Archive for the ‘Government Waste’ Category

“I Am Not A Dictator!”

March 1, 2013 2 comments

“O Duck Luck, ” says Hen Pen, “the sky is falling!”
“Why, how do you know it?” says Duck Luck.
Obama Chicken Little told me.”

And so goes the story of another famous alarmist, Chicken Little. President Obama has attempted for the past few weeks to raise alarm about the awful “cuts” that would affect everything. The economy will be hurt and crippled for years, other results include millions of furloughed federal employees, and a non-functioning military. All because those darned Republicans would not agree with him to further increase spending.

 The rights so valued and inherent in each of us has slowly continued to erode away, and with a president such as Obama, it will be a long four years.

Read the whole article at Conservative Daily News, here:

“I am not a dictator!”


Obama’s SOTU: We Must, We Might, I Want

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

“…and I want a fire truck, and a baseball glove, and a cowboy hat!”

So seemed to go President Obama’s State of the Union wish list. It sounded like Christmas with captive parents in the form of the Congress and a few Supreme Court Justices. Repeatedly, he went so far as to challenge Congress to pass bills, that he would immediately sign.

Interestingly, but hardly surprising to me, was the president’s line that the government should work for the many, not the few.

Why else was this State of the Union such a collassal waste of time for anyone who bothered watching it? Read more here for my thoughts and a few jabs…

Who’s got a bad case of the “gimmes”?

Leadership for Dummies

May 27, 2012 1 comment

I was recently reading a book by British author, economist, and historian, Niall Ferguson, called “Colossus“, where he compared the British Empire to the American pseudo-empire. Ferguson made it very clear that the American version was far differing in its outcomes than the British, which had numerous factors working in its favor. One of the most glaring differences was that British citizens were far more willing to move to colonies and conquered areas, both to build and develop a British-style administration and to improve infrastructure over decades, where American citizens would rather simply stay put.

David Landes

David Landes

There were a number of factors Ferguson cited, in a list by historian David Landes, that are tactics that second- and third-world countries’ economies and legal systems should use to improve and grow. Upon reading this list, I grew dumbfounded as many of the things enumerated within that list, are the polar opposite of the policies of President Obama and his administration, in the last three years in the United States. Instead of moving “Forward” (if you will forgive the use of the already hackneyed campaign slogan of Obama’s), the president acts in ways that are completely contrary to common sense and pro-American beliefs. I post the list below (also posted in one of Ferguson’s previous works, “Empire“) along with my thoughts as I read the tactics:

1. secure rights of private property, the better to encourage saving and 

This item put me in mind of the egregious Gibson guitar raids in the summer of 2011. Secure rights of private property? Hardly – the U.S. government twice raided the Gibson factory, citing a law from  1900 (more commonly known as the Lacey Act, found here with amended text), that was originally written to protect the trade of feathers for hats. Amended and broadened in 2008, the law now includes plants. Despite legal sales, approved by Indian and Malagasy authorities, the U.S. Feds raided and seized Gibson wood stocks anyway.

2. secure rights of personal liberty...against both the abuses of tyranny
and...crime and corruption

Can we honestly say the administration has done this? My mind goes to the loss of Brian Terry’s life, as a result of the “Fast & Furious” scandal, a flawed, illegal, haphazardly executed gun selling operation. Refusing to apologize to Terry’s family, A.G. Holder still balks at producing the papers Congress is requesting from his D.O.J. Another example that is also connected to this program, is the ongoing scuttlebutt that the program’s design was to negatively effect the power of the 2nd Amendment.

3. enforce rights of contract;

I do not feel like there is much more to say than bringing up the government take over of the student loan program, and its take over of healthcare in the country. The government came in, and while promising one thing, delivered everything but.

4. provide stable government...governed by publicly known rules;

Have we seen a good example of this from Democrats? Between their “deemed to have passed” legislation, and a completely “tabled” Senate (also led by Harry Reid and Democrats) – can we honestly call this a “stable government”? With state Congresses fleeing the states to prevent votes on hotly contested legislation, who needs rules and stability? There are plenty of easily understood rules, but if the people in charge choose to ignore them, what do we have?

5. provide responsible government;

Responsible government? Again, I’d like to bring up “Fast & Furious”. Eric Holder continues to serve as Attorney General, and the threat of contempt of Congress does not seem to phase him. Another thought is the numerous, unanswerable czars of the president’s and the regulatory agencies (think: E.P.A.) that are using their power (with little, if any) oversight and accountability.

6. provide honest government...[with] no rents to favour and position;

How could I not think of the Solyndra mess? Loaning millions of dollars to the business, only to saw it wasted, as the company blew through it, at its (well-known and purposely overlooked) high burn-rate, and where it was later revealed that a big investor was George Kaiser, one of President Obama’s campaign bundlers. As far as no favor to position – how about the benefit of being a Congressional member? Access to a legal way to get in on nearly impossible-to-join IPOs and investments, that normal Americans were held out of?

7. provide moderate, efficient, ungreedy hold taxes down
[and] reduce the government's claim on the social surplus

While the cry of the left is “Well, Bush did it too!”, when they defend Obama’s questionable actions, whatever Bush may have done does not hold a candle to the extent of Obama’s odious actions. Obama has expanded the deficit more than any other president in history. How would he and his party seek to pay for their bills? Taxes, of course. Create some new ones, and expand the old ones – simply tax, tax, tax, then they can spend, spend, spend. The administration raided Medicare Advantage funds to help pay for Obamacare (to the tune of $204 billion).

So, if the list contains directions for a well-maintained and least troublesome government, why would the president do anything otherwise? If I were a cynic, I might offer Rahm Emmanuel’s quip, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Create a crisis, and then ride in to save the day. The only problem is that there are far too many crises, and too many unaccountable people, following their own rules, in Washington.

Political Machination and the Middle Class

December 29, 2011 2 comments

When I mention the “Middle Class”, I would suspect most Americans immediately think, “Hey, that’s me!”, and they pay attention. However, it is an over-used, hackneyed phrase in politics. Whenever a politician wants instantly to grab attention of the American populace, they bring up the “Middle Class”. Since it is usually used by politicians in a “threatened-species” manner, the Middle Class members sit up straight, and listen intently. The Upper Class pays attention, because they are out numbered by the Middle Class (and despite what some people claim, more votes certainly do still count). The Lower Class pays attention because they see the Middle Class as the destination that they are struggling to earn their way into. Politicians, belonging to a class all their own, notice these behavioral tendencies of the three main groups, and smell opportunity.

Something for everyone?

The government is NOT Robin Hood!

For the politicians to use the knee-jerk reaction of the Lower Class, I find their methods very insidious. Usually, what the politicians will do is tell the L.C. that their “gravy train”, their government-granted entitlements, or any other government-dolled goodies are in dire jeopardy because of the actions of the filthy rich. While this will not cause as large a reaction, because the L.C. is less mobile and likely to show up at their Congressman’s office. Anytime someone is given something, and then they are told it is threatened – watch the anger at losing that entitlement explode.

For the politicians to use the reaction of the Upper Class, they can threaten that the M.C. will push for higher wages or take a larger part of the Uppers Class’s wealth in any other number of ways. The U.C., then finding themselves threatened may decide to react by using their money and friendships in Washington to affect change in their favors. Most recently, I think that the more common method of trying to keep goodwill is for the constituents to offer to pay higher taxes (knowing that it will never come to that).  I find it interesting to think that a class so often seen as miserly and “above-it-all”, still seems to be so easily swayed by this type of rhetoric.

The dirty trick is, according to where the politicians put their measuring sticks, the Middle Class could be made to be any group. From an income of $30,000 up to $120,000? You are Middle Class. From $28,000 to $150,000? Boom – you are Middle Class. It is all about political expediency. The politicians constantly play fast and loose with rules, regulations, and our money, so why should their rhetoric be any different? If there is a political point to be made, or some “points” to be earned for their next election, they will paint you in any shade that they need to, to make their point (or to engage fully in their fear-mongering). The Middle Class has to be the most bandied-about segment of America.

These methods of politicians to get various classes to argue and fight with one another, while the politicians get away with murder, creates this huge positive feedback loop. Costs increase with every promise and entitlement given. While it seems to have been this way as long as this blogger can remember, I do not expect it to change (especially since blowing that class-dog-whistle works so well). The government has given goodies to pry support from certain groups, and now it is nearly impossible to reduce it. They need constantly to keep money flowing, while others, seeing these sweet deals, want their “fair share” too. Ever-increasing funds are needed as more and more people join the rolls. Where is it supposed to all come from? Sometimes, I wonder how much a little critical thought is worth – well politicians are attempting to figure that out for us all.

(This post took me forever, due primarily to the fact I started Tweeting, and that’s like Internet crack. I told those responsible that they’d be noted as my distractions): @tamale102280, @iteabellsingers, and @apologyispolicy
They’re good people – follow ’em if you don’t already!

Where, Oh, Where Has The Leadership Gone?

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

As I sit here, somewhat stuck for a reason to write a post this week, and bemoan the fact our “leaders” in Washington D.C. act so completely inept, I heard an update on the administration’s plan to release an additional $5.5 billion by this time tomorrow, to “green” companies (H/T CNBC). This, despite the previous fiasco with California solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra. The administration continues to spend massive amounts of taxpayer capital as what amounts to venture capital. Of course, as more detail comes out on how the deals and loan rearrangements for Solyndra were handled, it has become apparent that venture capitalists would not have been so careless with funds that were their own. This continued path of carelessness and ineptitude has this blogger wondering – is this administration really that clueless, that they would double down over again on failed policy, not realizing what was happening, all the while building a case for their naysayers to claim there was crony capitalism at play? Or, more frighteningly, the administration does know what is going on, yet does not care?

Examples of Missing Leadership?

Examples of the missing leadership of this administration grow by the day. In my mind, the first failure was failure to seize on the groundswell of the “Green Revolution” in Iran – the president waited and waited. Given the best opportunity the United States has had in some 30 years to press for Iranian regime change, and our president does nothing. The president waited so long to even issue a statement for the Egyptian uprising, that when he did, it amounted to little more than lip service. He refuses to reconsider any of his failed policies, and seems to want to double down on most. He is the poorest example of “out of sight, out of mind” we have ever seen in the Oval Office.

Sad Leadership

With leaders like these, who needs enemies?

He finally decided to commit NATO aircraft to the Libyan cause after Gaddafi threatened to blow up Tripoli and resist any threat to his despotic regime. While this seems like the president has finally made a tough decision to commit military power where he thought it was needed, in doing so, it resulted in two serious consequences: he broke the War Powers Act, having not gotten Congressional approval for the military action. Another, very serious problem, is that some 20,000 missiles may be missing from Libyan stockpiles. These missiles are the ground-to-air variety, that can be used to bring down passenger aircraft by terrorists, or perhaps even converted for use as IEDs in other theaters.

As a result of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ “Operation Fast & Furious”, one Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was gunned down in Mexico, and a United States Border Agent was gunned down in Arizona. The brilliant idea behind the plan was to arm Mexican drug and gun smugglers, and then somehow track those guns via serial number. As of today, the only actions taken against the implicated parties in the administration have been some resignations, and reshuffling of the same personnel responsible for this plan. When Congress (Darrell Issa) tried to obtain documents to investigate the scandal, they were redacted to the point of appearing like a piece of black construction paper.

Finally, the president continually touted the benefits of green technologies, and how it would build the future, and raise us out of the economic downturn we are in. After being closely connected to the principal private investor of Solyndra, and even holding a press conference at the factory, he has high-tailed it away from ties to the company. Perhaps even more telling, is that he has now chosen a completely different tack, and is touting petroleum and chemical based solutions – that is, paving new roads (with asphalt and tars, of course), and rebuilding bridges (with various weatherproofing chemicals/paints).

With all this occurring, the president now attacks his own base – “Take your slippers off…put your boots on…”, and for their part, they attacked him back (Maxine Waters said she did not know who he was talking to). It seems like the left is bordering on mutiny, and it’s little surprise to me. After all, they have been without a leader of any sort for nearly three years now…

Spend It Like You Stole It

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The new omnibus jobs-infrastructure bill created and proposed by the president this month, promises to get Americans back to work and rebuild the crumbling infrastructure — all without needing any additional funding! By ending a few tax loopholes here, adding a little bump to certain income tax brackets there, it will pay for itself. Huzzah – the Commander in Chief has single-handedly rebuilt the nation and yet again, saved us from ourselves, just in the nick of time. Of course, the reason this whole measure was necessary in the first place were the filthy rich, who, saved and hid all their money, because they like to see the country struggle and fail (AKA the scary left’s boogeyman-narrative). Even if the millionaires and billionaires the Democrats love to hate, were that warped in their thinking, would you want to give any more money to this government? People like Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban’s protest that they would just love to pay more in taxes. The politicians love to use those investors’ claims to make a point that the government should take more from all of them. At least, that is what the democrats would love America to believe.

Pass this bill - it's all I've got!

Pass this bill - it's all I've got!

Perhaps believing it to be a mesmerizing force, the president’s repeated chant of, “Pass this bill, pass this bill…” during his Congressional address fell on deaf ears, as Congress refused to act and quickly pass an irresponsible and un-read bill, unlike their predecessors. Obama will undoubtedly use this instance when he is on the campaign trail to tell his supporters, “Gee, I really tried guys, but those darned Republicans – they are playing politics and engaging in brinkmanship again…” His politics seem to grow more and more transparent and less realistic, as increasingly, his rhetoric grows more inflammatory and divisive. His track record as a leader and economic steward is already onion-paper thin.

His claims of caring about Americans’ hardships might have once been taken at face value, and given the benefit of the doubt – but when you hear the National Labor Relations Board may prevent thousands of new jobs from an aircraft manufacturing plant in South Carolina, it belies that claim. The union in Washington state would rather risk moving the entire proposed being operation sent to another country, it seems, than to share in the company’s prosperity, domestically. “Workers of the world, unite”, indeed. The current three-member NLRB has been appointed by President Obama, with one member a recess appointment, after being threatened with a filibuster for his Senate hearing (see: Craig Becker).

The president’s claim to care about green energy and renewable resources have fallen by the wayside as well. Having already given a sweetheart loan to a friend who owned a solar panel company in California, whose operation he visited in 2010. The now infamous Solyndra boondoggle cost 1,100 workers their jobs. The employees showed up to work as usual one day, and found the plant closed to them. The company had sought investment from private sources, but were rebuffed when the burn rate of the company was shown to be completely untenable(and I picture the private investors reading Solyndra’s financials, and belly laughing at them). One-half of a billion dollars of taxpayer money is now gone, used for capital expenditures and other miscellaneous costs, at a company that had no chance of success. And this administration still sits on an additional $15 billion that they cannot wait to give away. How is this possible? Press Secretary Jay Carney explains, “That’s the way government works…” Perhaps that is the way your government works, but in the private sector (I like to think of it as “the real world”), where you are responsible for your own money, you also try to minimize losses by skipping investments in a company that is already belly-up.

As much as the last Congress and Democratic supporters harped to Americans about Cheney’s Halliburton ties, and how staffers were too close to business, that they would understand enough about business to prevent the wanton waste of the country’s funds. It seems that they focused on energy companies being an evil, and of providing “obscene profits”. Of course, I wonder if Halliburton was a big Democrat campaign contributor if they would still care as much? As the scandal grows, and more people are implicated in the fiasco, the Democrats’ next election prospects seem as dim as the Solyndra plant they threw so much away on.