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The feds declare war on transparency

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

The feds have declared war on transparency. The culture of secrecy is more pervasive than ever.

Following last week’s six examples, let’s complete the dirty dozen on our 2023 transparency to-do list!

Weaponizing Government, Literally! – Today, there are 200,000 federal officers outside of the Pentagon with arrest and firearm authority – a number which now exceeds the 186,000 U.S. Marines! Since 2017, there were 76 rank-and-file, paper pushing agencies like HHS, EPA, and SSA who purchased $110 million in weaponry for their special agents. For example, since 2006, the Internal Revenue Service purchased $21.3 million in guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment. But there’s no individual in government whose job is to keep track of the inventory and use of force statistics. Government must “pull the trigger” on tracking this data and, preferably, scale back their arsenals.

$1.4 Billion In Third-Party Royalties – Since 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its leaders, and its scientists split $1.4 billion in royalties paid from private companies (think pharmaceuticals). Taxpayer-paid scientists in taxpayer-paid labs at NIH create medical innovations. Then the inventions are monetized in the private-sector with license/patent royalties flowing back to NIH.  Just one problem: NIH is hiding the company making each payment, the payment amount, and for which innovation. When bureaucrats give out public health advice, or invest our tax dollars in further research, Americans need to know the financial stakes at play.

Military’s K-12 Schools Go Woke – The Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA) runs the schools for children of military families stationed on bases at home and abroad. But we found their diversity, equity, and inclusion chief, Kelisa Wing, allegedly used taxpayer-funded platforms to promote radical ideologies and push children’s books that she authored. Wing advocated for a racial reckoning and a revolution in K-12 military schools. Taxpayers spend $3.1 billion on the agency to educate 60,000 children. However, the agency rejected our Freedom of Information Act request for their line-by-line spending – the agency ‘checkbook.’

Leaving on a Jetplane – 500 staffers or members of Congress took 8,200 trips paid for by 700 third-party groups (2017-2021). More than 2,600 trips were to swanky overseas destinations like Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo. We found five globalist non-profits including like The Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund received $63 million in federal grants and contracts during those years; and their employees made $541,000 in political contributions! That makes each trip a potential conflict of interest. Finding these details takes a multi-tiered research effort; taxpayers should be able to easily see who’s funding our politicians’ getaways and, conversely, what they’re asking of government.

Title 42 Employees –Public health agencies can hire outside the normal pay and reporting structure when they claim they cannot attract necessary talent to protect Americans. It’s one of the reasons National Institutes of Health employees like Dr. Anthony Fauci and his wife, Christine Grady, are paid so highly. It’s also the reason the public cannot view their actual job descriptions or contracts – basic information! Title 42 employees follow different reporting protocols, and government agencies have seemingly long stopped bothering to comply. Outside groups have criticized the overuse of this provision. It’s time to audit how many Title 42 bureaucrats are employed, how many are truly needed, and whether the agencies are meeting reporting requirements.

Updated Inspection Sticker – The Inspectors General should stand for radical transparency. The IGs should maximize their legal mandates and issue reports and investigations more regularly. It’s a target-rich environment for waste and taxpayer abuse. Furthermore, agencies should have to quickly adopt or challenge IG recommendations. That simple change would go a long way in helping government get better, faster.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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