Government Claims Goals Reached in Awarding Contracts to Small Business


The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the federal government reached its small business federal contracting goal for the second consecutive year. The federal government awarded 24.99 percent in federal contracts to small businesses, the highest percentage of contracting dollars awarded to small businesses since the 23 percent goal was established in 1997.

Read more: Government Claims Goals Reached in Awarding Contracts to Small Business

Consumer Protection Bureau Gathers More Data than NSA

By M.D. Kittle, Watchdog.org

While the domestic spying National Security Agency has been under the red-hot political spot light, another quasi-governmental agency has quietly gone about the business of collecting nearly 1 billion U.S. credit card records without consumer consent.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, unlike the NSA, operates with no congressional oversight and with little public transparency, even as it demands complete transparency from the businesses it targets.

As Brian Wise puts it, the rogue agency created under the Obama administration to protect consumers now serves as “judge, jury, and executioner” in determining winners and losers in U.S. business and consumption.

Read more: Consumer Protection Bureau Gathers More Data than NSA

Medicaid “Deniers” Saved Federal Budget $26 Billion

The claim is that if a state rejects Medicaid expansion as provided for under Obamacare that state’s “money” just goes to other states who have accepted the program.

According to a New York Times report that is a myth. The fact is the 34 states which have refused to set up their own “exchanges” which institute the federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved the nation $26 billion in 2014, and if they continue to reject the federal largess, the federal government will be spending $360 billion less through 2022. A significant factor for a nation that is $18 trillion in debt, comments Jason Hart of Watchdog.

Supplementing Medicaid is new federal spending and every state accepting the program expands federal spending, according to Congressional Research Service.

Read more: Medicaid “Deniers” Saved Federal Budget $26 Billion

Federal Frac Rule in Effect


Last week, the Montana Petroleum Association attended a BLM meeting in Billings on the Department of Interior’s final rule “to support safe, responsible hydraulic fracturing activities on public and tribal lands” released earlier this year. The final rule was issued following 1.5 million public comments received by the DOI, including comments submitted by the Montana Petroleum Association.

Read more: Federal Frac Rule in Effect

TEA Wants States to Raise Gas Taxes

Federal transportation legislation is being advanced in an effort to get states to raise their gasoline and diesel motor fuel taxes by 2020. Montana would have to raise its taxes more than most. At the same time, however, the proposal would lower federal taxes on gas, making the states less dependent on the federal government for transportation funding and less subject to coerced compliance to federal policies.

The “Transportation Empowerment Act” (TEA) is aimed at getting states to raise their state gas taxes on average about 23.5 cents per gallon, if they want to continue to receive their federal funding for highways and bridges, and alternative transportation programs.

Read more: TEA Wants States to Raise Gas Taxes

Low Energy Costs are Under Attack

Electric generation companies, such as Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) are “under attack,” according to Anita Decker, CEO of the Northwest Public power Association, of which YVEC is a member.

At risk is the YVEC mission of providing customers with “the lowest cost, highest value investment,” said Decker, who spoke before the annual meeting of the YVEC on last week at the Billings Holiday Inn.

“Low energy costs are under attack,” revised Decker in highlighting three sources of attack: the EPA’s clean power plan; expanded sage grouse habitat definition; and market competition from new technology.

Read more: Low Energy Costs are Under Attack

Union Concedes Minimum Wage Eliminate Jobs

A win for labor unions in their “Fight for $15? campaign will mean some workers lose their jobs, a construction union said last week.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 570 in Phoenix admitted “some people” will “lose their jobs” if the mandatory minimum wage is hiked to $15 an hour as union bosses demand.

This may seem like a bad thing, but IBEW 570 has a plan: Create government work for the people who find themselves unemployed because of Fight for $15.

Defending Fight for $15 as “a collaborative effort” between unions and workers, IBEW 570 said the campaign would cause the economy to grow — and “the displaced could be put to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.”

Read more: Union Concedes Minimum Wage Eliminate Jobs

New Rule Game Changer for Crowd Funding

 

The SEC (Security Exchange Commission) has approved game-changing rules in the implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act, known as “Regulation A+,” which will allow small businesses and startups to raise up to $50 million from “the crowd.”

This little-known provision of the JOBS Act will allow a startup company or emerging business to hold a “mini IPO” from the general public, not just accredited investors, according to Kendall Almerico, of Entrepreneur. It should be “a complete game-changer for the way businesses are funded.”

“Because of this bill, startups and small business will now have access to a big, new pool of potential investors — namely, the American people. For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in,” said President Barack Obama in signing the Act into law.

Read more: New Rule Game Changer for Crowd Funding

U.S. Union Membership Rate Declined in 2014

The percentage of American workers in labor unions dropped slightly in 2014, even though the number of union members increased.

Just 11.1 percent of America's wage and salary workers were members of unions last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In 2013, 11.3 percent of workers were union members.

Total union membership grew in 2014 to 14,577,000, but the increase of 49,000 union members was not enough to match the nation's overall job creation rate.

Read more: U.S. Union Membership Rate Declined in 2014

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