A government that operates behind closed doors cannot be the government of a free people. The Goldwater Institute has prompted several reforms shining light into the inner workings of government, including the nation’s most comprehensive online database of line-by-line government spending and restrictions on politicians using tax money for self-promotion. Our regular watchdog reports are helping citizens hold their elected officials accountable.
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Who’s Next on the IRS’s List?Posted on May 21, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias
In upholding the federal health care law’s individual mandate as a tax, Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ promise that “[t]he power to tax is not the power to destroy while this Court sits.” With the IRS’ recent targeted investigations of tea parties, balanced budget advocates, and constitutional study groups across the nation, the Chief Justice may soon have the opportunity to keep his promise.
In the Economic Horserace, Government is a Terrible GamblerPosted on May 14, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Stephen Slivinski
Recently the very fashionable turned out to bet on their favorites in the Kentucky Derby. But betting on horseraces – economic horseraces – has been all the rage in legislatures across the country for decades. Unfortunately, legislators are more like problem gamblers than successful high-dollar poker stars.
States Can Save Taxpayers $609 BillionPosted on April 30, 2013 | Type: In the News | Author: Christina Corieri
State governments generally don't have much of an impact on the federal budget. But there was a gift for fiscally conservative state lawmakers tucked into last summer's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the court ruled that Congress cannot coerce states into expanding Medicaid by threatening to withhold federal dollars for a state's existing program. This ruling effectively gave state policy makers the unique opportunity to veto hundreds of billions of dollars in new federal spending.
Cheatham v. DiCiccioPosted on April 24, 2013 | Type: Case
In September, Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. It's called "release time." The Goldwater Institute is taking on the city's contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). By executing this deal with PLEA, the members of the Phoenix City Council have violated the Arizona Constitution and their duty of loyalty to the taxpayers.
Media Advisory: Ruling Halts Taxpayer-Funded Union ActivismPosted on April 23, 2013 | Type: Press Release
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday against the practice of “release time” in a Phoenix labor contract with the local police union, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). Release time is a provision in government labor contracts allowing public employees to collect taxpayer-funded salaries and benefits while being "released" to do union work, including lobbying, electioneering, and other forms of political activism.