Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite (file)

Cut and save

Congress | With all eyes on the Wall Street bailout, the U.S.
by Jamie Dean
Posted 9/25/08, 12:00 am

While congressional leaders wrangled over the details of a federal bailout for Wall Street that could cost taxpayers an extraordinary $700 billion, the U.S House quietly passed an omnibus-spending bill for nearly the same amount Wednesday. The Senate is expected to pass the $630 billion measure by week's end.

Senate leaders wringing their hands over where to find $700 billion for the Wall Street bailout might start with the fine print of the omnibus bill: The measure includes more than $6.6 billion in pork-barrel spending.

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Your tax dollars at work

Posted 4/05/08, 12:00 am

Republicans have tax cuts and Democrats have social spending as buzzwords for debating the federal budget. Neither side has a thoroughgoing economic policy. One reason: There's not a lot of room for slicing and dicing the federal pie when discretionary spending makes up a fraction of the proposed $3 trillion budget. Mandatory spending (for programs like Social Security and Medicare) will make up 53 percent of all spending for fiscal year 2009. With 8 percent going to cover interest on the national debt, what's left can look like small change.

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Not private now

Congress | Senate launches investigation of six mega-ministries with tax-exempt status
by Jamie Dean
Posted 11/17/07, 12:00 am

Televangelist Creflo Dollar believes that a congressional request for his ministry's financial documents could threaten the privacy of churches in America. But Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said a Senate investigation into the financial practices of six high-profile Christian ministries is his obligation. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he is examining whether the organizations have abused their tax-exempt status as churches to finance lavish personal lifestyles.

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