Some Internal Revenue Service executives are spending hundreds of thousands of tax dollars commuting to Washington from their homes across the country rather than living in the D.C. area, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The report said the top 15 travelers combined spent more than $1 million at government expense and each traveled for more than 200 days between fiscal 2011 and 2012. An IRS source told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the most frequent travelers were officials who work in Washington but live in Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta- and have been flying to work on the taxpayers’ dime for years.
To be sure, the report noted, IRS official travel is not excessive. About 60 percent of the top executives live in the D.C. area and spent under $5 million total for both 2011 and 2012. - Read more at The Atlanta Journal Constitution
PRESIDENT OBAMA HITS THE ROAD President Obama delivered the first in a series of major economic speeches late Wednesday morning at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. He travels to Warrensburg, MO. later this afternoon to address the University of Central Missouri. - Read more at The Hill
OBAMA APPROVAL RATING KEEPS DROPPING A new Wall Street Journal poll shows Obama’s job-approval rating has fallen to 45 percent, its lowest level since late 2011. The president’s rating matches that of President George W. Bush at this stage of his second term. Meanwhile, overall disapproval of Congress is at its highest level ever—83 percent. The survey also found that only 29 percent of Americans say the country is on the right track. That’s compared to the 41 percent at the end of last year. - Read more at the Wall Street Journal
WILL SUMMERS EDGE OUT YELLEN FOR FED? The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reported Tuesday that Larry Summers is “increasingly viewed as the leading candidate” to replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He added that the majority of Federal Reserve watchers agree that the choice is down to Larry Summers and Janet Yellen, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System . Read more at The Washington Post
DEFENSE CONTRACTORS THRIVE AMID SEQUESTER Some of the largest defense contractors have reported surprisingly high earnings this quarter, after spending much of the year panicking about how the federal budget cuts would affect their bottom lines. Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin profits rose by 10 percent to $859 million. Analysts expect Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, two other large contractors, to report similarly upbeat results today. Read more at The Washington Post