Harry Thomas Jr. and Chairman Kwame R. Brown. (Associated Press)

Former CEO pleads guilty in massive contractor kickback case

By Jim McElhatton - The Washington Times

A Virginia-based company with defense and intelligence agency contracts paid a $300,000 fine Tuesday and its former president pleaded guilty to paying bribes to an Army procurement official who was recently sent to prison for taking kickbacks. Published November 25, 2014

Recent Stories

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. The agency has been under fire for what critics say are politically motivated attacks against conservative organizations. (Associated Press)

IRS inspector general to release documents on privacy probe

- The Washington Times

The IRS inspector general has amassed 2,500 documents detailing its own investigations into whether the tax agency gave the White House private taxpayer information, and the Obama administration agreed this week to release the documents in what an advocacy group called a major win for transparency.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback makes his victory speech during a Republican watch party Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Brownback: 'Everything' on table to fix budget gap

Associated Press

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he is "looking at everything" to fill a projected $279 million budget deficit for this fiscal year, including the possibility of tweaking the state's income tax policy.

** FILE ** The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press)

Prisoners get millions in bogus tax refunds

- The Washington Times

Prisoners continue to claim bogus tax refunds, to a tune of more than $1 billion in 2012, and the IRS has yet to take enough steps to combat it, the agency's inspector general reported Tuesday.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland) ** FILE **

Terry McAuliffe says Virginia economy 'perilous'

- Associated Press

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday that Virginia's economy is in a "very perilous" situation with potential federal defense cuts looming and that he's open to eliminating tax relief programs — including one that partially offsets the state's much maligned car tax — to fill a state budget gap.

Lois G. Lerner (Associated Press)

Investigators may have found up to 30K Lois Lerner emails

- The Washington Times

The IRS's inspector general has told Congress that it may have discovered as many as 30,000 of the lost Lois G. Lerner emails, despite the IRS's repeated insistence both in testimony to both Capitol Hill and federal courts that they were beyond recovery, congressional committees said Friday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, center, talks about recent Republican party gains and the road ahead for their party as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, left, and Texas Gov. Rick perry listen during a press conference at the Republican governors' conference in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. The organization's annual conference began Wednesday in a luxury oceanside resort where the nation's Republican governors are celebrating their party's recent success in the midterm elections while privately jockeying for position as the 2016 presidential contest looms. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Wisconsin budget shortfall projected at $2.2 billion

- Associated Press

Gov. Scott Walker's administration said Thursday that Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker builds his resume for a potential presidential run and looks to deliver on a campaign promise to cut taxes.

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

At FAA, bigger budgets for less work lead to waste

- The Washington Times

The Federal Aviation Administration's budget demands continue to grow, even though air traffic has dropped in recent years and the agency's productivity has significantly declined, according to a damning internal audit.

May Berenbaum, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shakes President Obama's hand as he awarded her the National Medal of Science during a ceremony at the White House on Thursday. The president presented this year's top national awards for science, technology and innovation. (Associated Press)

Feds invest $28M more for STEM education

- The Washington Times

President Obama announced a new partnership Thursday with an array of organizations to invest $28 million to increase the number of math, science and technology teachers in classrooms across the country, at a White House ceremony where the president presented this year's top national awards for science, technology and innovation.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, foreground, flanked by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, left, and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, announces the naming of a fast-attack submarine after the state of Vermont during a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Burlington, Vt. The USS Vermont is the first U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the Green Mountain State in more than 100 years. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Ryan Mercer) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

Navy secretary racks up 930K miles in world travel

- Associated Press

The Navy secretary has spent more than a full year of his five-year tenure on overseas travel, racking up more than 930,000 miles on trips that cost taxpayers more than $4.7 million.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, left, shakes hands with Republican congressional candidate Chris Stewart during the Utah State GOP election night watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Stewart is seeking a second term in the 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Fake disability claims cost taypayers billions

- The Washington Times

Social Security paid out $2 billion in bogus disability claims approved by 44 administrative law judges over the last seven years, the agency's internal auditor said in a report Friday that details some of the problems with fraud in the troubled disability program.

This 1943 file photo shows Nazi officers talking with citizens of the Warsaw ghetto in Poland. An Associated Press investigation found dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States. (AP Photo, File)FILE -

Lawmakers move to strip former Nazis of benefits

- Associated Press

A bipartisan group of lawmakers will introduce legislation Thursday to strip suspected Nazi war criminals of their Social Security benefits, insisting American taxpayers should not be underwriting the retirement of anyone who participated in the Third Reich's atrocities.

Recent Opinion Columns

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.

A tobacco flower waves in a dew-covered field outside Rolesville, N.C., on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Researchers are using a relative of this smoking leaf to grow medicines for the flu and even, perhaps, ebola.  (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

The WHO’s secret tobacco tax

- The Washington Times

The U.N.'s health agency secretly passed the world's first ever global tax — an outrageous scheme requiring nearly 180 countries to apply a minimum tax on tobacco products.