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A few ideas to save money 23 October, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget.
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It is about time someone offered suggestions to save taxpayer money. I do not agree with all of them, but I find the Caesar Rodney Institute a breath of fresh air. The CRI is dedicated to a better run government.

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Balance, Cut, and Save 26 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Action Item, Budget, Tax Hikes.
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Here is the newest and soon to be hottest petition on the Internet from Governor Mike Huckabee.

The Constitution starts with “WE THE PEOPLE” and it’s time you start remembering that.

American families on a daily basis make hard choices in order to live within their means.

Why can’t Congress and our federal government do the same?

I urge you to work towards balancing the budget.

I urge you to cut our taxes so families can save more and to cut the wasteful spending that is mortgaging the future of generations of Americans and severely limiting their ability to prosper.

Instead of your own re-election, put families in your district and state first.

I am signing this simple: “BALANCE, CUT, SAVE” petition because I believe it is these three things that you should remember when making decisions about new spending, taxes and health care in the weeks ahead.

If you stick to these guiding lights, you can’t go wrong.

Mr. President and members of Congress, I’ve kept it simple for you:

BALANCE, CUT, SAVE.

That’s what should guide you in your decisions in the week’s ahead. My family can’t afford the decisions you are making on my behalf so I am signing this petition to remind you of what is important:

My Family, My Country And My Freedom.

5% think President cut the deficit 6 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal, President Obama.
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It is not surprising that 71% of people think that President Obama’s policies have increased the deficit. They have. It is not surprising that half of Democrats are not sure or think they had no impact after all you could blame them on the “Bush” recession and say Obama had to spend to fix it. What concerns me are the 5% of people who think that President Obama has cut the deficit which has increased 4 fold on his watch. Why? Because these were registered likely voters not adults. What do you make of these leftists who are that divorced from reality?

Hidden in the numbers 4 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal, Tax Hikes.
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You all saw the news about plummeting tax receipts to the federal government. Revenues are down 18% over last year, but what you may not have noticed is social security has moved closer to payout more than it brings in. Estimates put it closer to the worst case scenario of 2013. Democrats blocked President’s Bush’s reform effort. Now they will need their own on top of everything else. Demagoguery has a price.

Democrats you own this problem now solve it.

A million Dollar door repair? 20 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget.
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Please tell me someone just miscoded this expenditure.

$1,444,100
Recipient Name AFCO TECHNOLOGIES, INC Recipient Address 1535 BRADY BLVD
Recipient City SAN ANTONIO Recipient State TEXAS
Recipient Zip Code 78237 Congressional District TEXAS-20

Description of Work/Service performed
REPAIR DOOR BLDG 5112

Does anyone know where I can get a job like this? 🙂

Markell, Wagner, and Jones-Potter tackle check reform 14 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, State.
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DOVER – In a move that will reduce the number of checks the state cuts each year, reduce the number of state credit cards and deliver several hundred thousand dollars back from the state’s credit card vendor, Governor Jack Markell announced Friday reforms in the way the State of Delaware pays its vendors, reimburses state employees and tracks state credit card usage. State Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter, State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Acting Secretary of Finance Tom Cook and leaders from several state agencies joined Markell in the announcement.

“The state is serious about cutting its costs. Government needs to be as efficient and effective as possible to ensure that Delawareans get better value for their tax dollars,” Markell said. “These reforms are one of several important steps forward.”

The new reforms consist of the following:

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Reimbursements made to state employees will be paid by direct deposit. When fully implemented, this will eliminate up to 50,000 checks per year.
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The top 10 vendors that have been identified as receiving multiple checks per day from the State will be paid via credit card or electronic fund transfer when possible. This will reduce the production of up to 28,000 checks a year.
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Payments to the next 300 vendors will be transitioned in batches over the next year to either electronic fund transfers or the state credit card. If the vendor can only process checks, then state agencies will combine their expenditures and make single consolidated payments. This move will eliminate up to 36,000 checks.
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The implementation of new systems to reconcile and monitor credit card usage by state employees, reduce the number of cards in circulation and review internal controls and cardholder agreements at each agency.

“Initiatives like these can bring a substantial amount of money back to our state and make our government more responsive and responsible,” remarked State Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter. “Working across agencies and departments, we are helping to make this idea of greater fiscal responsibility a reality.”

Just as families and businesses around the world that use credit cards responsibly receive rewards like frequent flier miles from their card provider, the state benefits from a cash back program when we use our cards, noted Acting Secretary of Finance Tom Cook, who said the current reward program brings in nearly a million dollars each year to Delaware taxpayers. By moving the top 10 vendors to credit card payments instead of checks, as much $600,000 could be added to state coffers.

“It’s good to see state government focus on nuts-and-bolts issues like these. I’ve long said the state had to do more to maximize the amount of money it gets back from its credit card vendor, and this is a significant improvement in that policy.” Wagner said. “Real reductions in the number of checks cut to vendors is a real reduction in cost and that is more important than ever.”

46 Pages of fee hikes with no hearing 27 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, State.
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Our friend, Charlie Copeland alerted us to a bill HB 274. It seems to be set to sail through under suspension of the rules without a committee hearing. Which is 46 pages of fee hikes. Can’t there be hearings on this? This will really affect small business. The Kidney center, the tattoo shop, child care centers, and a host of others. I don’t know who is right (it is not been held to public scrutiny or justification), but what I do know is that they can’t be too confident in their position. Why not tell us that such and such fee hasn’t been raised since 1970 or whatever if that is true? The people did not like the driver’s license and title fees going up, but they accepted it because the fees had been unchanged for decades.

Are they afraid of the truth coming out?

According to the bill’s own synopsis, this is true.

This act increases certain fees charged by the Department of Health and Social Services and imposes certain new fees related to licensing, registration, and permits furnished by the Department. The fees apply to bedding manufacturers, body art and piercing parlors, manufacture of bottled water and sodas, child care licensing inspections, violations of the Clean Indoor Air Act, environmental investigations that may impact human health, inspections of cosmetology shops and similar facilities, restaurant inspections, laboratory certifications, lead based paint licensing, massage establishments, milk and dairy safety, end stage renal disease facilities, portable X-rays, public swimming pools, radiation control services, recreation camps, vital statistics, and water supply operators. This act also creates a licensure and regulatory structure for Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment Centers, End Stage Renal Disease Facilities, Standing Outpatient Healthcare Facilities, Portable X-ray Suppliers and Outpatient Physical Therapy/Speech Therapy Facilities.

They say cut spending first. 23 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, State, Tax Hikes.
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Thomas H. Kovach, House of Representatives
Thomas.Kovach@state.de.us

North Wilmington Republican Representatives Tom Kovach, Greg Lavelle, and Debbie
Hudson joined together today to call on the Legislature to reject increases in the personal
income tax and short-sighted state employee pay cuts, instead promoting meaningful and
sustainable reductions in state expenses.

Representative Lavelle (R-Sharpley) said that, “We recognize that we must make difficult
decisions in order to move Delaware beyond this current budget crisis. Balancing the
budget on the back of Delaware’s working families through the administration’s
proposed tax increases is simply unacceptable. The budget proposals offered by the
Democrats are too quick to increase the tax burden and fall far short of the necessary,
sustained and sustainable cuts in state government. Without these changes, tax
increases like we are seeing now will become an annual event.”

The Legislators argue that state government needs to operate in a fashion more like that
of the private sector. According to Representative Kovach (R-Brandywine East), “We
must address the government’s economic problems in the same fiscally responsible
manner that the private sector does. This means we must not raise what we charge our
customers, but we must cut staff and spending to balance the budget, while keeping the
necessary, good employees at their current pay.”

The Legislators said that the current proposal of state employee salary reductions simply
masks the real problem: an oversized and unsustainable state government.
“The alleged savings on a 2.5% state employee pay cut result in approximately $30
million for the state and will last for one year,” said Representative Hudson (RFairthorne).
“Not only is this reduction significantly less than 1% of the state’s operating
budget, the Democrats now seeking to impose this pay cut will surely seek to avoid the
same cut in the upcoming election-year. The resulting shortfall will have to be paid for
with yet another increase in personal income tax for the majority of Delawareans.” In
their battle against irresponsible taxes, all three agreed that they will also fight to put a
one-year “sunset” to any Democratic imposed tax increase—a proposal the Democrats
have already rejected.

“The tax increases pushed by the Democrats shift the burden from the state to Delaware’s families and small businesses,” said Rep. Kovach. “The proposed personal income tax increases, which will result in an additional burden on working-class families and individuals making over $50,000, is a terrible idea at a time when many are trying their best just to make ends meet. Coupled with the 25% property tax increase imposed by New Castle County, these increases will be unbearable to the average citizen.”
Republican-offered solutions, such as the elimination of redundant school administrative
positions, cutting the Community Transportation Fund, and a temporary reduction in the
prevailing wage paid by the state to contractors (often from out-of-state), have been
largely ignored by the administration. Other possibilities include exploring a tax amnesty
program and offering an efficiency rewards program.

“Quite simply, we must require that the state reduce the size and expense of government
and avoid the placing the burden of oversized and bloated state government on the
taxpayers,” said Rep. Kovach. “There are plenty of solutions that have been left off the
table, contrary to what the Governor and House Democrats have claimed,” said Rep.
Hudson.

Rep Lavelle, Hudson, and Kovach stand firm together, “We remain opposed to all tax
increases until the government can certify that it has taken all immediately practical
actions to reduce waste and inefficiency. At this point, we are not even close.”

The Real Problem 14 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget.
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The Joint Finance Committee’s lack of courage so far in addressing the restructuring of government is based upon a flawed assumption that no matter how much waste we find in Delaware government, its expansion is worth protecting.

I believe that not addressing the cost of government is the opposite of standing up for the interests of working families. The expansion of state government is not the solution to our budget problem; it is our problem.

Bush Administration Has NO Responsibility for Debt??? 12 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal.
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This week we blasted President Obama for his fantasy land Paygo stand.

Now on the Republican side, former Bush Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove said that his administration has zero responsibility for the current situation and deficits. I didn’t say isn’t to blame for most. I said zero responsibility. I must have missed the huge surpluses during the Bush years.

In other news, the Easter Bunny has called for a commission to study the problem of egg poaching.