While federal lawmakers increasingly try to address the nation’s fiscal worries, “taxpayers might still not see the relief they deserve” by the time Congress alternately slashes and adds to FY 2015 spending bills, one budget analyst has warned.
“Although the House is moving the fiscal needle in the right direction, it is difficult to know where that needle will point once final legislation reaches the president’s desk for a signature,” according to Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers Union executive vice president.
Sepp was asked if there is a disconnect between burdened taxpayers seeking relief and the elected officials who claim to be accomplishing that task.
For example, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations has pledged to crack down on waste and corruption in foreign aid programs, but it gave the green light this week to send the multi-billion-dollar global gravy train down a track only slightly narrower than last year’s.
As part of the committee’s celebration of its perceived fiscal responsibility, it acknowledged that some of the slashed funds were simply shifted into “higher priority” programs.
My latest article gets top-of-the-page visibility. See “Kaboom! State Dept. finally gives explosive answer” via WND. -- S.P.
Bureau boss overseeing shipments has Benghazi connections
The State Department bureau tasked with secretly sending to embassies plastic and liquid explosives operates under the guidance of Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, whom a congressional panel last year separately found to be largely responsible for security lapses in Benghazi, WND has learned.
A series of WND articles recently exposed the purchase and international transport of many hundreds of pounds of plastic, sheet and linear explosives along with thousands of containers of high-energy liquid explosives.
Weeks after a State official laughed in response to WND’s inquiry, the department belatedly reacted to a follow-up request for information about how, where and by whom the blasting equipment will be used.
To many other conservatives (and liberals as well), the Obama administration's refusal to cut off foreign aid to Egypt initially was surprising if not insulting. How dare the president and his many Democratic and Republican supporters on this issue fail to take immediate action! Despite deposed Egyptian President Morsi's shortcomings, he was democratically elected, wasn't he? No wonder the Egyptians are rebelling.
Rather than reiterate the well-reasoned positions that conservative writers Andrew C. McCarthy and Thomas Sowell have taken on the situation, U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor urges readers to deeply explore the very convincing and eye-opening commentaries from these men.
Things are not what they seem in Egypt. Those who support the "democratically elected" Morsi do not share the American concept of democracy and freedom. Islamist radicals are attempting to retake the government, and it very well may be in U.S. national interests to steer far clear of this turmoil.
While congressional and White House debate over foreign aid in general and U.S. assistance to Egypt specifically is necessary (is there really a debate at the moment?), let's not be naive about what is happening in Egypt.
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee
on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on Thursday (July 18) will hold a hearing titled "Is There an African Resource Curse?"
The mission of Global Witness, according to its "Our Work" page at GlobalWitness.com:
For 19 years, Global Witness has run pioneering campaigns
against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated
environmental and human rights abuses. From Cambodia to Congo, Sierra Leone to
Angola, we have exposed the brutality and injustice that results from the fight
to access and control natural resource wealth, and have sought to bring the
perpetrators of this corruption and conflict to book.
Our work has revealed how, rather than benefiting a country’s citizens,
abundant timber, diamonds, minerals, oil and other natural resources can
incentivise corruption, destabilise governments, and lead to war.
Through our investigations, advocacy and campaigning, we seek solutions
to the ‘resource curse’ so that citizens of resource-rich countries can
get a fair share of their country’s wealth.
African energy policy think tank, an advisory
based organization working with partners around the World and especially in
Africa to harness the potential of Africa’s vast energy resources (oil, gas and
renewable) for the accelerated development of the Continent. The Centre
recently added mineral policy to its portfolio following the demand by
stakeholders to expand our reach to helping address the problems facing
Africa’s mining sector.
global organization working to right the
wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. We save lives, develop long-term
solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change. As one of 17 members of
the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90
countries to create lasting solutions.
2172 House Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515
| Jun 12, 2013 10:00am
Chairman Royce on the hearing:“Modernizing
U.S. international food aid to help more people facing starvation, more
quickly, at a lower cost is common sense, especially given our national
debt. By reforming food aid, we can reach more people in need, while
at the same time saving hundreds of millions of dollars. At this
hearing, the Committee will hear from two top food aid experts about the
best approaches to improving our current, inefficient system of food
As U.S. Trade & Aid Monitorreported yesterday, Ron Paul, one of the nation's greatest living defenders of liberty and advocate of small government is retiring from the House of Representatives. He will be missed. A transcript of his address likewise is available.
One of the nation's most vociferous defenders of liberty and vocal opponent of big government has given his last goodbye on the floor of the House of Representatives: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Among his many astute observations -- and warnings -- he left for the American people, the segment of his speech on liberty was among the most striking:
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.
Two choices are available.
1. A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
2. A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.
This coming Thursday (Aug. 23) I will appear as one of the guest speakers at the monthly open meeting of Ocean County Citizens for Freedom, a grassroots Tea Party group here on the New Jersey Shore. I will discuss my foreign aid-related research that I have published as an investigative reporter, particularly my recent findings here at U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor as well as at WND, The Revered Review, and Patriot Update. Among issues to be explored will be the refusal of Congress members to relinquish tainted campaign contributions from the political action committee of HSBC, the disgraced bank busted by the U.S. Senate for laundering money from Mexican drug lords and terrorist affiliates.
Time permitting, I also will share an uplifting experience I had as a concerned citizen investigating the Ocean County Freeholders -- an investigation that led both to frustrations as well as well as successes, notably in the area of opening up job opportunities at the Ocean County Security Department for non-politically connected citizens.
New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society (NJ2AS) President Frank Jack Fiamingo will precede me on stage that night.
The event will be held at Jimmy C's, a restaurant and club located at 17 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ. The first speaker will have the floor beginning 7 pm, so get there early. The event is open to the public. If coming, consider letting the organizers know via MeetUp. -- Steve Peacock
Media scrutiny of the HSBC money-laundering scandal has died down, but I am not letting Sen. Robert Menendez (D) -- who represents me here in New Jersey -- nor any other congressional recipients of the disgraced bank's political action committee's generosity off the hook.
Despite calling -- as a journalist -- the leadership of the House Financial Services and the Senate Banking committees, until today only one member responded. And the spokesman for that one leader (one of the few who has not gotten or taken a penny from the HSBC PAC in fifteen years) -- declined comment.The rest have remained steadfastly silent.
Today, however, Sen. Menendez had this to say in response to my questions, "In light of HSBC's dealing with Mexican drug lords and suspected Iranian terrorist supporters, what do you plan to do with the bank PAC donations you have received over the years? Will you reject future offers?"
Dear Mr. Peacock :
Thank you for contacting me regarding an issue with my re-election campaign.
As you may know, I am currently up for re-election to the United States Senate, with the election taking place on November 6, 2012. While I would like to respond to your inquiry, I am legally prohibited from discussing any activity related to a political organization, such as my re-election campaign, with official Senate resources. As such, I would encourage you to contact my campaign with your inquiry.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not he sitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance. I invite you to visit my website http://menendez.senate.gov to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.
Robert Menendez, United States Senator
He says he cannot comment, yet tells me to contact his campaign for a comment? How frustrating. I will not accuse Menendez, however, of using the upcoming re-election campaign as an excuse to continue his silence, as indeed I am aware there are such restrictions as he claimed. Still, if the Menendez campaign remains mute on the matter through November, the senator risks jeopardizing what's left of his integrity and reputation.