19 Stories

Incomplete Detroit Jail Costs Taxpayers $1.2M a Month

And the Wayne County Jail may never even be finished

(Newser) - A jailhouse that costs taxpayers $1.2 million a month is a hard-enough sell. But the city of Detroit is in an even stickier predicament: It has to justify that cost for an unfinished prison that was abandoned two years ago and will probably never be completed, Fox News reports.... More »

Mitt Stands By Slams on Freeloading Voters

'My campaign is about helping people take responsibility'

(Newser) - Never explain, never apologize seems to be the strategy Mitt Romney is following after he was caught on a video obtained by Mother Jones calling half of American voters freeloaders. His comments, he admits, were not "elegantly stated," Romney told reporters last night in California. "I'm... More »

Perry Campaign Security Cost Texas Taxpayers $800K

Home state paid for food and lodging for bodyguards

(Newser) - Gov. Rick Perry's ill-fated presidential run cost the taxpayers of Texas nearly $800,000, spent on travel fees for the security detail that followed Perry around on his campaign from September through November, a state report reveals. Perry took 48 trips across state lines, mostly to primary battlegrounds Iowa,... More »

Jersey Shore Costs State Taxpayers $420K

Film tax credit will cover some 2009 production costs

(Newser) - Ammo for Jersey Shore haters: The show will get $420,000 to cover production costs for the inaugural 2009 season in the form of a state film tax credit, reports . Cue the outrage: "I can’t believe we are paying for fake tanning for Snooki and The... More »

5 Common-Sense Bills We Need to Pass

Here's two: Let's vote on weekends and stop making pennies

(Newser) - Ezra Klein uses his Washington Post column to give a push to what he sees as logical bills languishing for lack of "partisan passion." Among his first No-Brainer Awards:
  • Weekend voting: A bill from Rep. Steve Israel and outgoing Sen. Herb Kohl would end the outdated silliness of
... 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 »

Big Banks Still Think We're Chumps

Citigroup hasn't learned its lesson from financial crisis

(Newser) - Have the big banks learned their lesson from the financial crisis? Not a chance, writes Charlie Gasparino in the Daily Beast . Citigroup’s recent attempt to bar a well-respected financial analyst from questioning its executives about accounting practices, plus new documents proving the bank’s top brass knew about its... More »

How Taxpayers Can Profit From the New GM

A change in the automotive paradigm would be worth more than any dividend

(Newser) - Tomorrow will see the death—and rebirth—of General Motors. And with the government taking a 60% stake, it's reasonable to wonder whether taxpayers will ever see a return on their investment, writes Matthew DeBord for the Big Money on Slate. But the focus on money might be "short-sighted,... More »

Inspector Finds IRS Lax in Disposing of Sensitive Docs

Agency vows oversight of waste contractors

(Newser) - Sensitive documents that could be used to steal taxpayers’ identities were found in trash bins outside several Internal Revenue Service bureaus visited during a months-long government inspection, Reuters reports. Because of the findings, the IRS has increased oversight of the contractors responsible for its waste. Identity theft is an increasing... More »

Poll: Few Plan Splurges With Tax Refunds

More people than ever are just paying off bills

(Newser) - Taxpayers’ refund checks are starting to arrive, but this year the economy might not see much of a boost from that money, an AP poll finds. More people are planning to spend their refunds in some way, but 54% say they’ll pay off existing bills rather than go on... More »

Borrowers Now Flocking to the Feds to Default on Loans

Same cause of subprime mess blamed for new threats to taxpayers

(Newser) - History is repeating itself, and taxpayers will be footing the bill for it: Flawed lending practices are enabling borrowers to receive mortgage loans they can’t repay—but this time, Washington’s involved, the Washington Post reports. Many of the loans provided by the Federal Housing Administration default after just... More »

Bailout Hasn't Failed, But Banks Need More

(Newser) - The Wall Street bailout has not failed, but it hasn’t worked yet, either, as evidenced by the renewed call from Barack Obama and the Fed to release more TARP funds, the New York Times reports. Banks that received bailout funds are clamoring for more to stabilize their finances, but... More »

Cash-Strapped Calif. May Shorten School Year

(Newser) - Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting a week out of the public school calendar, the latest desperate measure in California's struggle with a $41 billion budget shortfall. The Governator says the $1.1 billion savings will ward off other cuts to education, which makes up 40% of the state budget. Schools... More »

Calif. Budget Gap Could Mean IOUs, Not Tax Refunds

Facing $42B deficit, Schwarzenegger, state Dems continue to wrangle

(Newser) - Faced with a mounting budget gap and failed negotiations toward a solution, California may have to send out promissory notes to taxpayers owed refunds and local governments, the Los Angeles Times reports. Talks between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic legislature foundered yesterday; lawmakers sent the governor a disputed package... More »

What Will Taxpayers Shell Out for All This?

Some bailouts are more risky, some less—and add up to $1 trillion

(Newser) - If a $700 billion federal bailout sounds like a lot, it is—but Washington will actually shell out $1 trillion in all of its present and proposed plans. Between Henry Paulson's plan, and bailouts of Bear Stearns, AIG, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Wall Street Journal breaks down... More »

Paulson: Plan Still Leaves Taxpayers at Risk

Rescue proposal also won't save every financial institution

(Newser) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, knee-deep in negotiations to save the floundering US finance industry, had a grim warning for Americans today: “There are no guarantees, and the taxpayer is at risk,” Paulson told Fox News Sunday, adding, “The concern I have is for the American people... More »

Windsor Bills a Royal Pain for Taxpayers

Monarchy subsists on $80M in public money each year

(Newser) - Britain’s royal family is facing the effects of tough financial times, ABC News reports—but it's easier to cope when you have taxpayers to foot the monarchy's $80 million in annual expenses. While that’s just $1.30 per taxpayer, Buckingham Palace says, critics note unnecessary expenses, like a... 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 »

UK Nationalizes Northern Rock

Bank takeover marks desperate move for British ministers

(Newser) - British ministers plan to nationalize Northern Rock as part of a bold, desperate move to rescue the struggling bank, the BBC reports. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said two private bids to take over Northern Rock failed to offer “sufficient value for money to the taxpayer,” adding... More »

19 Stories