(FreedomWire.org) – A 2021 report by Open the Books revealed that the federal government paid over $548 million to informants in recent years. That’s over half a billion taxpayer dollars.

Federal agencies paid out at least $548 million to informants working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in recent years, according to government audits.

A few informants became millionaires, with some Amtrak and “parcel” delivery workers making nearly $1 million or more.

The FBI paid approximately $294 million (FY2012-2018), the DEA paid at least $237 million (FY2011-2015), and ATF paid approximately $17.2 million total (FY2012-2015) to informants.

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com compiled this information by reviewing federal reports. While some of the data is several-years old; it’s apparently the most recent available.

The FBI spent an average of $42 million a year on confidential human sources between fiscal years 2012 and 2018. “Long term” informants comprised 20 percent of its intelligence relationships (source: DOJ IG 2019 report).

What’s worse is that the informants often commit crimes.

Federal informants often commit crimes, and often do it with the permission of their federal handlers, according to a 2015 audit by the General Accountability Office (GAO). In fact, the GAO reports:

“Since 1980, the Guidelines have permitted agencies to authorize informants to engage in activities that would otherwise constitute crimes under federal, state, or local law if someone without such authorization engaged in these same activities. For example, in the appropriate circumstance, an agency could authorize an informant to purchase illegal drugs from someone who is the target of a drug-trafficking investigation. Such conduct is termed “otherwise illegal activity.”

A few of theses FBI operatives have now become famous.

Stephan Halper, a crack cocaine addict, was paid over $1.05 million to spy on Trump associates and help set up the Trump-Russia hoax.

The FBI used at least 12 informants out of 15 individuals to plot, plan, pay for, and execute the Whitmer kidnap hoax.

(FreedomWire.org) – California is projected to have a deficit after holding onto a budget surplus for the past several years.

The state is expected to have a $25 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, according to the state legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal experts.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released its report on Wednesday, emphasizing the upcoming $25 billion deficit, which they say is mostly due to “lower revenue estimates.”

The state’s last budget was $308 billion with a $97 billion surplus, and the year prior to that, the budget was $263 billion with a $76 billion surplus. The state currently has $37.2 billion of reserves.

Newsom had to know that the surplus was shrinking when he decided to give handouts right before midterms. It appears he was just buying votes.

It has been noted the tough economic environment is harming revenues. Also noted was that their revenue estimates “represent the weakest performance the state has experienced since the Great Recession.”

“It’s not insignificant, but it’s also manageable,” Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek said. “We don’t think of this as a budget crisis.”

Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s administration reportedly said the deficit was “realistic and reasonable.”

H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for the state Department of Finance, called the estimated shortfall a “realistic and reasonable assessment of the work that lies ahead.” He said the Newsom administration anticipated the economic slowdown and planned accordingly, putting California in a good position to weather the impact.

“This is precisely why the governor made clear that the state had to be smart with the surplus — which we’ve done,” Palmer said. “Using it to build up our budget reserves, pay down debt, and target the balance on one-time spending — like the $9.5 billion in inflation relief payments that continue to be delivered to millions of Californians — and not building up higher ongoing spending that can’t be sustained.”

The governor and Legislature may still face difficult decisions to close the budget gap, especially if economic conditions worsen, he said. All of that is being considered as Newsom prepares his budget proposal, which will probably be released in January.

With a recession that has been projected, it could create an even bigger problem for California.

If that happens, current projections have the state losing anywhere from $30 to $50 billion, so you can see the rabbit hole that Newsom is about to fall into here.

The timing of this could not be worse for Newsom, who has had whispers of possibly running for president if Joe does not run.