Sequestering And Washington’s Fiscal Incompetence

spending2 Sequestering And Washingtons Fiscal Incompetence

As many of you may know, if the political class does not get its act together by March 1, 2013, automatic Federal government spending cuts will kick in that will reduce government spending by over a trillion dollars over the next ten years. This “sequestering” of budget dollars was agreed to by Congress and Obama in August of 2011 in the debt ceiling negotiations.

While this is a decent first step in reining in government spending, it is still pretty meager. Overall government spending will still increase in the baseline budget view, it will just increase at a somewhat lower rate. Annual spending deficits will continue to mount up, increasing our national debt and burdening future generations of Americans with that debt.

How anemic is this effort at reducing spending? Let’s do some simple math:

  • Let’s assume that the ten year trillion dollar spending reduction averages out to about $100 billion a year.
  • According to the official White House website, the Federal government will spend about $4.5 trillion in 2017.
  • This $4.5 trillion is less than it spent in 2012 but is less than it will likely spend ten years from now, under baseline budget assumptions, so the 2017 estimate is a good ten year annual average.
  • $100 billion a year in spending cuts against an average spending budget of $4.5 trillion is only a meager 2.2% spending decrease.
  • According to the White House website  budget spreadsheet, in 2017, this $100 billion in spending cuts would still add over half a TRILLION to the national debt.

Despite this feeble attempt at expense reduction, many in the administration are choking on it. Retired Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claims our national defense would be endangered by a 2.2% reduction in spending. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that we could not afford a meager 2.2% reduction in his budget since we needed to continue to butt into the lives of people in other countries around the world. President Obama has been spreading panic, claiming many vital government services would be slashed because of this meager 2.2% cut in spending.

Makes you wonder if these so-called leaders are 1) that out of touch with the real world, 2) want to protect their turf at any cost regardless of the impact on the fiscal integrity of the country, or 3) are just that fiscally incompetent that they do not know how to run an efficient operation and can only operate it by increasing their budget rather than decreasing their organization’s waste, redundancy, and incompetence.

To help these politicians understand why this 2.2% reduction is a very easily attainable goal, let’s point out via just a HANDFUL of examples of how wasteful, redundant and incompetent their organizations are today:

- Medicare and Medicaid lose over $100 billion a year to waste, inefficiency, and criminal fraud.

- Social Security loses over $100 billion a year to waste, inefficiency, and criminal fraud.

- The IRS admits that it is so incompetent that it fails to collect over $380 billion a year from tax evaders.

- The U.S. Navy, one of Panetta’s former organizations, spent $300 million to build two Navy ships almost to completion before spending another $10 million to turn them both into scrap metal without ever using them.

- The State Department, John Kerry’s organization, recently spent $80 million to build a consulate building in northern Afghanistan that will never be used since the $80 million is not defensible from a terrorist attack and was built by bypassing the State Department’s own building guidelines relative to terrorists.

- The Transportation Safety Agency recently bought over $180 million worth of airport security equipment that it will never use, storing it in a warehouse in its original packaging.

- Employees in the General Services Administration threw themselves a Las Vegas bash at taxpayer expense, resulting in the dismissal and resignations of GSA employees and executives.

- The Obama administration recently made the inane, indefensible decision to give Egypt over one billion dollars worth of F-16 fighter planes and tanks, weapons that could eventually impact both Department of Defense and State Department operations in the future.

- And last but not least, consider some new findings relative to the President’s economic stimulus plan, as recently reported by the Independent Journal Review. Unfortunately, these types of expenses are no confined to the stimulus program, they happen every day in every Federal government department and entity.

These insults to the taxpayer occurred even though when President Obama signed the $831 billion stimulus into law in 2009, he stated that “tough choices smart investments” needed to be made. So ask yourself: if these are the “smart investments,” you can only wonder what the dumb expenses were:

  • $250 was sent to a woman in Maryland who died in 1967.
  • $840 was spent to disassemble and assemble three desks.
  • The Lincoln Center in New York City was paid to host a “tango salon.”
  • $10,000 was spent replacing light fixtures at a fish hatchery.
  • $425,000 was spent in $250 increments to 1,700 prisons inmates for social security checks.
  • $426,000 was spent to rebuild a bridge that is used by a average of ten cars a day.
  • $500,000 was spent in subsidies for rain barrel installation.
  • $600,000 was sent to a school district in Kansas …that no longer exists.
  • $1 million was spent in New York on road signs advertising stimulus projects.
  • $1 million was used to build 250 bike lockers.
  • $1.25 million was used to use electric fish to study animal sensory information.
  • $1.75 million was spent on energy-efficient garage doors.
  • $2.2 million was spent to install skylights for a liquor store in Montana.
  • $2.8 was million spent installing toilets in New Mexico’s national forest.
  • $15 million was spent to build an airport in Ouizinkie, Alaska …a town of 165 people.

Disgraceful wastes of money. Which gets us back to our central question: Are Kerry, Panetta, and Obama out of touch, protecting turf or just fiscally incompetent? Or possibly all of the above?

1.9 Million Fewer Americans Working Now Than When Obama Signed Stimulus Bill

Matt Cover, CNSNews.com

Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.

In February 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 141.7 million people were employed. By the end of May 2011 – the last month for which data are available – that number had fallen to 139.8 million, a difference of 1.9 million.

While the number of people with jobs has increased slightly from its low point during the recession – 137.9 million in December 2009 – those 1.9 million jobs have been lost despite $800 billion in stimulus spending.

This does not mean that the economy is not creating jobs, but rather that it is not creating jobs fast enough to keep up with a combination of layoffs and people entering the job market for the first time.

In a Washington Post op-ed, former White House chief economist Larry Summers noted that the percentage of the population that has a job has not improved, even though the economy is technically in recovery.

Read more.

Tax the Rich — Until There Aren’t Any Left

Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com

They say you get less of what you tax and more of what you subsidize. The left feels there are still too many producers in this country. But it has a solution – tax them into extinction.

Increasingly, the Democrats and their stooges sound like villains from an Ayn Rand novel – Wesley Mooch or Lee Hunsacker.

Posturing at a Democratic rally in Sarasota, Florida, last week, horror-writer Stephen King announced, “As a rich person (not to mention a monument to the public’s abysmal taste in “literature”) I pay (a) 28 percent tax. What I want to ask you is why am I not paying 50? Why isn’t anyone in my bracket paying 50 (percent)?”

Perhaps that’s because Cujo-boy isn’t paying a 28 percent federal tax.

King has an estimated net worth of $300 million. As the author of 49 novels, which have sold over 350 million copies, royalties alone would put him in the top tax bracket of 35 percent, which starts at $373,650. But since his taxes are probably handled by a phalanx of accountants and lawyers, perhaps he can be forgiven for thinking that he and the rest of the “super-rich” pay a top-rate of 28 percent.

King, who has a B.A. in English from the University of Maine, sounds like an MBA-graduate of the Wharton School of Finance next to college-dropout and Castro-symp Michael Moore.

“This is class war,” Moore raved on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last Wednesday, reacting to what appears to be the end of the line for the Wisconsin public-employee gravy train – which the socialist fat-cat naturally blames on “the rich.”

With a tenuous hold on reality at the best of times, Moore has become totally unhinged: “I’d like anybody who works on Wall Street, anybody who works for the banks, just take a look at (the lawlessness in Madison). This is what’s coming for you. Because the people are going to demand justice, they’re going to demand that your ass is in jail.”

The clincher came when the bloated Bolshevik announced to the malefactors of wealth….

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The Top 10 Obama Administration Investigation Targets

Human Events

Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has signaled he will conduct numerous oversight investigations of the Obama Administration. Here are the Top 10 areas ripe for investigation for Issa and other congressional Republicans:

(1) ObamaCare: Any measure that restructures one-sixth of the U.S. economy bears scrutiny particularly when passage of the bill required legislative bribes such as the Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, now that ObamaCare has passed, let’s see exactly what is in it — and how it got there.

(2) Stimulus: The American people deserve to know what they got for the $787 billion stimulus package that Obama signed in February 2009, including how much money was spent frivolously to publicize the legislation. And where exactly are all those jobs that the administration claims were “created or saved?”

(3) Freddie and Fannie: Previous attempts by congressional Democrats to get to the bottom of the 2008 financial meltdown conveniently overlooked the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. How much of the housing crisis was due to financial donations going to Democratic officials, who overlooked financial transgressions at the agencies so long as mortgages flowed to unworthy credit risks?

(4) Wikileaks: Someone in the administration needs to explain how the lowly serviceman who served up secret documents to Wikileaks could have access to such a large amount of classified material. And were any actions taken to shut down Julian Assange in the months after the initial disclosures and before the embarrassing leak of State Department cables?

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Lame Duck Produces a Lame Economy

Floyd and Mary Beth Brow, FloydReports.com

The lame duck Congress and President Obama are retarding the recovery. It’s tough medicine to medicine to swallow — ending unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for three years — but it is necessary if we want recovery.

The official U.S. unemployment rate has not been beneath 9 percent since April 2009, and it is unlikely to dip until much of the currently unemployed take jobs paying lower wages and benefits. Back in 2000, 7.2 percent of blue collar workers were either unemployed or underemployed. Today that figure is a staggering 19.5 percent.

When 2007 began, more than 1 million Americans were unemployed for half a year or longer. Today, there are more than 6 million Americans unemployed for half a year or longer. Since 2000, we have lost 10 percent of our living wage jobs. In the year 2000 there were approximately 72 million living wage jobs in the United States, but today, there are only about 65 million jobs capable of supporting a middle class lifestyle

When comparing 1940 with 2010, the United States now employs about the same number of people in manufacturing. Considering the fact that we had 132 million people living in this country in 1940, and well over 300 million people living in this country today, this is a sobering statistic.

The real culprits in the unemployment problem are 1) overregulation– which retards growth, 2) high taxes — which encourage multinationals to move factories abroad, and 3) illegal immigration– which depresses entry level job wages.

We agree that now is….

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