Minnesota lawmakers: Zip public funding for proposed Zip Rail line

By   /  April 1, 2015  /  Federal Government, Minnesota, News, State Government, transportation  /  No Comments

MnDOT Image

Trust, but verify. That might as well be the mantra of wary legislators out to protect taxpayers and property owners in the wake of the latest proposal for a high speed rail line from the Twin Cities to Rochester.

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Watchdog Podcast: Code Blue — Why can’t the government fix the problems in the VA?

By   /  March 31, 2015  /  Federal Government, Health Care, Podcast, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments

BehindTheHeadlines30

By Katie Watson and Jason Hart | Watchdog Radio
Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.
Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there. Is Obamacare the […]

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What happens when an SBA-backed loan goes bad?

By   /  March 30, 2015  /  Federal Government, Government Regulation, Minnesota, Washington  /  No Comments

State Senate Media Services Photo

Somewhere along the line, the Small Business Administration got big.

The volume in Minnesota of $1 million plus SBA-backed loans, which fell during the recession, has rebounded, according to “OpenTheBooks.com,” a new online tool for tracking federal outlays.

Seven-figure SBA-insured loans went to 151 Minnesota companies in 2013, compared to 75 in 2009. Altogether, 865 such loans have flowed to Minnesota businesses since 2007, according to the federal database.

Minnesota’s million-dollar loan list includes a dog spa, craft brewery, plastic surgeon, golf course, car-racing team, hotel chains, bowling alleys and chic restaurants. Private equity firms since 2007 have received a total of more than $500 million to further the SBA’s call to “start, build and grow businesses.”

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Don’t act like that: TSA defends screening program amid lawsuits, won’t release documents

By   /  March 27, 2015  /  Federal Government, National, National Security, News, Power Abuse, transportation  /  No Comments

AP file photo

 
By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org
The Transportation Security Administration is defending its controversial “behavior detection program” against a torrent of criticism by civil libertarians and a fresh lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The Behavior Detection and Analysis (BDA) program is designed to detect individuals who exhibit anomalous behaviors indicating they fear discovery and may pose […]

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Taxpayer money fights booze, tobacco while backing liquor, cigarette stores

By   /  March 23, 2015  /  Colorado, Federal Government, Finances, Misuse of funds, News, Oklahoma  /  No Comments

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com

States spent about $38 million last year fighting tobacco addiction, and tobacco use costs the economy $289 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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U.S. subsidies energize foreign corporations

By   /  March 20, 2015  /  Connecticut, Federal Government, Maine, Massachusetts, National, New York, News, Virginia, Washington  /  No Comments

YOUR MONEY GOES HERE: Spanish utility giant Iberdrola received nearly $2.2 billion through federal stimulus programs.

The United States may have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, but large companies, including foreign firms, are reaping billions of dollars in subsidies from Uncle Sam. Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., says it’s past time to end corporate welfare schemes that gamble with the public’s money

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