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.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
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
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.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the $346 million cut to his agency means agents won't be able to provide the law enforcement services they normally do — and that means tax cheats will have an easier time getting away with their crimes.
The Treasury Department's inspector general is looking into why the department hired a woman already under federal investigation for steering millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to a friend's company, and why she misled investigators who were looking into the matter.
Congress cleared dozens of special-interest tax breaks late Tuesday as senators rushed to finish business and close up for the year.
The VA ranked as the second-worst place to work among large federal agencies in 2014, and a top department official has begged employees to submit ideas to try to improve the situation.
Politically motivated budget cuts and a hiring freeze have left the Navy with a shipyard workforce incapable of maintaining even its most valuable hardware, including the fleet of hunter-killer submarines and aircraft carriers.
New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer used to be considered one of the Senate's most liberal members until Sen. Elizabeth Warren burst onto the scene, making him look moderate by comparison and convincing Republicans that he's the go-to guy for making deals across the aisle.
The Treasury Department's new top procurement executive steered millions of dollars worth of work to friends when she was a senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and then obstructed investigators looking into the matter, the inspector general said in a report made public Monday.
Congress cleared the $1.1 trillion spending bill over the weekend, overcoming objections from senators on the left and the right in a marathon Saturday session that exposed continued rifts among Democrats and Republicans.
Even before he competed for his first government job, the key witness in the largest bribery case in federal contracting history said an associate warned him that he'd have to "pay to play," according to a recent jailhouse letter.
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.
In one of the most rigorous studies of its kind, two economists have concluded that an increase in the federal minimum wage in the mid-2000s resulted in substantial job losses and lower net income for the low-skilled workers the hike was supposed to benefit.
The Environmental Protection Agency spends more than $5.1 million a year to lease partially filled warehouse space stocked with items the agency doesn't even keep track of, according to a critical internal review released this week.
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.
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.
The IRS takes a $300 million cut and the EPA's staffing is reduced to levels not seen since the 1980s under the $1.1 trillion spending bill written by congressional negotiators, and which GOP leaders are pleading with their members to support ahead of key showdown votes this week.
Recent Opinion Columns
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.
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.
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.
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.
A tobacco reduction conference hosted by the World Health Organization, the United Nation's public health agency, took a hostile and alarming turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting.
If you pay people not to work, what do you think they will do?