Gasoline prices in California have escalated to record highs, spiking 50 cents a gallon in a week and prompting Governor Jerry Brown to advocate laxer smog rules so oil refineries can boost supplies of less expensive fuel blends. Regular gasoline in the state has soared to an average of $4.67 a gallon, a staggering 22 percent higher than the national average, according to AAA’s nationwide fuel price survey.
According to a new GAO audit, 35 percent of federal contracting dollars have been awarded to businesses owned by minorities.
Almost 2,400 Americans who collected unemployment benefits in 2009 resided in households with annual incomes of at least $1 million, according to a recent report compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The 10-page report was published after more than a million people exhausted their unemployment benefits during the second quarter of 2012, when well over 4.5 million people filed for jobless claims.
The federal government’s new “healthy” school lunch program, which is now stirring controversy in public schools across the country, should act as a model for nutrition in the private home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a blog post October 1. Deflecting concerns about widespread cases of students trashing the government-sponsored healthy foods, the USDA emphasized the importance of students consuming (what it deems) a healthful portion of calories that will help keep them alert and energized throughout the school day.
Adding to the growing list of taxpayer-funded boondoggles, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under heavy congressional scrutiny after wastefully spending more than $700,000 on two employee conferences last year. A 150-page report issued by the VA Office of Inspector General (IG) affirmed that the lavish events, which took place in Orlando, Florida, were poorly planned by the agency’s senior leadership.
In a speech to Arab leaders at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Friday, September 28, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the economic casualties of intrusive regulations, contending that less government involvement in the economy is necessary because “too many people still can’t find jobs” in countries like Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia.
Nullifying his former position that Internet providers should have the freedom to pursue new and innovative business models, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski advocated his agency’s role of regulating broadband Internet services, asserting that the FCC must act like a “cop on the beat.”
A national watchdog group called True the Vote announced Tuesday that it has unearthed more than 30 cases of absentee ballot fraud in Florida and New York.
In an effort to atone for so-called “civil rights abuses,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday that women and Hispanic farmers who have fallen victim to USDA discrimination can file claims for a portion of the $1.33 billion in cash awards and tax payments the agency is now proffering.
Women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers who feel the USDA rejected their loan or loan servicing applications due to their race or gender, beginning from 1981 to 2000, are eligible for payments as long as they file their claim between September 24 and March 25 of next year. In addition to the $1.33 billion in cash and tax rewards, the USDA is also offering up to $160 million in farm debt relief.
To hurdle the federal government’s looming “fiscal cliff,” Congress and the president must enact a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts, says a group of business economists.