Boeing, Second Largest Federal Contractor, Pays No Federal Income Tax in 2013

In its just-released annual report, Boeing Company reported that it claimed $82 million in federal tax refunds, despite reporting $5.9 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits last year. This represents an effective tax rate of -1.4 percent. Boeing paid just $11 million in state income taxes, an effective state tax rate of just 0.2 percent. The disclosures were made in Boeing’s Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Friday.

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Anti-Government Koch Donor Landed More Than $100 Million in Federal Contracts

Richard “Dick” Haworth is a frequent guest at the semi-annual retreats hosted by Charles and David Koch honoring those who have given more than a million dollars to conservative causes. The Koch brothers’ political machine has been marshalling “dark money” used to lead the charge to shrink the size of government, to roll back taxes, to cut regulations, and to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

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They Didn’t Build It Alone: Donor to Anti-Government Koch Political Network Profited From Public Assistance

A list of well-heeled VIP donors to the Koch brothers' shadowy political machine was recently revealed by Mother Jones after being carelessly left behind after a semi-annual donor conclave. One of the names on the list is Jim Von Ehr, CEO and founder of the Zyvex family of companies.

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EPA Sustains Major Cuts to Developing and Enforcing Safeguards in FY 14 Appropriations

Despite an attempt by some to portray the $299 million increase in EPA's overall fiscal year 2014 budget as a positive compromise, those in Congress who oppose developing and enforcing public health and environmental safeguards have much to celebrate. Of particular concern, the budget includes major cuts to EPA's operations that develop and enforce public health and environmental protections.

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Public Accountability in Public-Private Partnerships

The nonprofit group In The Public Interest (ITPI) released a white paper last week outlining what state and local governments should do when considering using public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects like roads. For anyone interested in maintaining democratic control of public structures as well as getting a good deal for the public, ITPI’s paper is a great starting point for designing and modifying laws and policies to achieve those goals.

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Long Overdue: Obama to Raise Minimum Wage for Federal Contractor Employees

In advance of his State of the Union speech tonight, the White House announced President Barack Obama will sign an executive order – which does not require congressional approval – to raise the wage floor to $10.10 for the lowest paid workers at companies that work on new federal government contracts.

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Corners Cut in Outsourced Background Checks: A Case for the Public Sector

Yesterday, the Justice Department alleged in a court document that a government contractor that conducts background security investigations for the U.S. government committed fraud for more than four years on more than 650,000 investigations for personnel seeking clearance to access secret classified government information. The company, U.S. Investigations Services (USIS), has been accused of knowingly billing the government for about 40 percent of investigations it conducted during that period despite cutting corners, called “dumping” by the company.

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Senate Proposal for Infrastructure Bank Benefits Tax Dodgers

Sen.s Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced their intention to file legislation to establish an infrastructure bank funded by multinational corporations, which would receive significant tax forgiveness on their offshore profits in exchange for capitalizing the bank. The bill is the Senate companion of the Partnership to Build America Act (H.R.

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Key Transparency Fund Survives in Spending Bill

The House and Senate appropriations committees today released a new spending bill which contained good news for a key fund for government transparency programs. The Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund) will receive a slight boost in funding from recent years, while still falling short of the administration’s funding request.

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Planning Ahead to Keep Government Information Online

During the October 2013 federal government shutdown, several important public information sources were shuttered, which weakened government transparency during that time. But – short of averting the shutdown itself – could anything have been done differently?

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