taxpayer money

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Rep With Downton Office Likes Lavish Travel, Too

Schock billed taxpayers for private plane flights

(Newser) - Rep. Aaron Schock has been billing the taxpayer for a lot more than his lavish, Downton Abbey-inspired office , an AP investigation into a man it terms "a rising Republican star" finds. Over the last few years, the Illinois lawmaker has spent at least $40,000 in taxpayer and campaign... More »

Taxpayers Pay Big for Rep's Downton-Style Office

Aaron Schock's new office digs are getting some notice

(Newser) - Rep. Aaron Schock, an up-and-comer previously best known for baring his six-pack on the cover of Men's Health, has a new claim to fame in the form of his interior decor: It seems the Washington Post 's Style reporter Ben Terris popped by the Illinois rep's digs... More »

Government Workers Told: Bring Your Own Paper Plates

Workers should bring own dishes, cutlery to work: GAO

(Newser) - Federal workers need to provide their own dishes and cutlery at work, according to the Government Accountability Office. National Weather Service employees have been feuding with the Commerce Department, arguing federal agencies should foot the bill for dishware, since 2013 when Commerce said it could no longer provide "disposable... More »

Cleveland Pol Wants 'Win Tax' to Prod Losing Teams

Stadium money would be doled out by 'fan council'

(Newser) - Local governments are constantly doling out cash to professional sports teams, and now one Cleveland politician thinks the public deserves to see some wins for its money. Cuyahoga County voters last month extended a "sin tax" on alcohol and cigarettes to pay for stadium upkeep for Cleveland's three... More »

Here's How Much We're Paying for Congress' Cars

63 House members spend $461,330 a year on auto leases

(Newser) - When the House voted against raising its own pay last week, it also quietly voted to keep a cherished perk: taxpayer-funded car leases. Rep. Rich Nugent had offered an amendment to disallow the practice, but it lost by 20 votes, the Washington Post reports. "Today, members of Congress can... More »

Queen's Jubilee Year Cost UK Taxpayers $50.7M

That's an extra $1.4M more than the year prior

(Newser) - We're hoping that Britons enjoyed Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee year—because it ran taxpayers about $1.4 million more than the year before. The long-reigning monarch's official bottom line expenses came in at $50.7 million, according to royal finances. Where did the additional money go? Mainly... More »

GOP Files Ethics Complaint on McCaskill

They want investigation into use of tax money for flight

(Newser) - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is the target of a GOP-filed ethics complaint over her personal plane, Politico reports. McCaskill has acknowledged that she mistakenly used taxpayer money to cover the cost of one purely political trip last year, and she reimbursed the Treasury Department for it last week. Today, Missouri... More »

Taxpayers Footed Fannie, Freddie's $160M Legal Bill

Americans spend $24.2 million to defend executives

(Newser) - Taxpayers have spent more than $160 million defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in fraud lawsuits since the government took over the companies in 2008. The closely guarded cost was released last week after Rep. Randy Neugebauer requested the figures last year. Some $132 million of the total went to... More »

Haley Barbour Takes Heat for Posh Jet Trips

State shells out as governor 'mixes business with pleasure'

(Newser) - Haley Barbour jets around on a classy Mississippi state jet—but not all the governor’s trips look like state business, Politico finds. He also uses the 12-seater Cessna, funded largely by tax dollars, to attend fundraisers for other Republicans, to appear on Meet the Press and Face the Nation ... More »

20+ Lawmakers Hit Copenhagen on US Dime

Full delegation—including staffers, plus wives—over 100

(Newser) - More than 20 members of Congress hit the Copenhagen climate conference last month, a CBS investigation finds—and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, which was in charge of the guest list, is being shifty about what it all cost. Of the fact that lawmakers (and some wives) commandeered three... More »

Obama Budget Likely to Include Bank Fees

Aims to recoup bailout losses, avoid passing along to customers

(Newser) - The Obama administration will likely include a provision in next month’s budget that imposes fees on banks in an effort to make back some of the taxpayer money lost on the bailout and close the record deficit. Politico has it that a transaction tax is not on the table;... More »

US Reaps Profit as Banks Pay Back TARP Funds

Fed pulls in $14B from loan programs

(Newser) - When the government spent some $240 billion last year to help avert financial disaster, the idea of making a profit from the TARP funds invested in teetering banks looked like a long shot. Now, however, profits from eight banks who’ve paid back the cash have totaled some $4 billion,... More »

TARP Watchdog: Bailouts May Cost US $24T

Number based on 'hypothetical maximum,' Treasury counters

(Newser) - The special inspector overseeing Treasury’s TARP program says federal assistance to banks and other financial entities could end up costing taxpayers $23.7 trillion, Bloomberg reports. Aside from the $700 billion bailout, Neil Barofsky says in testimony prepared for told Congress tomorrow, other trillion-dollar federal programs could balloon. “... More »

Another UK Lawmaker Suspended Over Expenses

Public outrage grows over scandal

(Newser) - Britain’s Labour Party has suspended David Chaytor, the latest lawmaker caught up in a widening expense account scandal, the Daily Telegraph reports. Chaytor reportedly claimed $20,000 in interest on a mortgage that was already paid off. Chaytor has said he made an “unforgivable error in my accounting... More »

UK Minister Resigns in Expense Flap

1st MP to step down says he acted '1 million percent by the book'

(Newser) - Britain’s justice minister resigned today amid a furor over a sketchy rental agreement, the first MP to do so following the revelation of excessive expenses charged by members of parliament to taxpayers, the Telegraph reports. Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched an investigation into whether Shahid Malik breached conduct codes... More »

Obamas Will Pick Up Tab for White House Renovations

First family turns down $100K in public cash

(Newser) - Barack and Michelle Obama won’t be using the $100,000 in taxpayer cash the first family is allotted for White House renovations, New York magazine reports. Instead, they’ll fund their fix-up out of their own pockets. Which may be a good political investment, since they’ve hired Michael... More »

Our Family Can Raise Octuplets: Gramps

Nadya won't take taxpayer money

(Newser) - The grandfather of the California octuplets says he'll fight for his daughter Nadya Suleman’s right to raise her kids, ABC News reports. "I will stop anybody from taking my grandchildren away," Ed Doud said in an interview with Good Morning America, responding to reports that the hospital... More »

Cramer Changes Course: Have Faith in Geithner

It's cheaper than nationalization, and gets banks moving again

(Newser) - Geithner’s got it, James Cramer writes in New York—much to his own surprise. Cramer notes that he's railed against the Treasury chief for months, but he's now come around just as others have abandoned him. “The press, the pols, the Wall Streeters—they are all dumping their... More »

Your Tax Dollars Put Their Names in Concrete

Lawmakers refuse to face widespread 'edifice complex'

(Newser) - Not long ago, a lawmaker had to be dead to put his or her name on something, but these days every two-bit representative in Congress has a building, bridge, or monument, complains John Fund in the Wall Street Journal. These “honors” are almost always paid for with tax dollars,... More »

Bill's Bills Cost US a Record $8M

Clinton costs twice as much as Carter

(Newser) - Bill Clinton is costing taxpayers significantly more in publicly funded perks than the two other surviving former presidents, reports Politico. From 2001 through the end of this year, $8 million will be spent on Bill Clinton, compared with $5.5 million for George H. W. Bush and $4 million for... More »

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