And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘Republicans

There are no two ways about it people and not little tweeks or adjustments will do it.  In order to save our nation from going over the cliff  of destruction and third world status we must cut entitlements.  Do we do it now and save ourselves or do we wait until bankruptcy of  the nation does the cutting?  At the rate our current administration and Congress are going we won’t have long to wait if bankruptcy is your choice.  Whereas if we choose to make the cuts ourselves now  it is true that many people, in fact most of us,  will hurt, but the  funds and initiative to rebuild our nation will still be standing.  B

Taken entirely from a Cato Institute report.B

The Debt Explosion

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s recent estimates of President Obama’s current budget proposal, debt held by the public relative to the size of the economy is heading toward heights last seen since the end of the Second World War:

The ending of hostilities and a post-war economic boom lead to a steady and precipitous drop in the debt as a share of the economy. In the present day, it is entitlement spending that’s driving the debt explosion. Therefore, if the debt is to be brought under control, policymakers are going to have to rein in entitlement spending. Unfortunately, the president’s expansion of the government’s role in health care will exacerbate the problem, despite the admininstration’s claims otherwise.

The House has already passed Rep Barney Franks huge financial institutions overhaul bill that would in effect put Congress over the banks and therefore make ALL banks “too big to fail”.  Why is this?  Well because nothing is ever a failure if it is under government control.  Just look at the Post Office, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and  you had better grab your wallets and move to another country like the rich are doing because you are soon going to be taxed and taxed and taxed for Obamacare.

President Obama intends to get this bill thru the Senate.  He wants total control of the financial institutions now that he has control of health care.  Watch for the methodology in passing this bill; the Dems are getting really go at  the underground government thing.

And by the way, the rich are not moving to Europe because Europe is way ahead of us in destroying their economies with ever higher taxes for social programs.   Now some of these countries are on the verge of bankruptcy.  Maybe this is good since when they collapse perhaps they will have learned not to go down the same road of big federal government again.  BB

Outlook – Here is a preview of upcoming Democrat proposals to advance their big-government, anti-taxpayer agenda.

  • The House and Senate will be out of session until the week of April 12. The Obama administration is reportedly pushing for Congressional Democrats to get a financial overhaul bill to the President’s desk by Memorial Day. H.R 4173, Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) version of the plan, was approved with only Democrat votes on December 11, 2009. House Republicans unanimously joined with 27 House Democrats in voting against this bill, which would enshrine in law the notion that some institutions are “too-big-too-fail” and hand sweeping new powers to Washington.

RSC Reports

  • Each week, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

Fraud and Abuse in Federal Programs | Downsizing the Federal Government

This is a must read report!  click on the above.

As part of the Health Care Bill the Dems and Obama claimed that cutting fraud and abuse would help pay for the program and wrote this in the bill.  Well if it could be done why were they not doing it??    Why did they feel they must wait to start cutting out criminal behavior until after the bill was passed?  Because  what they were saying was just plain old horse manure!   The only real way to cut fraud and abuse of government programs is to downsize government and stop about 90% of the government programs.  Of course  even tho Obama is out shouting about cutting fraud and abuse as he campaigns around the country trying to sell the American public on the already passed Health Care Bill this is hardly what he really wants.  He wants the  abuse to continue until the country is bankrupt.  That is the plan.  Overload the system until it breaks and then take over and rebuilt in the socialist image the reformers want.

If you want an eye opening experience check out this article.  It covers only the fraud and abuse  in Medicaid and Medicare, housing subsidies,  student loans (which are now entirely controlled by the government!), farm subsidies, Food Stamps (college students are now on food stamps!), school lunches, SSI  Supplemental Security Income (really big abuse), Children’s Health Insurance program, Child Care Programs, Unemployment Insurance,  Universal Service Fund, Earned Income Tax Credit, Veterans Affairs, Emergency Response, and finally the Procurement Program where the government has ware houses stuffed with supplies which they just continue to buy and then set up more ware houses to hold it.  Of course the suppliers of these goods really rip off the government.  Remember the $900 toilet seat?

The government knows about this abuse and in many cases knows those who are perpetuating these crimes but no one is bothering to do anything about it.  We need to downsize government !   BB

What the CATO Institute has to say about recent developments:

Obama Crackdown on Improper Payments

Posted by Tad DeHaven

When the president’s health care reform was causing public angst, the administration announced a crackdown on fraud and abuse in government health programs. Now that the public is getting agitated over the president’s massive deficits, the administration says that it is going to crack down on improper payments made by all government programs, which totaled $100 billion in 2009 according to government estimates.

The administration is selling the effort as being taxpayer-friendly. But if the administration were to magically make all improper payments disappear, what would it mean for taxpayers? Probably not much unfortunately. Under the administration’s latest budget proposal, the federal government will consume a quarter of the nation’s output for years to come. Would Congress or the president pass on any savings from the fraud crackdown to taxpayers? I haven’t heard of any such plans. Any savings would apparently just go to expanding programs.

The best way to reduce improper payments is to reduce the overall size of government.  An article in GovExec.com points out that a chief reason why the price tag for improper payments is rising is because the government keeps getting bigger:

Payment errors have increased steadily since 2004, Wanda Rogers, deputy commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, told attendees at a federal financial management conference in Washington on Tuesday…Rogers attributed the rise in errors to several factors, including increases in both the dollar value of outlays as well as the number of federal programs. In addition, more stringent reporting requirements have led agencies to identify erroneous payments more accurately, she said.

In reviewing the OMB’s new guidelines for how federal agencies are supposed to calculate and report improper payments, a couple of issues caught my attention.

On the role of the inspectors general, the guidelines state:

1. Nothing in this Guidance should be construed to impair the authority of an Inspector General under the Inspector General Act of 1978 or any other law. However, because the recovery audit program required by this Guidance is an integral part of the agency’s internal control over contract payments, and therefore a management function, independence considerations would normally preclude the Inspector General and other agency external auditors from carrying out management’s recovery audit program.

2. Agencies’ Inspectors General and other external agency auditors are encouraged to assess the effectiveness of agencies’ recovery audit programs as part of their internal control work on existing audits (e.g., the annual financial statement audit, or as a separate audit).

Perhaps the IGs wouldn’t have the resources to perform this function, but the language appears to be too constricting. “Independence considerations” can be a problem when the fox is guarding the henhouse as the temptation exists for program managers to massage ugly data. The IGs and the Government Accountability Office should be more involved.

When I was a budget official at the state of Indiana, I noticed that the internal audit controls in state agencies were compromised by a lack of independence. Certain agency heads weren’t fond of having problems brought to their attention, let alone the attention of our office or the public.

An example of this recently occurred in Pennsylvania where the state Department of Welfare reported an improper payment rate for state’s Medicaid program of 4 percent. However, when Pennsylvania’s auditor general’s office audited the program, it found an improper payment rate that was more than three times higher.

The issue of the quality of state oversight leads to another problem: federal programs that are managed by state and local government. The guidelines simply state:

Agencies that have Federally-funded, State-administered programs, especially any that are deemed high-priority, should work at the Federal, State, and local levels to reduce improper payments and to implement the requirements of the Executive Order.

Having researched many federal programs that are administered by the states, a common theme is that state oversight is inconsistent and usually lacking. Some states independently audit their programs to varying degrees, while others rely solely on internal controls, as in the case of Indiana. Moreover, federal oversight of state management appears to be more focused on bureaucratic compliance than conducting any serious reviews.

See this essay for more on fraud and abuse in government programs.

This is from Maggie Thornton of   Maggie’s Notebook (Maggie Thornton) :   Thank you for info Maggie. BB

Notice how a liberal Federal Judge over-rules Congress.  BB

Acorn Funding Restored: Acorn Funding Slips under the Radar

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 02:52 PM PDT

Peter Orszag, Obama’s director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ordered resumed funding  for ACORN. With recent news that ACORN, a community organizing group that Barack Obama once worked for has gone underground, changed their tainted name…and somehow is back in the saddle with taxpayer monies.

After several ACORN offices across the U.S. were videotaped giving advice on how to avoid paying business taxes and how to hide the fact that the business was prostitution of 13-year-old girls smuggled into the U.S., Congress cut off funding.

ACORN took it to court and won a temporary injunction by Judge Nina Gershon, which has now turned into a permanent injunction.

ACORN has been charged with election fraud in Nevada. Two ACORN workers in Wisconsin are charged with election fraud. Ohio has filed a RICO suit against ACORN. Read here about ACORN’s fraudulent voter registrations. Read Gateway PunditBigGovernment for a link to Orszag’s letter directing the spigot open, and asks why the DOJ cannot achieve a stay in this case until the appeal is concluded. for Obama’s past association with ACORN. Read

Katherine Conway Russell, Philadelphia ACORN – New Video

ACORN Organizer says Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown will find fault with O’Keefe and Giles

Andrew Breitbart and Eric Holder: Breitbart – More Tapes, Whistleblowers

ACORN Brooklyn Cleared in Pimp Prostitute Undercover Tapes

The Obama Budget: Expanding the Welfare state and Undermining Marriage | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Welfare for decades has made  marriage obsolete by offering assistance to only poor women and children.  If there was a man in the house then no help.  So men left.  Eventually  even tho babies kept being born there were no men in the families and no marriages.   The 1996 welfare reform bill addressed this problem by allowing assistance to families.  At the same time it got millions off of the welfare roles.  There were also programs in states that encouraged marriage because time has taught us of the many problems created in single parent families, especially to the children.  States who offered these programs to encourage marriage and discourage single parent families were rewarded with more federal funding.  Obama’s budget turns this around entirely.   Instead states are rewarded with more funding by having larger case loads!  CAN’T YOU SEE THE STATES SENDING SOCIAL WORKERS OUT ONTO THE STREETS TO DRAG IN NEW WELFARE RECIPIENTS  TO GET THESE NEW FEDERAL DOLLARS!?  BELIEVE!   IT WILL HAPPEN!

Now President Obama is proposing $2.5 billion more to extend this supposedly temporary emergency fund. (last year’s stimulus bill that created the $5 billion TANF Emergency Fund. Once again, states are being paid to increase their caseload (80 cents on the dollar for every new case they receive beyond their numbers for 2007 or 2008) Although the President links the need for this emergency money to the current recession, the truth is that the 1996 welfare reform includes a $2 billion nest egg for tough economic times such as this. (And lest it be forgotten, the government already increased welfare spending for FY 2010 by $174.6 billion.) Moreover, the new funding would not even be dispensed to states based on their unemployment rates but merely doled out based on the size of their caseload.

Unfortunately, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has jumped on the bandwagon, proposing an even greater expansion to the welfare system. His legislation would allow states to collect as much federal money as needed to support their growing caseload (provided that the state does not receive more than 50 percent of its annual TANF dollars). The cost of this would dwarf the President’s $2.5 billion request. Both Obama and McDermott are sending a clear message to states: increase your welfare rolls and you will be rewarded handsomely by the federal taxpayer.

Not only does the President plan to expand welfare, but he has also eliminated a program that aims to reduce the prevalence of single motherhood, one of the greatest contributors to poverty in the United States. The Healthy Marriage grant program provides help to those from low-income communities to learn skills for building strong marriages. To replace this program, President Obama has introduced his “Fatherhood, Marriage, and Families Innovation Fund.” While this sounds similar in name, it is in fact just another jobs program, focused very little on fatherhood, marriage, or families.

The 1996 welfare reform encouraged individual liberty, promoting work and freedom from government dependence. Now, the current administration is moving backwards and pulling its most vulnerable citizens with it. True welfare should help everyone: the taxpayer, who is allowed to keep more of his or her paycheck, and the welfare recipient, who is lifted off the dole and up to independence.

The more people who depend on government the more power over the people this government has.  Of course this is not a sustainable course so eventually the government will fail, but since this is the aim of the Progressives in order to turn the United States, the last stronghold of freedom and independence, over to the World Government then the Progressives and their current leader Barack Obama are right on course.   Hear me:  Obama’s budget and all of his provisions in the budget will pass with no debate or concern from either party.  BB

Obama Calls for Major Change in Education Law – NYTimes.com

The best thing that happened to education during the past 100 years was George Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” Program.   It wasn’t perfect because no program as broad as this one could be perfect.  There were areas that needed work.  I’m not sure yet but President Obama just may be on the right track to correcting some of the problems.  The fact that the teachers unions are against his plans  is a big PLUS as far as I am concerned!  The second thing I really approve about it is the provision that teachers be evaluated and not “helped to become proficient” as in the Bush plan, but simply fired as in the Obama plan.  It is about time We the People face up to and demand that incompetent people be gotten rid of.  Teachers and doctors seem to be untouchables no matter how bad they are at their jobs.

The administration’s proposals would also rework the law’s teacher-quality provisions by requiring states to develop evaluation procedures to distinguish effective instructors, partly based on whether their students are learning. These would replace the law’s current emphasis on certifying that all teachers have valid credentials, which has produced little except red tape, officials said.

Obama also wants to follow individual students progress regardless of the groups progress.  This may lead to outstanding students be given the opportunity to enroll in charter schools or better performing schools and not being held back because they are stuck in a certain “group”.

Under the current law, testing focuses on measuring the number of students who are proficient at each grade level. The administration instead wants to measure each student’s academic growth, regardless of the performance level at which they start.

Under the proposals, schools would also be judged on whether they are closing achievement gaps between poor and affluent students. No sanctions exist now for schools that fail in this area. Under the new proposals, states would be required to intervene even in seemingly high-performing schools in affluent districts where test scores and other indicators identify groups of students who are languishing, administration officials said.

Rewarding high performance has caused school districts to look at around at their best performing schools and follow that plan in order to qualify for more federal dollars.  Guess what?  Charter schools outperform non-charter schools in almost all cases.  (charter schools are public schools but they are independent in how they are operated.  In other words they operate like private schools without having the school administration and school board to contend with!)  This provision of rewarding the best outcomes is causing states to ramp up their charter schools programs.  North Carolina only has 100 Charter Schools at present and of course teachers unions and school boards and administrations are against them.  The state legislature just may override these protests to get more money and inadvertently do the best thing possible for our children!

The proposals would require states to use annual tests and other indicators to divide the nation’s nearly 100,000 public schools into several groups: some 10,000 to 15,000 high-performing schools that could receive rewards or recognition; some 10,000 failing or struggling schools requiring varying degrees of vigorous state intervention; about 5,000 schools that would be required to narrow unacceptably wide achievement gaps; and perhaps 70,000 or so schools in the middle that would be encouraged to figure out on their own how to improve.

“No Child Left Behind” focus on proficiency in reading and math.  Teacher complained  they were teaching to the test.  My thought was well better teaching to the test than teaching nothing!    If a child can read he will be able to do well any subject; if he can’t read you can push all kinds of history books and lectures  at him all day and half the night and he still will not understand or know history.  The same goes for math.  If he can not add, subtract, multiply and divide  even keeping a check book will be beyond him.  I am not sure Obama’s goal is any better.  It will allow teacher to teach as they want but in order to show improvement on the tests they will still have to spend more time and effort on the basics.

President Obama would replace the law’s requirement that every American child reach proficiency in reading and math, which administration officials have called utopian, with a new national target that could prove equally elusive: that all students should graduate from high school prepared for college and a career.

Guess we will have to wait and see what happens here.  It seems to me so far that regardless of the administrations touting a total revamping of No Child Left Behind Obama is merely closing some of the loop holes that have needed corrected.  And again I say with glee: the teacher’s unions are against it!

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R. Utah) has sponsored a bill in the House to fire any federal employees who are tax cheats.  There are 100,000 of these people who together owe us $1 billion.  There are 700 in the Capitol and 50 in the White House.

Rep. Chaffetz is one of my congressmen to watch.  He ran on a promise to cut spending and he is doing his best to do just that.  He has voted against every   spending bill and sponsored more bills like the one above to cut spending and balance the budget.  He promised he would not be bringing home any  “pork” and he has also kept that promise  by refusing any ear marks.    And, he sleeps on a cot in his office rather than renting a Washington apartment saving money and flying home often to his family and district.

I don’t expect a lot of Chaffetz’s sponsored bills to be passed in our current congress but I do expect him to be in Congress for as long as he wants to be if he continues his conservative back to the Constitution views.  BB

In June 2007, Chaffetz announced he would challenge the 3rd District’s six-term incumbent, Chris Cannon, for the Republican nomination. Chaffetz said that Cannon “has failed us for not instituting conservative principles”, specifically mentioning stronger measures to prevent illegal immigration.

In the primary on June 24, 2008, Chaffetz defeated Cannon by a vote of 60% to 40%.[10] Chaffetz’s victory was shocking on several fronts. Cannon was endorsed by George W. Bush[11], the state’s two U.S. Senators (Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett) and almost all of the state Republican establishment. Cannon outspent Chaffetz by 6 to 1,[12] had a paid staff, as well as the endorsement of all three of the local newspapers. In contrast, Chaffetz won no significant endorsements and refused to buy meals and trinkets for his supporters. He had unpaid staff and a grassroots organization of more than 1,000 volunteers. He received the bulk of his campaign contributions from individual donors, and his campaign was 100% debt-free.[citation needed]

Chaffetz faced Democrat Bennion Spencer in the 2008 general election, along with Jim Noorlander from the Constitution Party. Chaffetz easily won election with 66% of the vote (to 28% and 6% for Spencer and Noorlander, respectively). Chaffetz also received the highest percentage (66%) of any of the three Representatives from Utah, with Rob Bishop (R, 1st District) winning with 65% and Jim Matheson (D, 2nd District) winning with 63% in their districts. However, the 3rd is one of the most—and by some measures, the most—Republican districts in the nation, and it was generally believed Chaffetz had assured himself of a seat in Congress with his primary win.

Chaffetz announced at the start of the Congressional term in 2009 that he would be sleeping on a cot in his office rather than renting a Washington, D.C. apartment.[13] Chaffetz said, “I’m trying to live the example that it doesn’t take big dollars in order to get where we want to go. I can save my family $1,500 a month by sleeping on a cot in my office as opposed to getting a fancy place that’s maybe a little bit more comfortable.”[13] His family will continue to live in Alpine. “We are now $10 trillion in debt. $10 trillion. Those are expenses that have to be paid at some point”, he said. If he can tighten his belt in these tough economic times, Chaffetz said, Congress should be able to as well.[13]

Upon hearing that U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009, Chaffetz said he had “lost all respect for the award”, claiming “it used to be one of distinction, but [now] it is hard to give it any credibility”.[14]

In November 2009 Chaffetz co-sponsored a bill in the House with Rep. Jim Matheson to block the importation of foreign nuclear waste into the United States, putting him directly at odds with Rep. Rob Bishop and Utah’s Senators Bennett and Hatch who had historically supported importing foreign nuclear waste into Utah with restrictions. Chaffetz also surprised many in Utah by announcing he opposed the increase in troops in Afghanistan, and believed the best approach would be to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.[citation needed]

In December 2009, Chaffetz championed legislation to limit the use of full-body imaging scanners at airports. Chaffetz’s bill, which passed the House and now waits for Senate approval, would limit the use of full-body imaging scanners unless a metal detector first indicated a need for more screening. The images have come under intense scrutiny from privacy groups for supposedly invading privacy by letting security administrators view images of undressed passengers. Salt Lake City is one of only a handful of airports using the technology. [15]

Chaffetz favors residential building and energy development over endangered species protection for the greater sage grouse, a bird whose population has shrunk from 16 million 100 years ago to about 200,000 today. According to Chaffetz, “The only good place for a sage grouse to be listed is on the menu of a French bistro.”

In 2007, a court ruled that political tampering by Julie A. MacDonald, then-deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, had “tainted” the bird’s assessment, and a new review was ordered. In March 2010, the U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar assigned the bird “warranted but precluded” status, paving the way for its future protection.[16]


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