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Inside look at the Franklin Center Fellowship  

An inside look at the Franklin Center Blogger Fellowship

Last April, the Franklin Center launched its inaugural Blogger Fellowship initiative with fellows Ben Howe and Amelia Hamilton. They are now halfway through a six-month program of writing about government inefficiency, education reform, and other pressing issues of the day. With assistance from the Franklin Center, Howe and Hamilton have been working to promote their work through new media tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Google Hangouts, as well as through more traditional channels like podcasts, radio, or TV interviews.

Learn more about the fellowship here.

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

Here at the Franklin Center, there's nothing conventional about the ways we change the world. We believe that unconventional channels like on-the-ground reporting and citizen journalism have the power to influence establishment institutions and reshape our country's narrative for the better. Our freedoms, after all, are protected by the people, not our politicians.

That's why we started a blogger fellowship program. Our fellows Ben Howe and Amelia Hamilton are movers and shakers for the cause of liberty in the digital age. They've produced documentaries exposing cronyism, written books about the American Revolution, and challenged traditional media. We're proud to call them Franklin fellows, and I can't wait to see what else they're capable of - especially with an extra push from supporters like you.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity


P.S. If you would like to help us keep up the fight for a free press, you can donate here!

In The News

Which public officials are working to keep government transparent?

Watchdog mentioned in Vermont Transparency Report

Watchdog Wire

Is the Left declaring war on women?                                        
Author Katie Pavlich answers the question in her latest book.

It's summer and your kids aren't the only ones on recess. Join Watchdog Wire's citizen video contest!

Learn how to get involved here!

Stay Connected




Jul102014 - Help Us Wish the IRS a Happy Birthday (61)

Dear Friend, 


Today, July 9, the Internal Revenue Service turns 61, a few years short of the average retirement age. Many Americans, when they get ready to retire, reflect on their career.


Maybe the IRS, were it personified, could take a look at its professional life leading up to its birthday.


Truth in Accounting  needs your help to buy the IRS a present. This year, we’d like to send the IRS and the federal government a message: the American people deserve transparent, accurate, and fair government accounting. 


But, we can’t do it without your help. With your help, we can publish the government's true numbers, giving citizens the fuel they need to pressure the government for truth. Please click here to donate to Truth in Accounting and the fight for the truth.


As you know, the IRS’s primary function is to take in American tax dollars, and use them to fund vital American programs. Because the dollars coming in do not equal the dollars going out, our Federal National Debt rises every day. 

Every April, responsible Americans provide comprehensive, factual data to their government, but the Federal government is not bound by that convention. That’s a double standard. 

Governments must accurately represent their deficits to their countrymen and enable government officials to make decisions based upon accurate data. 

Another double standard is that the IRS does not allow a corporation with revenues of more than $5 million to use cash basis accounting, which allows the corporation to report only the activity in their checkbook. But the government only needs to report that much. 

The federal government's revenue is $2.7 trillion, which is 540,000 times the corporation revenue limit for cash basis accounting. Even so, the government allows itself to use it, and massively understate budget deficits. And in the end, who suffers from these lies? You! The citizens of this country.

Our government claims the national debt is $17 trillion. If social insurance obligations and veterans’ pensions are included, it’s actually more than $80 trillion, or more than $250,000 for every American man, woman, and child.

Before our national financial problems can be solved, the true financial condition associated with them must be accurately reported. Our governments expect us to report accurate, reliable fiscal data to the IRS. We expect the same from our governments.  

With the facts, you can be knowledgeable participants in solving our governments' financial problems. 

With your help, together we can tell the federal government the American people deserve the truth about Government debt

Please click below to contribute to our birthday present for the IRS and the federal government. 

We appreciate all your help and support!


APP News Update - 7/9/14 


New Twist in Common Core Wars
Amid Border Crisis, Advocates Talk
Next Steps on Immigration
On Marriage & Religious Freedom“We as Christians speak up about this, because if we don’t we hand this off to our grandchildren and they’re not going to be able to speak up about it”
  - APP Executive Director Terry Schilling
 EWTN Interview 7-2-14
The Gold Standard and the History of American Money

Over at last week, Peter Ferrara, in his review of Steve Forbes’ recently released book Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It, treated readers to an interesting lesson in the history of American monetary policy.

During the defining early years of the nation, one of the priorities of America’s first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, was to link the value of the dollar to gold, a policy which would be adhered to for over a century and lead to a period of unrivaled economic growth and prosperity: (read the rest)

Obama to Go It Alone on Immigration

Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, says the president’s decision to go it alone illustrates a breaking point for the White House and its ability to shepherd legislation on Capitol Hill.

“That is a Band-Aid to the real problem,” Aguilar says. Still, he admits the president does have freedom to stem deportations and help fix the broken immigration system. “The law does provide him a lot of discretion, so if he would decide to give further actions to the rest of the undocumented population, he does have that authority,” he says.

Aguilar says even if the White House has been a poor negotiating partner on issues in the past, House Republicans should be kicking themselves for letting the president get out ahead of them on immigration. While Republicans in Congress may be deeply divided about how to proceed on issues like citizenship and low-skill worker visas, Republicans nationally understand the party must do something to make inroads with Hispanic voters if they want to win the White House in 2016. (read the rest)

OpEd: By Any Name You Call It, Common Core Is a Loser

When it comes to the issue of the Common Core national school standards, Florida may be the nation in microcosm.

On one side are the powerful political and corporate elitists, epitomized by Jeb Bush, and on the other are parents and other citizens who strongly oppose relinquishing local control over education to anonymous, unaccountable entities in Washington, D.C. Until recently the elitists, with all their money, seemed to have the upper hand. But recent developments suggest the tide may be turning.

The elitist view is that only “experts” (and preferably experts in Washington) know how to educate Florida children to prepare them to be fodder for the economic machine, and parents should quite simply shut up and do as they’re told. But parents’ refusal to comply has necessitated a change in strategy. (read the rest)
Photo: Jeb Bush at 2013 CPAC by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-2.0)

Other articles: 

ALG's Daily Grind - Do Senate Republicans hate the Tea Party, more than they hate Harry Reid?


July 9, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds granted. 

Do Senate Republicans hate the Tea Party, more than they hate Harry Reid?
Senate Republican campaign tactics have made their nominee for Mississippi Thad Cochran nearly unelectable in the reddest of red states.

Wash. Post reports content of U.S. communications 'stored intact in NSA databases'
Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden: ""It is now clear to the public that the list of ongoing intrusive surveillance practices by the N.S.A. includes not only bulk collection of Americans' phone records, but also warrantless searches of the content of Americans' personal communications."

More taxpayer dollars for green energy?
The 2009 rush to push billions of taxpayer dollars out through the Department of Energy for green boondoggles has been tainted by corruption and illegal activity.

Taylor: Government data show U.S. in decade-long cooling
"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's most accurate, up-to-date temperature data confirm the United States has been cooling for at least the past decade."


Watchdog - Supreme Court takes a stand for limited government 


Supreme Court takes a stand for limited government — again and again
The Supreme Court is the most libertarian branch of the federal government. Yes, the Supreme Court. The same body that once ruled the federal government had the authority to regulate wheat grown for home consumption — under the odd rationale that wheat not being sold was subject to the constitutional provisions giving Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce — is now perhaps the only part of our three-part system of governance that still believes in limited government.”

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 Six bucks a gallon? Where gas prices might be without the U.S. energy boom

If you think the price of gas is high, imagine paying up to $6 a gallon. That’s what energy expert Dan Steffens thinks the price could be if not for the domestic oil boom. “With what’s going on the Middle East, I think it would five or six bucks (a gallon),” said Steffens, president of the Energy Prospectus Group out of Houston. “If it wasn’t for the shale revolution, you’d be in big trouble.

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Florida wins $7 million for wasting $47 million in food stamp funds

Florida once again is getting a hefty bonus — $7 million to be exact — from the feds for “saving” taxpayers money. This year, the state’s Department of Children and Families managed to misspend only $47,829,887 in food stamp benefits. That’s out of almost $6 billion the state received from the federal government.

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