Posts Tagged ‘taxpayers’
Earlier this week, Beacon offered up slabs of pork for Tennesseans all across the state. But it wasn’t the kind of pork that makes mouths water. It’s the kind that makes taxpayers hold their noses. The 2014 Pork Report exposed more government waste, fraud, and abuse in its nine-year history. Taxpayers were fleeced out of $609 million this past year.
Some of my favorite—or should I say least favorite—examples of waste include the $1.9 million lost by state-owned golf courses, with taxpayers subsidizing the golf habits of others. And there’s the $4 million shelled out on film incentives to Hollywood producers, despite study after study showing that these handouts do little to create permanent local jobs, and offer taxpayers a paltry return of just 10 to 30 cents on the dollar.
The worst offender of the year, and earning our “Pork of the Year” distinction, is the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The agency got caught sending unemployment benefits to all sorts of ineligible recipients, including gainfully employed government workers, dead people, and even 84 felons who are currently sitting behind bars. It’s not too often you can say it pays to go to prison, but in Tennessee it sure does. Of the whopping $181 million accidentally paid out to those who didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits, the department has only been able to recoup $22 million.
Mooo-ving on, taxpayers are forking over six figures on advertising to urge them to eat more beef. Paid for by a 50-cent tax on every head of cattle sold in the state, the campaign will spend $380,000 this year.
A regular to the pages of our Pork Report is the state’s Pre-Kindergarten program, which costs upwards of $90 million a year. As our recent infographic on Pre-K notes, any benefits of Pre-K disappear after second grade, making it little more than a glorified babysitting program funded by taxpayers.
These examples just scratch the surface of wasteful government spending found in the 2014 Pork Report. You can read the full report here. Just be sure to sit down first.
Enjoy the Pork Report? Help us keep it going with a tax-deductible gift.June 27th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News
Tennessee Watchdog recently wrote an article about the recent $18 million promised to Tennessee from the Federal Government to help end homelessness. The article cited the Beacon Center’s objection to this plan.
Mark Cunningham, spokesman for the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee told Tennessee Watchdog that solving homelessness isn’t as simple as the government indicates.
“Good intentions aside, history shows that simply increasing funding to provide for the homeless does not equate to diminishing or eliminating the homeless populations in our nation’s most poverty-ridden communities,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham cited New York City as an example.
“The city is able to provide shelter and sustenance for over 85 percent of the homeless population. Yet these individuals remain sheltered and dependent upon these handouts, which places an unsustainable burden upon the government to continuously increase funding as more citizens seek these services and fewer transition off the federal tab.”
Cunningham suggested private means, such as a charity, as an alternative to reducing homelessness.
Read the entire article here.April 28th, 2014 | Recent News
Beacon CEO Justin Owen on the withdrawal of the Hall Income Tax repeal bill:
“We are deeply disappointed that we could not provide needed tax relief to Tennessee’s seniors and job creators by repealing the Hall Income Tax. But it is important to note that this bill died purely based on perception due to unexpectedly poor revenue news delivered during the course of the debate. There is strong support among Tennesseans for repealing this tax, and the economic benefits a repeal would provide are indisputable. We will not back down until this immoral and economically destructive tax is off the books and Tennessee becomes truly income tax free once and for all.”April 17th, 2014 | Recent News