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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

Lois G. Lerner (Associated Press)

True the Vote appeals, asks court to rein in IRS targeting

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times

True the Vote, one of the conservative nonprofits targeted for intrusive scrutiny by the IRS, filed a notice of appeal Thursday signaling it will ask judges to throw out a lower court's ruling that found the IRS's targeting had already stopped, and tossed their case. Published December 18, 2014

Recent Stories

The Department of Veterans Affairs, under pressure from Congress to weed out poorly performing employees, gives them five days' notice. (Associated Press)

Former VA procurement chief talked the talk but ignored red flags, investigators say

- The Washington Times

Iris Cooper, a top government procurement officer, said she was a big fan of scouring would-be contractors' past performance to see if they could do the job. But that's not what happened at the Department of Veterans Affairs while she ran its office of acquisition operations, where investigators say she steered about $15 million to a company with no track record that employed two of her friends.

Crystal A. Diaz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent with the Tucson Sector in Arizona, rides her ATV while on patrol.  (AP Photo/U.S. Border Patrol)

Homeland Security spends millions on overtime

- The Washington Times

The Homeland Security Department continues to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in overtime to its employees without being sure it is justified, despite years of warning that valuable tax money is in danger of being wasted.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Government shutdown averted: Congress clears short-term funding bill

- The Washington Times

Congress on Saturday passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open through the middle of next week while senators work through a string of procedural hurdles that stand in the way of passing the broader $1.1 trillion bill that will fund operations for everything but homeland security through the end of fiscal year 2015.

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press) **FILE**

$1 trillion spending bill barely hangs on in first test vote

- The Washington Times

The $1.1 trillion spending bill narrowly survived its first test Thursday when the House approved rules for debate, bringing the bill to the floor and setting up an afternoon showdown that will expose just how deep the divisions run within the Democratic Party.

American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks on Thursday moderates a discussion about conservatism in the 114th Congress. (American Enterprise Institute)

Advice on that $1 trillion spending bill: 'If you fund it, you own it'

- The Washington Times

The giant $1.8 trillion omnibus spending bill now stretched out like a walrus in the halls of Congress has spawned mixed reviews. Some observers say the 1,603-page legislation is a marvelous creature — ample evidence that Republicans and Democrats can play nice and do something good together. Others see the bill as a dangerous beast making threatening noises and waving its 100 or so policy riders at onlookers — like that potential funding for President Obama's amnesty plans, for instance.

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.

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.