In a way, the U.S. government has lifted up the seat cushion it knows as Iraq and dug out the $6.6 billion in pocket change it believed it had misplaced during the early days of the conflict. A new report says the money was never lost, but instead was placed under the control of the Iraqi government, as intended.
The government has played a part in keeping video game companies as profitable as they are, offering tax incentives that bolster the businesses’ bottom lines. Game companies have managed to benefit from a slew of arguably outdated tax credits, deductions and write-offs largely intended for other companies. Gaming companies also take advantage of a 1950s-era tax break, expanded in 1969 to include software companies, that lets businesses deduct research and experimentation costs immediately.
According to the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, those conflicts have been cesspools of financial mismanagement. The commission says between $31 billion and $60 billion of the total $206 billion in war-related contract spending has been burned in waste or fraud.
A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a doctor and nurse accuses a kidney dialysis provider of intentionally wasting medicine in order to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare. According to the employee, the company used over-sized vials for medicine, intending to have the excess amount deemed to be waste that Medicare pays for.
It’s cost taxpayers an unnecessary $300 million so far, and won’t end until 2016. It’s wildly unpopular with the American public, even though it saves the government money in the long run. It’s taking up comical amounts of space in secure federal government vaults. What is it? The United States Mint’s series of dollar coins featuring the faces of all 44 presidents. Congress meant well when authorizing the program in 2005, but failed to realize that the American public thinks that dollar coins are an icky Canadian affectation. One billion of the coins are currently in hibernation, and at least a billion more coins will be minted but destined for storage.
FEMA has some used trailers (41,000 of them) to sell and so far, they’ve been netting “about 40 cents on each dollar spent by taxpayers,” according to the Washington Post.
- Draw a map of Chicago-area communities where businesses have received state subsidies. Now draw another of places plagued by joblessness.