Michael Reagan, FloydReports.com
Uncle Sam is spending a lot of your tax dollars on programs that do the exact same thing as other federal programs, and you are paying the tab, a shocking new report shows.
According to a report by the watchdog Government Accounting Office (GAO), Uncle Sam hosts 47 job-training programs, 44 of which do the same things. The federal government also runs 80 programs for what it calls the “transportation disadvantaged.” Count ‘em: 80 — paid for by your tax dollars.
The report cites a total of 82 other programs spread across 10 separate agencies that are supposed to improve what it calls “teacher quality” — something of concern to local school districts and not Uncle Sam. It’s a classic example of the left hand not being aware of what the right hand is doing, and it’s costing us, the taxpayers, untold billions of our tax dollars.
I agree with penny-wise Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA, who was outraged by the scandals uncovered in the report and has vowed “to get our fiscal house in order,” saying “Now again, we have said enough is enough.”
An equally outraged Oklahoma GOP senator, Tom Coburn, said the report “confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn’t know. The congressional branch doesn’t know. Nobody knows.”
The GAO report was mandated by Congress the last time it raised the debt limit in January 2010. Coburn said the report makes lawmakers look like “jackasses.”
“We don’t know what we’re doing,” Coburn said.
It’s about time they knew. This is the money we earned by the sweat of our brow and they’re squandering it as if it were their money, not yours and mine.
Think about it. How long would we survive if we spent our money over and over again on the same things at the same time? We’d be in the poor house — which is where Uncle Sam lives these days while acting as if he is living in a huge mansion and waited upon by his servants, the taxpayers.
This scandal is the result of an inexcusable inattention by the Congress, which in recent years has acted as if it had the power to spend money the U.S. doesn’t have, much of it on worthless programs, and passing the bill on to future generations.
Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 Congressional elections by pledging to trim the government’s sails, seeking out wasteful programs and eliminating them. Republicans plan to cut a whopping $61 billion from the current fiscal year’s budget.
That should be just the beginning. The GAO report pinpoints the areas where some of the cutting can and should be done.
Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com
Although the United States is $13 trillion in debt, mandatory spending alone exceeds tax revenues, and the Congressional Budget Office is warning of a coming U.S. “fiscal crisis,” Congress felt no need to trim spending. The just-adjourned 111th Congress headed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has published his collection of the 100 most wasteful projects his colleagues deemed worthy of your hard-earned tax dollars this year. Among the most offensive, ridiculous, and startling examples of pork in the Year of our Lord 2010, he found:
- Nearly $5,000 of stimulus money to hire goats to graze the weeds at Idaho’s Heyburn State Park;
- $6 billion for ethanol subsidies, which raise food costs;
- $177,000 for Ohio teachers to travel to China to learn about the Chinese “education” system;
- $137,530 for a Dartmouth professor to develop “Layoff,” a video game that encourages its players to fire as many people as quickly as possible;
- $700,000 for New Hampshire researchers to examine “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies,” which are cause by “cow burps, among other things”;
- $442,340 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam;
- $823,000 to teach South African men how to wash their genitals after sex. (We reported this one earlier this year);
- $55,000 to celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Of course, there is no anti-AIDS vaccine, but the “observance is a day to recognize and thank” the professionals “who are working together to find” a cure
Ben Johnson, Floyd Reports
As news has broken overnight that an Obama administration official may have perjured himself about the dismissal of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, Congressional Republicans have promised they will investigate Barack Obama’s crimes in the new year.
The Hill newspaper reports today Congressman Darrell Issa’s “Oversight and Government Reform Committee anticipate a ramp-up of investigations next year on bailout measures, the economic stimulus and healthcare.”
Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, who sits on the committee, told the paper, “No doubt about it, there needs to be a lot more examination of the TARP, stimulus and Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac].” Committee aide Kurt Bardella added the GOP will take on “anyone [who] is misusing taxpayer dollars,” naming ACORN and General Motors, among others.
Many believe any honest inquest will inevitably turn from investigative hearings to impeachment proceedings.
If the committee has proven anything to date, it is that its members have much to investigate….
Ben Johnson, Floyd Reports
A new Senate report reveals the Obama administration spent nearly half-a-million dollars in stimulus funds to purchase recycling bins implanted with microchips, designed to monitor private citizens’ recycling levels.
Republican Senators Tom Coburn, R-OK, and John McCain, R-AZ, tracked 100 misuses of stimulus funds in a publication entitled “Summertime Blues,” released just weeks ago. (It is far from a comprehensive list.)
They found the administration gave $500,000 to the city of Dayton, Ohio, to assist its recycling plan. Part of the federal funds went to purchase 8,000 bins equipped with microchips that track which residents are recycling.
City and county government officials decided the Big Brother program was so worthwhile they spent a combined $60,000 of their own money to buy an additional 1,300 bins.
In February, the Dayton Daily News described the new curbside equipment:
The microchips, which use radio frequency identification technology, are installed in the bin handles. Four city waste collection trucks will be equipped to read the microchips that will be associated with specific street addresses.
All the city’s 60,000 households will be added to the program “over several years at a total cost of $1.6 million.” The full cost will be borne by the U.S. taxpayer thanks to a $1.6 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant the federal government awarded Dayton from stimulus funds.
WHIO-TV asked city officials about the program’s inclusion in Coburn’s report. They “said only $9,000 went to the microchips and the program is actually helping to redirect bins to neighborhoods that use them the most.”
The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, began using microchip-implanted recycling bins last month. The city will store each family’s recycling history for three years. (Local talk show host Tara Servatius had the story first.)
Again, city bureaucrats dismissed privacy concerns to local media:
The city says it doesn’t plan to knock on people’s doors who aren’t recycling. Instead it says the chip will be used to monitor which neighborhoods are recycling less than others.
Neighborhoods that aren’t recycling much would then be given encouragement to recycle more. The city says this would be done either through mailings or appearances by the recycling department at community events. (Emphasis added.)
Americans are not the only ones concerned about government-tracked refuse — and what “encouragement to recycle” may entail.
At least 2.6 million homes in Great Britain — approximately 10 percent of all British households — have microchipped recycling bins. Members of the Conservative Party have protested that information obtained by the chips may be used to levy additional taxes based on the weight of weekly recycling, a plan they dubbed “Pay As You Throw.”
Gordon Brown’s Labour Party dismissed the charges as scare tactics. But many areas in England already demand trash be sorted into nine different color-coded classifications. Offenders face a maximum fine of more than $1,500 (U.S.).
Laying aside legitimate anxieties about government intrusion, Sen. Coburn found little “stimulus” from this expenditure.
The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was supposed to stabilize the national unemployment, but unemployment remains mired at 9.5 percent, and this week first-time jobless claims reached their highest level in nine months.