New CAP Papers Offer Contracting Reform Recommendations

The Center for American Progress (CAP) has released a series of three new papers on how the federal government can improve contracting through selective insourcing, better auditing, and increased transparency. Each paper contains specific recommendations that would help improve how Uncle Sam doles out contracting dollars and the return Americans could see on that spending.

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Small Biz Owners: Big Businesses, Millionaires Not Paying Fair Share

The American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority released a new poll yesterday gauging small business owners’ opinions on taxes. On everything from the tax rates of the wealthy to corporations' exploitation of loopholes in the tax code, small business owners from across the nation say big businesses and millionaires aren’t paying their fair share.

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IRS: Tax Gap Stands at Nearly Half a Trillion

Earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an updated analysis of the tax gap – the difference between the total amount in federal taxes owed by people and businesses, and the total paid. What did the IRS find? In 2006, the most recent year for which information is available, Americans underpaid their taxes by $450 billion. Extended over a decade, this could represent a shortfall of trillions, robbing the country of needed funds for infrastructure and other investments.

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Budgets Are about Choices

Earlier this month, the city council of Topeka, KS, voted to decriminalize domestic violence in what has become a national-headline-grabbing budget dispute between the city and its county seat, Shawnee. Some are arguing that it's a sad spectacle when a couple of local governments within our nation play jurisdictional games with such a serious issue, but it's important to point out that the standoff didn't have to occur.

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IRS Enforcement Likely to Take Hit in 2012 Approps

The tax mans taken all my dough / and left me in my stately home / lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Reporting last week in a piece titled, "Bipartisanship lives! And it will likely cost taxpayers money," Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post notes that although Democrats and Republicans are battling over the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, "there's one big thing that both parties already agree on: cutting funding for the [Internal Revenue Service (IRS)]." This shortsighted move is likely to end up costing the government money (at a time when every penny is needed) because roughly half of the cuts are coming out of the agency's enforcement budget.

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Buffett is Right, the Rich Should Pay More in Taxes

We're coming for your loot, Scrooge.

Warren Buffett's op-ed last week calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy has struck a nerve with conservatives, stirring charges of class warfare and zingers about how the billionaire investor should write a check to help Uncle Sam. Exemplifying the right's opprobrium, the reactionary Tax Foundation has been lambasting Buffett in a series of recent posts and has actually gone so far as to call on low- and middle-income Americans to pay more before the rich do.

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Note to AFP, Gross Debt Is Not the Same as Public Debt

Teh Socialists are coming for your last penny!

An Agence France-Presse (AFP) piece making its way around the interwebs states, “US [sic] borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury,” and goes on to explain, "US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic [product] [GDP] after the government's debt ceiling was lifted" earlier this week. The problem with this story is that our debt is nowhere near 100 percent of GDP, at least not the debt that matters.

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The Threat to Our Democracy from the Debt Ceiling Deal

The U.S. Capitol

Bob Greenstein, president of the well-respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), lays out the broader consequence of the self-inflicted debt ceiling crisis and, in short, it's a "terrifying" new framework of federal budget politics that enshrines minority rule and threatens to "undermine democracy."

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Let's Have Contractor Disclosure Already

A disclosure document

Last week, a group of more than 60 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama offering their "full support" for final release of a proposed executive order (EO) that would require disclosure of contractors' political spending. After more than three months of baseless attacks on the prospective EO from a relentless special interest smear machine, it's time for the president to establish this basic measure of accountability within the federal contracting system.

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Whose Contracting Mess Won't Appear in FAPIIS, but Should?

They hate us for our freedoms.

Give yourself credit if you guessed "ArmorGroup North America Inc." (AGNA) and the "Lord of the Flies" environment they oversaw in the housing camp for U.S embassy guards in Kabul, Afghanistan, which our friends over at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) exposed back in 2009.

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