Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump Organization Gets $40 Million Tax Credit

Trump Hotel, Washington D.C. 
Photo Credit: cisko66 Wikimedia
Established in 1976, the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program is designed to preserve and restore historic buildings that have fallen into disrepair.

To be eligible for tax credits, the buildings must be income-producing, so if you want to restore your historic home don't expect a tax credit. But if a billionaire developer or the owner of a major league baseball stadium wants to restore an old building or stadium, they get the credit. Who pays for that? The federal taxpayers, that's who. Since its inception in 1976 the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program has generated more than $73 billion in restoring luxury resorts, hotels, movie theaters and baseball stadiums. Yes, the new Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. and Boston's Fenway Park both received tax credits at the expense of taxpayers. We don't get free or discounted admission to see the Red Sox play. We don't get discounted room rates to stay at the Trump Hotel.

There are a lot of good points for restoration; jobs are created, property values in the area go up and tourists bring in revenue for the community. My opinion is, the burden for the cost of restoration should be at the state level, not federal, and the Department of the Interior could be more selective in their decision making.

The cost to taxpayers is ongoing and never ending. Here are just a few:
  • Trump Organization, Washington, D.C. hotel - $40 million
  • Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. baseball stadium - $40 million
  • Hill Building, Durham, N.C. hotel - $7.9 million


Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Technical Preservation Services


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Medicare and Medicaid Wasting Money


The federal government seems to have some creative ways to waste taxpayer dollars. If only they would use that talent to find ways to solve problems rather than ignore them or worse yet, cover them up.
Don't hold your breath.

Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursements
When a Medicare or Medicaid patient goes to a doctor or hospital, a claim is filed for reimbursement and payment is made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) directly to the doctor or hospital. That's not hard to understand, not even for bureaucrats. But if a claim is denied by CMS the hospital has the right to appeal. That seems fair.

So What's the Problem?
The CMS is disorganized, backlogged so far they can't even see daylight, and dare I say incompetent. That's the problem. Rather than fixing the problem, the CMS agrees to partially pay hospitals who appeal a claim that has been denied. 
In 2015 CMS settled 300,000 claims that had already been reviewed, found to be 'medically unnecessary' and denied...twice.
CMS pays these claims from the Medicare Trust Fund without congressional approval.

COST TO TAXPAYERS FOR THESE 300,000 CLAIMS:

$1.3 BILLION

Hey Congress, wake up and smell the money burning!


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