Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November, 2012 Political Class Insanity, Part 1: Unprotected Americans In Libya, Unprotected Luggage, Unprotected Dogs In The Back Seat, And More

At the beginning of each month we take a look back at the past few weeks and see what insanity, waste, and lunacy the American political class has dumped on the country. We used to be able to do this review in a single post. However, as the level of insanity has grown, we have found it necessary to take at least one additional post to cover everything. Such is the case this month, our politicians are working overtime to either come up with harebrained and expense schemes that never work or turn out to be incapable of efficiently and effectively managing any program or the taxpayer wealth they are entrusted with.

Thus, the following is the first part of the political class insanity from November, 2012:

1) On October 23, 2012, the Bankrupting America Facebook page reported on an article from the Dayton Daily News. The Daily News reported that Greene County in Ohio had received Federal taxpayer money via the Department of Transportation to rehabilitate a covered bridge that is considered “historic.” Why is this a bad idea? Consider:
  • The Stevenson Road Bridge is located in a lightly traveled area so fixing up the bridge was not essential to commerce, tourism, etc.
  • The bridge is not on a road.
  • It no longer is used by cars and trucks.
  • It doesn’t lead to a park of any sort or any walking or biking trails.
  • Apparently the only reason to use Federal taxpayer money to fix up the bridge, according to Catherine Wilson, director of the Green County Historical Society: “Covered bridges are pretty rare everywhere now. A lot of tourists visit them.”
Remember back several decades ago when the Statue Of Liberty, of the greatest symbols of our country, our democracy and our freedom was in need of refurbishment? Not a single taxpayer dollar was used for the refurbishment, only private funds were used. Today, that policy no longer holds since apparently an old, unimportant covered bridge in Ohio warrants Federal money while the Statue of Liberty did not. How far we have fallen.

But it seems that not all of the locals are please with wasting $610,000 on an unused, not vital bridge to nowhere. According to township trustee Jim Reed, spending on the nonfunctional, useless bridge that literally leads to nowhere will total more than the entire annual roads budget of the county and is just an insane way to use limited taxpayer dollars when many other urgent taxpayer needs exist:

“Those grants should be coming down for the basics – repairing aging water lines, sewer lines, roads/ These projects, because they’re somebody’s pet project, those are getting priority, and it makes absolutely no sense. There are roads – not county roads, but local roads in nearby jurisdictions — that are so rough, you need four-wheel drive to get to people’s homes. You can’t tell me that day-to-day travel projects aren’t more important than other frivolous projects.”

We could not agree with you more, Mr. Reed, kudos to a local politician that recognizes insanity when he sees it.

2) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is one of those Federal government entities that keep on giving when it comes to insanity and wasteful spending. An October 19, 2012 Associated Press article reported that the TSA has moved to fire 25 employees at Newark Liberty International Airport and suspend 19 other employees, all of whom were accused of improper screening of checked luggage.

The alleged screening failures were uncovered in 2011 as a result of another TSA investigation. In that investigation, surveillance cameras were installed in one of the airport's 25 screening rooms to check for possible thefts of valuable belongings from the traveling public. Eight TSA employees were fired as a result of that investigation.

However, the cameras that were used to prove those thefts were left in place and uncovered how these 44 TSA employees were doing improper, and potentially dangerous or fatally flawed inspections. The main concern and reason for the TSA’s actions was that screeners failed to open up and physically check bags that had been flagged by X-ray machines.

The latest action raises to 52 the number of TSA employees at Newark identified in the investigation, making it the biggest single disciplinary action taken by the TSA at any U.S. airport. This breaks the record of 48 TSA employees that were cited in Hawaii previously for improper screening of luggage. Still feeling safe to travel yet?

But as we said above, the TSA continues to under perform and endanger the public in so many ways. Florida Congressman John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, cited what he called the TSA's "parade of failures:”

"Clearly this is not a Newark problem or a Honolulu problem, or a problem isolated to one or two airports. I lay the blame at TSA because it's a bureaucracy that doesn't know how to manage an army of 65,000 employees."

While I would agree with the Congressman’s assessment, I would also lay some of the blame on him and his Congressional peers who sit on these TSA committees. This TSA legacy of disgraceful performance has been going on for a while, it is about time that Congressional members finally did their job to fix the problem.

3) Staying with our TSA friends, an ABC News investigative report from October 23, 2012 found out what were the top 20 airports in the country for theft of personal property by TSA employees. The criteria was the number of TSA employees per airport for theft. ABC News based their report and analysis on a Freedom of Information request they had submitted to the TSA. That request also uncovered the fact that over 400 TSA employees have already been fired for stealing from the traveling public.

The top 20 airports, with the number of fired TSA employees at each, are as follows so be extra careful if you are traveling through these airports:

1. Miami International Airport (29 TSA employees fired)

2. JFK International Airport (27)

3. Los Angeles International Airport (24)

4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (17)

5. Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (15)

6. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York-Laguardia Airport (14 each)

8. Newark Liberty, Philadelphia International, and Seattle-Tacoma International airports (12 each)

11. Orlando International Airport (11)

12. Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport (10 each)

14. Washington Dulles International Airport (9)

15. Detroit Metro Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (7)

17. Boston-Logan International, Denver International and San Diego International airports (6)

20. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (5)

ABC News also did its own, real world test of theft at airports. They intentionally left behind an Apple iPad at a security checkpoint at the Orlando airport. The iPad was not turned in but could be tracked since it was set up to be tracked. The tracking process followed iPad as it moved 30 miles away to the home of the TSA officer last seen handling it.

When confronted two weeks later by ABC News, the TSA officer, Andy Ramirez, at first denied having the missing iPad. However, he ultimately turned it over after blaming his wife for taking it from the airport. Ramirez was later fired by the TSA. There was no information in the article by ABC News whether Mr. Ramirez or any of the dozens of people listed at the twenty airports above were ever criminally prosecuted or were just fired. One would think that criminal prosecution would cut down on the unacceptable level of thefts.

4) A September 19, 2012 Huffington Post/Money article, that summarized a report form the Newark Star Ledger, discussed a proposed law being considered by the state government of New Jersey. However, before we discuss the proposal, let’s review the financial situation of my former home state:
  • New Jersey has been facing severe budget deficits for a number of years now as a result of out of control spending by the state’s political class for decades.
  • The deficits have resulted in deep cutbacks across many parts of the state budget including parks, schools, etc.
  • If New Jersey does not have the highest corporate and personal tax burden in the country, it is no worse than third or fourth.
  • New Jersey’s unemployment rate has been close to 10% for a while, much higher than the national unemployment rate.
Okay, given all of these dire problems facing the state, what has one member of the state legislature been working on? Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Essex) has introduced a bill that would require motorists to secure dogs and cats in a seat belt-like harness if they’re not being transported in crates. Failure to do so could result in a $20 dollar fine under the proposed legislation.

Come on, Ms. Spencer, this is what you are spending your time and New Jersey taxpayer money and resources on? Not on how to improve the failing public schools in the state, not on how to make the state government more efficient in the face of declining tax revenue, not working to reduce the overwhelming tax burden?

I have never seen a news report of any kind that says unsecured pets are a major problem. Trust your constituents to do the right thing from a human and pet safety perspective, you and your peers should be working on the major issues facing the state and it citizens, not a trivial and insane non-issue like this.

5) Reuters reported on October 17, 2012 that The State Department entrusted Libyan security tasks to a little-known British company, Blue Mountain, instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones to protect the ill fated U.S. consulate in Libya, the site of the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other brave American citizens.

Although the city where the consulate was located, Benghazi, had been plagued by rising violence since the civil war ended, security procedures at the diplomatic compound resulted in Blue Mountain guards patrolling with flashlights and batons instead of guns.

According to the Reuters report, the following details out how poorly protected our consulate and the Americans were:
  • Blue Mountain hired about 20 Libyan men, including some who say they had minimal training, to screen visitors and patrol the mission at Benghazi, according to Reuters interviews.
  • Some of the guards sustained injuries in the terrorist attack and said they were ill-prepared to protect themselves or others when heavily armed militants last month stormed the walls.
  • The guards described how they were hired by Blue Mountain after only a minimal recruiting and screening process.
  • The government had previous worries about some of the consulate guards before the recent attack, according to emails obtained by Reuters.
  • One guard who had recently been fired and another on the company's payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound in April.
In most of our political class insanity posts, we laugh, in a depressing way, at most government and political class insanity that wastes our time and money. Unfortunately, political class insanity in this case left many Americans unprotected and resulted in the needless death of four of them. With an annual Defense Department budget in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the insanity was not putting some qualified U.S. armed forces into this known trouble spot before the murders occurred. Insane.

More insanity tomorrow, stay tuned.

We invite all readers of this blog to visit our new website, "The United States Of Purple," at:

The United States of Purple is a new grass roots approach to filling the office of President of The United States by focusing on the restoration of freedom in the United States, focusing on problem solving skills and results vs. personal political enrichment, and imposing term limits on all future Federal politicians. No more red states, no more blue states, just one United States Of America under the banner of Purple.

The United States Of Purple's website also provides you the formal opportunity to sign a petition to begin the process of implementing a Constitutional amendment to impose fixed term limits on all Federally elected politicians. Only by turning out the existing political class can we have a chance of addressing and finally resolving the major issues of or times.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everydayPlease visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Economic Stimulus Program - The Failure That Keeps On Failing

We have covered the fiasco known as the economic stimulus program many times in this blog. Highlights of failure include the following:
  • The President said that if the stimulus program was not passed, unemployment could go as high as 8% but the stimulus program would drive unemployment down under 6%. The program was implemented and we endured at least 42 consecutive months of unemployment never dipping BELOW 8%.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the final cost of the stimulus program was about $820 billion. The administration brags that the program created or saved about 2.7 million jobs. Even if you buy their generous/unrealistic estimate of jobs, the cost per job comes out to over $300,000 per job created or saved. Since the average household income is about $50,000, it cost at least six times as much to create a job as what could be expected to be paid in salary for that job. Not an efficient use of taxpayer wealth or an effective way to create jobs.
  • At this rate, it would cost about $4 TRILLION to get every American currently counted in the unemployment rate (about 13 million people) a job, a totally unrealistic approach to the unemployment problem.
  • Tens of billions of stimulus dollars were indiscriminately given out to Obama supporters, cronies, and fund raisers with little thought that giving out taxpayer wealth to these people would actually result in positive economic results. As a result, we ended up losing taxpayer money to such incompetent alternative energy companies like Solyndra, A123, Abound Solar and other failing and bankrupt companies.
  • An investigative report by the Associated Press uncovered the fact that half of the bridges repaired using stimulus funds were not in need of repairs. Again, another example of how corrupt and poorly implemented the entire program was.
  • And if wasting money on shaky, crony-linked companies and solid bridges was not bad enough, there were hundreds of other examples of wasteful spending including replacing windows in an obsolete, closed visitor center at Mt. St. Helens, studying bugs on an island off the coast of Africa, and other inane and useless projects.
Disgraceful misuse of taxpayer funds. But the economic stimulus program is so bad that it keeps on giving us material to review. Bill Dupor, an economics professor at Ohio State University, analyzed data from, a Federal government website that compiled and tracked the official, government approved results from the economic stimulus program. His results were published in Investor’s Business Daily.

The professor meticulously went through all of the entries related to job creation and savings at the site and tallied/counted that 682,000 jobs were saved or created in 2009, the first year of the program. Unfortunately, only about 25% of them, 166,000 were in the private sector. Since government jobs do not expand the economy, they merely shuffle market wealth from taxpayers to government workers, the stimulus plan was even less effective than its advocates claimed.

While other sources estimated higher job creation levels, they used economic and statistical methods to estimate the job creation totals. The professor used no estimation methods, he counted actual job creation tallies himself and did not use estimation processes.

What was the professor’s final conclusion: “It’s still an open question about the effect of the stimulus, and it will take more time to sort it out. But it’s coming to a point now where we’re beginning to understand that there is no real evidence to say that we avoided a great depression through the stimulus.

As we have said many times: governments do not create jobs. The marketplace creates jobs. Governments can create work (e.g. replacing windows, studying bugs, hiring more government employees, etc.) but this is creating work using existing wealth in the economy. It does not create additional wealth or economic growth.

Another example of failure comes to us from a report done by the Washington Examiner from October 8, 2012. Using the same, official government tracking website ( of job creation as a result of the stimulus program, the Examiner came across a stimulus program that was supposed to promote healthy eating (again, remember that this is a government controlled and populated website so its integrity is due to the Obama administration, not a conservative source):

“Sesame Workshop will carry out an expansion of its highly successful Healthy Habits for Life initiative, which promotes improved nutrition and increased physical activity, targeting low-income preschool-aged children and their families and care providers."

How this project would create jobs and keep unemployment down seems like a very big stretch to me. And, according to the government website, it did not succeed in creating a lot of jobs efficiently. The website claims the project created 1.47 new jobs.

No big deal, you say? Well, the cost of these 1.47 jobs was $1,067,532 or about $726,000 per job created. That was the size of the grant to the Sesame Street folks from the Federal government, courtesy of the taxpayers. This is far worse than the overall ratio we created above, where we showed that each stimulus job created or saved cost over $300,000 each.

Note: I find it fascinating that the government is so precise in its measurement that they can would report “jobs created” to the second decimal place!

The economic stimulus program continues to show its failing ways three years after it was implemented. Wasteful spending on idiotic programs, the hiring of more government workers vs. expanding the economy, an explosion of crony capitalism, and skyrocketing and persistently high unemployment rates. All at a cost of about $7,000 per U.S. household and almost another TRILLION added to the national debt.

The failure that keeps on failing.

We invite all readers of this blog to visit our new website, "The United States Of Purple," at:

The United States of Purple is a new grass roots approach to filling the office of President of The United States by focusing on the restoration of freedom in the United States, focusing on problem solving skills and results vs. personal political enrichment, and imposing term limits on all future Federal politicians. No more red states, no more blue states, just one United States Of America under the banner of Purple.

The United States Of Purple's website also provides you the formal opportunity to sign a petition to begin the process of implementing a Constitutional amendment to impose fixed term limits on all Federally elected politicians. Only by turning out the existing political class can we have a chance of addressing and finally resolving the major issues of or times.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Make $4 TRILLION Of National Debt Disappear Painlessly

Many times we have expressed our opinion that there is no greater danger facing our country and out democracy than the skyrocketing national debt that the Washington political class has imposed on the country. The national debt is currently over $16 TRILLION and climbing, with the political class showing no intention, ability, or intelligence on how to get the out-of-control spending under control.

The $16 TRILLION translates out to a per U.S. household debt of about $140,000 per U.S. household, i.e. every American household would have to write a check to the nation’s debt holders to pay off the national debt. And remember, the $16 TRILLION is the amount today, having grown about 50% since Obama took office. The $140,000 debt load is increasing everyday with no end to the increases in sight.

Another way to look at the problem is to do the calculation on a per citizen basis. On this basis, every American would have to write a check for almost $51,000 to pay off the debt. To make it even clearer, every baby born today already owes the Federal government debt holders over $50,000.

We have reviewed how this waste has arisen any number of times. The following posts are just a sampling to show how we have allowed our political class to just flush our wealth down the drain:

1) In the past week we have reviewed the latest annual wasteful spending as identified in Senator Tom Coburn’s “Wastebook 2012:”

2) Our most widely read blog post of all time reviewed how the U.S. Navy had built two Navy ships almost to completion for $300 million, decided that the ships were no longer needed, and then spent another $10 million to take the almost done, never used ships and turn them into scrap iron.

3) This post reviewed a comprehensive, but probably not complete, list of idiotic government spending over the past ten years or so that wasted over $1.2 TRILLION worth of taxpayer wealth:

4) Earlier this year we did a comprehensive review of the fine work of many other organizations which had already done in depth analyses of our national debt crisis and how to solve it. Our conclusion was that it is not to hard to find $9 TRILLION worth of wasteful and criminal spending in the Federal budget. The details of that $9 TRILLION can be found at:

Coincidentally, the latest issue of Reason magazine contained an in depth interview of Senator Coburn which contained his conclusion that he also could take $9 TRILLION out of the ever rising government debt stream over the next ten years.

5) We also did a post of mea culpas by several politicians who finally and publicly acknowledged that, yes indeed, the politicians in Washington had rung up once unimaginable levels of debt and provided nothing in return to the taxpayers whose wealth funded that debt:

Yes, it is a very dire and distressing situation. Our debt drains capital out of the private market, weakens the dollar across the country and the world, injects uncertainty into the financial markets and the minds of investors and business owners, and is often just idiotic wastes of money. And the most frustrating part, rational people should be able to fix the problem despite politics, as the solutions outlined in the above posts illustrate.

To those solutions today we add another approach to fixing the debt issue. Before we get into this solution, let me repeat a few facts about myself:
  • Up until the November, 2010 midterm national elections I had never voted for a Republican for national office in my life (I am almost 60 years old)
  • I have very rarely voted for a Republican for state or local office in my life.
  • All of my data sources for my posts and analyses rarely, if ever, use Fox News or conservative sources as their basis.
  • Thus, I am not Republican or conservative advocate by any traditional definition.
However, that does not mean I automatically knee jerk against anything with a Republican label attached to it, a condition that pervades much of our political dialog today. I recently came across an interesting non-conservative, non-Republican data source. The source purported to list out the proposed budget cuts a House of Representatives, Republican sponsored bill that has laid out a set of budget and spending cuts that would reduce the Federal government spending by about $2.5 TRILLION over the next ten years.

$2.5 TRILLION would certainly be a good START to getting Federal spending and waste under control and is certainly a much greater start than anything else Washington has come up with. These cuts do not include cuts to Social Security or the Department of Defense, opportunities will discuss after the listing of these $2.5 TRILLION in cuts. As you go through them keep the following thoughts in mind:
  • Do you personally get any benefit out of these programs and projects even though you fund them through your taxes?
  • Do any of these programs and projects provide any significant benefit to the needy in our society?
  • Should the government even be in the business of operating and funding these programs and projects since they should be paid by those that use and benefit from the programs projects, e.g. corporate welfare, local programs and projects, etc.?
  • Should a child being born today have to fund these programs and projects later in their lives?
I would hope that the answers to these questions, relative to the following proposed spending cuts, are an emphatic “no”:
* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy -- $445 million annual savings.

* Save America 's Treasures Program -- $25 million annual savings.

* International Fund for Ireland -- $17 million annual savings. Note: how about we divert these funds to an international fund for the American taxpayer?

* Legal Services Corporation -- $420 million annual savings.

* National Endowment for the Arts -- $167.5 million annual savings. Note: it should not be a basic government function to subsidize the arts, make those that enjoy the arts subsidize it.

* National Endowment for the Humanities -- $167.5 million annual savings.

* Hope VI Program -- $250 million annual savings.

* Amtrak Subsidies -- $1.565 billion annual savings. Note: the real solution is to find a way to either make the Amtrak program operationally cost neutral, sell the assets to a private firm who can make a profit, raise the rates to make the service at least financially a breakeven entity, or shut it down completely.

* Eliminate duplicating education programs -- H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 programs at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

* U.S. Trade Development Agency -- $55 million annual savings.

* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy -- $20 million annual savings.

* Cut in half funding for Congressional printing and binding -- $47 million annual savings.

* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy -- $430,000 annual savings. Note: really, nearly half a million dollars a year to fund a tribute to a past politician?

* Community Development Fund -- $4.5 billion annual savings.

* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid -- $24 million annual savings.

* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half -- $7.5 billion annual savings. Note: no more Las Vegas conventions, seminars, and meetings for Federal employees would be a good starting point.

* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% -- $600 million annual savings. Note: A good place to start in this area would be to eliminate the program that gives Congressman funding to lease cars for their personal use.

* Essential Air Service -- $150 million annual savings.

* Technology Innovation Program -- $70 million annual savings.

* Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program -- $125 million annual savings. Note: let American companies pay their own expenses, not the taxpayers.

* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization -- $530 million annual savings.

* Beach Replenishment -- $95 million annual savings. Note: let the states and local government fund their own beach replenishments, they are the ones who will profit.

* New Starts Transit -- $2 billion annual savings.

* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts -- $9 million annual savings. Note: really, is there even such a thing as a “historical trading partners” relationship between Alaska and Massachusetts?

* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants -- $2.5 billion annual savings. Note: since the government cannot profitably operate its current rail programs, it should not be getting into more rail programs until it proves it is capable of operating any rail-related entity at least to a breakeven level. Plus, the need for such high speed rail options is very, very weak as experiences around the country and world have proven.

* Title X Family Planning -- $318 million annual savings.

* Appalachian Regional Commission -- $76 million annual savings.

* Economic Development Administration -- $293 million annual savings.

* Programs under the National and Community Services Act -- $1.15 billion annual savings.

* Applied Research at Department of Energy -- $1.27 billion annual savings. Note: we would cut the entire Department of Energy, given their lack of success over the past several decades.

* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership -- $200 million annual savings.

* Energy Star Program -- $52 million annual savings.

*Economic Assistance to Egypt -- $250 million annually.

* U.S. Agency for International Development -- $1.39 billion annual savings.

* General Assistance to District of Columbia -- $210 million annual savings. Note: since my town does not receive Federal “general assistance,” DC should not receive any of our tax dollars either.

* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority -- $150 million annual savings. Note: Let the Washington D.C. users of their Metro pay the entire cost of their Metro system, they use it, not us.

*Presidential Campaign Fund -- $775 million savings over ten years. Note: the political parties get enough donations from their own supporters, they should not get more from taxpayers.

* No funding for Federal office space acquisition -- $864 million annual savings.

* End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services. Note: no brainer, competitive bidding reduces cost and the opportunities for kickbacks and conflicts of interest.

* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act -- More than $1 billion annually.

* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget -- $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

*Require collection of unpaid taxes by Federal employees -- $1 billion total savings. Note: how is this a not a no-brainer? Shouldn’t back taxes from Federal employees be garnished form their Federal paychecks?

* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by Federal employees -- $1.2 billion savings over ten years. Note: unions should pay their own fees, the American taxpayer should not be subsidizing union activities that will eventually cost taxpayers more money.

* Sell excess Federal properties the government does not make use of -- $15 billion total savings.

*Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress. Note: huh?

* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies -- $1 million annual savings.

*Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- $12.5 million annual savings.

* Eliminate Market Access Program -- $200 million annual savings. Note: again, make American companies pay their own expenses, not the taxpayer.

* USDA Sugar Program -- $14 million annual savings. Note: another corporate welfare subsidy that has to go.

* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- $93 million annual savings.

* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program -- $56.2 million annual savings.

*Eliminate fund for Obama Care administrative costs-- $900 million savings. Note: a better action would be to eliminate the entire multi-TRILLION Obama Care lunacy and start over.

* Ready to Learn TV Program -- $27 million savings.

* HUD Ph.D. Program.

*TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 TRILLION over Ten Years

The President’s own budget reduction commission estimated that $100 billion could come out of the Department of Defense budget every year without endangering our nation’s security, e.g. do not make ships and incurring the cost just to dismantle them when they are almost completed. Thus, on top of this $2.5 TRILLION, we could add a ten year Defense Department savings of another $1 TRILLION.

If the Federal government followed the lead and suggestions laid out by many nonpartisan organizations regarding Social Security, there is probably at least another $500 billion or more that could be saved without significant or any pain to needy elderly Americans.

Three of those main suggestions were included in “Love My Country, Loathe My Government:”

  1. Reduce the Social Security tax rate but uncap the maximum and apply that reduced tax rate to all forms of income, not just capped wages.
  2. Raise the retirement age to 70, with a hardship exception.
  3. Do not allow Social Security retirement checks to be sent to any retired American whose net wealth is over $3 million. Thus, folks like Trump, Buffet, Gates, etc. would not receive Social Security checks since they can live and survive quite comfortably without them.
Thus, with very little effort, and very little pain to most Americans, we have just reduced the national debt by about $4 TRILLION over the next ten years. Not bad but so much more is possible, upwards of at least $9 TRILLION is out there. Just need a little guts, intelligence and leadership out of Washington… which may be asking a lot.

But ask yourself. Thinking about all of the kids born in America today, is it really fair to stick them with the bill to pay the death gratuity for members of Congress, to pay for Congressional people to get free auto leases while in office, to write checks in their names and give those checks to America's biggest corporations, to subsidize today's Presidential elections that they cannot even vote in, etc. Is it really fair that a kid born today is born under an individual national debt burden of $50,000 or so? I think not.

We invite all readers of this blog to visit our new website, "The United States Of Purple," at:

The United States of Purple is a new grass roots approach to filling the office of President of The United States by focusing on the restoration of freedom in the United States, focusing on problem solving skills and results vs. personal political enrichment, and imposing term limits on all future Federal politicians. No more red states, no more blue states, just one United States Of America under the banner of Purple.

The United States Of Purple's website also provides you the formal opportunity to sign a petition to begin the process of implementing a Constitutional amendment to impose fixed term limits on all Federally elected politicians. Only by turning out the existing political class can we have a chance of addressing and finally resolving the major issues of or times.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wastebook 2012 - Wasteful Government Spending, Part 3: The Real Reason For The Outrageous Waste Of Taxpayer Wealth

The past two days we have focused on 100 examples of wasteful government spending, based on the fine work of U.S. Senator Tom Coburn's  “Wastebook 2012.” This publication lays out 100 wasteful spending examples that will or have already cost the American taxpayer about $18 billion but have generated virtually no positive value in return. It appears the American taxpayer has had its wealth destroyed by the Washington political class on a myriad useless projects including spporting Alabama's Watermelon Queen activities, paying companies to research new ways to make beef jerky, etc.

As we pointed out yesterday, $18 billion will not solve our annual deficit spending problems or our $16 TRILLION national debt. But when you multiply this sample of one hundred by tens of thousands of other government projects not included in the Wastebook you find that there is a case to be made to curb this wasteful habit.

But while these individual projects and programs are disgraceful, there is a single overarching problem that facilitates all of this wealth destruction. Consider what Senator Coburn thinks about the Washington political class and Congress:
  • Congress is on pace to make history for the least productive legislative year since 1947.
  • This Congress has passed only 61 bills and made law in 2012 to date.
  • Even taking into account bills the House and Senate are expected to pass in the November lame-duck session, the current Congress could easily have the lowest level of legislative activity since statistics began being tabulated, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
  • The inability and incompetence of Congress to get things done has resulted in the lowest public approval in the nearly four decades, as measured by Gallup.
  • A whopping 83% of Americans disapprove of “the way Congress is doing its job.”
  • The poor ratings given Congress are consistent across the political spectrum with approval from only 9% of Democrats, 11% of Independents, and 10 % of Republicans. In other words, Americans are divided on just about every issue except the fact they mostly thing our Washington politicians are doing a horrible job.
  • The Senate has cast fewer votes in 2012 far this year than any year in decades.
  • More than 20 of the 100 Senators have not had a single amendment considered on the Senate floor in 2012. Certainly good work if you can get it. High salaries, great benefits, and no need to contribute anything of value to the country.
  • And after blocking senators from offering fixes to bills throughout the year, the Majority Leader of what once was the world’s greatest deliberative body publicly announced from the Senate floor, “I will say this so it will save a lot of trouble for anybody. … Amendment days are over.” So much for intelligent debate and compromise, so much for democracy. 
  • A number of important committees within both the House and the Senate are failing to do the important work for which they are responsible.
  • Perhaps the most striking disappointment is the Senate Budget Committee. Since the last real Federal budget was passed on April 29, 2009, Washington has spent $11.2 trillion and added more than $4.8 trillion to the national debt.
  • With the national debt now over $16 trillion, never before have taxpayers needed a budget blueprint more to guide our nation away from fiscal ruin and stop the idiotic spending on idiotic programs and projects.
  • However, the Senate Budget Committee has failed to produce a budget, which it is required to do by law, in over 1,200 days.
  • In addition to not producing a budget resolution, the committee has also refused to hold many committee meetings, a key tool for Congress to conduct oversight, investigate problems, seek solutions, initiate conversation and debate, and advance an agenda.
  • The Senate Budget Committee held a mere 12 hearings in 2012, fewer than all but five other congressional committees from both chambers.
  • Likewise, the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees about three-fourths of the Federal budget including all of the major health care and retirement entitlement programs and the Federal tax code has done little in 2012.
  • Despite its broad jurisdiction, the Finance Committee reported out and discharged only 11 legislative measures.
  • These included a non-binding resolution supporting the goals and ideals of “National Save for Retirement Week” and a resolution authorizing the committee’s own expenditures.
  • The Senate Finance Committee held just 28 hearings this year (as of September 1).
  • Overall, the committee places in the top ten least productive of all Congressional committees in terms of approving legislation and the top ten Senate committees holding the fewest number of hearings. Again, this is probably the most important Senate committee and also the least productive.
  • Despite the importance of small business to our nation’s economy and their recent struggles, the small business committees of both chambers tied for first place as the committee approving the least amount of legislation in 2012. No wonder that small businesses are not driving any kind of economic revival.
  • The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee held only four hearings and passed out just three measures, one of which authorized expenditures for the committee itself.
  • Likewise, the House Small Business Committee reported out just three bills and held 31 hearings, which is significantly more than its counterpart in the Senate, but fewer than most of the other committees in the House.
  • Two other committees have been largely idle this year: the Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee and Special Committee on Aging.
  • The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry reported out and discharged just seven measures, one of which was to provide for its own budget, and held a mere nine hearings.
  • The Aging Committee reported out a single measure, which was to provide for its own budget, and held just nine hearings.
  • Whether it was failing to hold oversight hearings, pass laws, cut unnecessary spending, or simply cast votes on amendments, the U.S. Congress let taxpayers down in 2012.
  • Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution entrusts Congress with the responsibility to approve how money is spent out of the Treasury and to account for such expenditures. It is obvious that the current set of Washington politicians are in violation of this Constitutional responsibility.
  • Regarding the 100 examples of wasteful spending, Congress approved every cent spent to fund the projects outlined in this report and did nothing to stop any of these expenditures.
  • In fact, in many cases members of Congress actually took credit for the projects with no shame.
  • All of the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either the action or lack of action of Congress, earning it the well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.
The Senator nailed the source of this waste with this last comment, politicians caused this mess.

But the Obama administration is not much better:
  • It has not tried to reign in our mounting $16 TRILLION debt. Its budget proposals have been UNANIMOUSLY defeated by votes in the House and Senate in 2012.
  • It has not tried to reign in the hundreds of billions of dollars that Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment benefit programs lose every year to criminal fraud, waste, redundancy, and inefficiencies.
  • It has not clamped down on tax evaders via the IRS and Justice Department, tax evasion that cost honest taxpayers over $380 billion a year.
  • It has not fulfilled the President;s campaign promise to cut wasteful earmark spending in half.
  • The President has spent more time touring the world, playing golf, attending fund raisers, and campaigning for reelection than any other President in recent and distant memory.
They are all to blame, both Congress and the White House. Their incompetence and laziness has gotten us a Federal national debt soaring above $16 TRILLION, 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, graduating college students who cannot find a job, skyrocketing gas and other prices, no plan for our lost war on drugs, no plan for a national energy strategy, no plans to fix our failing public schools, no plans to compassionately address our leaky borders and illegal immigrant problem and no plan to address our skyrocketing health care costs.

This is the world, national debt, and fading democracy our kids and grandkids will inherit. All because our current set of politicians thought it was more productive to spend money on beef jerky research than any issue that was relevant to most Americans or to just let Americans keep their wealth and taxes to spend as they see fit for their families.

As we said yesterday, no American, rich or poor, should have to spend more in taxes along as lists like the Wastebook 100 exist.

We invite all readers of this blog to visit our new website, "The United States Of Purple," at:

The United States of Purple is a new grass roots approach to filling the office of President of The United States by focusing on the restoration of freedom in the United States, focusing on problem solving skills and results vs. personal political enrichment, and imposing term limits on all future Federal politicians. No more red states, no more blue states, just one United States Of America under the banner of Purplee.

The United States Of Purple's website also provides you the formal opportunity to sign a petition to begin the process of implementing a Constitutional amendment to impose fixed term limits on all Federally elected politicians. Only by turning out the existing political class can we have a chance of addressing and finally resolving the major issues of or times.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wastebook 2012, Part 2: Wasteful Government Spending On Everything From Alcohol Distilleries to Mother Goose To Lego Models

Yesterday, we reviewed the first 50 examples of Federal government wasteful spending from the latest edition of  "Wastebook 2012," a compilation of sinful spending put together by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and his staff.  Today we will cover the second fifty examples of waste that only be described as disgraceful, idiotic, and shameful.

As our national debt soars over $16 TRILLION, I dare anyone to justify this kind of spending when we are burdening ourselves, our kids and our grandkids with TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, debt that was caused in no small part by these types of inane and self serving political expenditures. I dare you.

Before we go through today's despicable wastes of money, consider one historical fact. Several decades ago, the Statue Of Liberty was in need of serious and expensive refurbishment. The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of our country's promise for decades. It represents our freedoms and liberties and the fundamental promise of a good life that drew millions of immigrants past her in New York harbor over the centuries.

Despite her historical and iconic status, not a single Federal taxpayer dollar was spent in her refurbishment. The cost of the refurbishment was covered via private and corporate donations. Thus, if the Statue of Liberty was not worthy of taxpayer dollars for her refurbishment, then none of the programs listed below, including sponsoring a traveling comedy troupe, building a sculpture garden honoring Herbert Hoover's wife, sponsoring the Alabama Wartermelon queen, and others, should be receiving any taxpayer money either. Let their advocates raise their own funds, much like people did to fix up the Statue Of Liberty.

The Senator's entire "Wastebook" report can be accessed at:

This link contains a lot more detail behind the disgraceful spending of the Federal political class.

After these 50 examples, we will put forth some simple steps that we would implement to eliminate these wasteful spending practices and programs. As the Senator points out in his publication, you cannot start saving TRILLIONS of dollars until you start saving billions of dollars. And you cannot start saving billions of dollars until you start saving millions of dollars and so forth.

Thus, while none of these 100 examples will balance the Federal government's budget, remember that these types of programs exist by the tens of thousands across the entire Federal bureaucracy. To quote an old saying: "A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, pretty soon you are talking about soon real money."

The second shameful fifty:

51) This year, identity thieves will collect an estimated $3.9 billion in tax refunds on fraudulent returns they will file using stolen Social Security numbers (SSN). The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an investigation this year outlining what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to do more to prevent rampant tax fraud. Over five years, taxpayers could lose more than $20 billion to crooks. These losses are largely preventable with better anti-fraud measures.

52) The Star Wars Day event, held at the Abington Public Library in Massachusetts, was paid for with $365 in Federal funds, part of an $11,700 grant provided by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

53) NASA funded a state-of-the-art visitor center to replace an existing one five miles down the road. The need for a new facility was certainly not driven by an overwhelming number of visitors. The previous visitor center, which closed this year, received fewer than 40,000 visitors a year on average since 2007 – or roughly 100 people a day.

54) Over the last three years, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $84,000 – including $20,000 in 2012 – to the Circus Day Foundation to host a theatrical circus arts program for students.

55) Watching television reruns gives people an energizing chance to reconnect with pseudo-friends, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study published this year. Researchers used part of $666,905 in NIH grants to look at the phenomenon.

56) The Federal Bureau of Prisons still spends about $1.3 million every year to create hard copies of prisoner x-rays. The bureau also spends taxpayer dollars to mail the copies to different institutions when prisoners are transferred.

The bureau could cut back on waste by using digital x-rays instead, which are available for almost instantaneous analysis. Since they would be stored as computer files, the x-rays also could easily be transferred to other doctors and prisons.

57) To give lawyers a leg up, the National Science Foundation (the NSF is turning into the superstar of wasteful spending) has awarded a $500,000 for LawMeets, an online training program for rookie attorneys. Shouldn’t these new lawyers have been properly trained in law school or they do need additional training, why isn’t their law firms not picking up the tab?

58) In 2002, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) was created to rapidly field and update numerous missile defense systems. In its first decade, the MDA spent over $80 billion developing the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

However, in order to meet an unfeasible development schedule, the agency used a risky, haphazard “concurrent” acquisition strategy. Under the strategy, production of new weapons systems begins before design and testing are complete. This illogical approach resulted in $1 billion unnecessarily being spent to fulfill the MDA requirements.

59) The Gateway Unified School District in Northern California plans to spend $90,750 in Federal funds to purchase high-tech exercise gaming equipment that seems more at home in an arcade than a school.

60) The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a contest offering $100,000 in prizes for the development of mobile phone apps which would allow users to track their home energy usage. However, these types of apps already exist in the marketplace so this effort would not be satisfying an unfilled market need.

61) The City of Ogdensburg, New York, renovated two area houses using money from the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), but then sold them at an enormous loss. This year, the city spent $18,410 for these and other renovations as part of a $250,000 Federal grant used for both improvements to and demolitions of blighted structures,

Renovations of one of the program’s five houses cost $80,000 in total but the city was only able to sell the house for $51,000. Another small house cost $105,000 in federal and state funds to renovate, but was sold for only $42,000.

62) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $15,000 in Federal funds for the construction of a gateway arch at the entry point of the Cottage Grove Historic District in Oregon. A picture of the “arch” shows that it is nothing more than a thin, cast iron sign that spans over a single street, certainly not of the St. Louis Arch magnitude.

63) Government investigators have identified the U.S. Department of Labor’s largest Job Corps contractor, Management and Training Corporation (MTC), as a prime case of waste, fraud, and abuse. MTC has been improperly awarding subcontracts to the HIGHEST bidders.

Several of the questioned sub-contracts involved overpaying for medical services. In multiple cases, after soliciting bids for physician and mental services, the highest bids were selected. Lower-priced options were available to choose from and MTC did not obtain required documentation to support choosing the higher-cost option.

64) The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sends American professional athletes and coaches all around the world to “conduct drills, lead teambuilding sessions, and engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, health, and respect for diversity.” Taxpayers will spend $5.5 million on SportsUnited this year. Note that we are talking highly paid professional athletes from wealthy professional sports organizations, athletes and organizations that should be the source of funding for such travel.

65) A new video game controller being designed with taxpayer dollars might help players catch virtual fish, say researchers at the University of Utah. The new device, which has joysticks that move in response to actions in games, was designed with part of nearly $1.5 million awarded by the National Science Foundation.

66) The American Opportunity Tax Credit was established in the 2009 stimulus package as a way to help people pay for undergraduate education. Eligible taxpayers are able to receive a tax credit of up to $2,500.

An inspector general’s analysis of 2.1 million claims for the credit found 1.7 million filers have received the credit for students even though they provided “no supporting documentation that they attended an educational institution.” Among those improperly receiving the credit were over 63,000 students double-counted as dependents or spouses, 250 prisoners, and 84,754 students who did not have valid Social Security numbers (SSN). The Inspector General said to receive Federal education aid, students generally must have valid SSNs, but for this tax credit, they did not. Unfortunately, the IRS has no effective process in place to identify false claims.

67) The Department of State paid for an American comedy group to make a seven-city tour across India called “Make Chai, Not War.” The full cost to taxpayers was $100,000.

68) An audit program designed to identify overpayments in the Medicaid system costs more than it saves. As it looks for fraud and waste, the Federal government is creating even more, producing a “negative return on investment” for taxpayers.

Since 2005, the National Medicaid Audit Program (NMAP) has cost taxpayers at least $102 million and has only identified $20 million in overpayments. Without significant changes, NMAP will waste over $30 million annually to perform audits. Only a government entity can spend more money looking for wasted money than it recovers. Unbelievable.

69) Officials in one Alabama county used Federal taxpayer dollars to purchase a surveillance system so advanced they cannot even utilize its full capabilities without violating constitutional rights. Alabama officials finished the installation of 196 cameras in three county courthouses using $500,000 from the Department of Justice.

A multi-month investigation into the Constitutional rights issue concluded county officials had no intent to obtain illegal audio recordings when they purchased the equipment.811 However, to avoid pesky constitutionality issues, the courthouse security team has decided to turn off the audio recording features of the system. A cheaper system without audio recording technology would have undoubtedly been a smarter investment and would not have infringed upon the privacy rights of courthouse patrons – or more importantly, our nation’s right to fiscal responsibility.

70) At a cost of several million dollars from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, we now know that male fruit flies are attracted to young females more than to older ones. According to academics funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) their research, published this year, found pheromones – one of the hormones produced in many species, including humans, that causes sexual attractiveness – wane in female fruit flies over time.

71) The city of Providence, Rhode Island has been using part of its Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to issue millions of dollars in risky loans. Now 25 percent of the program’s loans, collectively worth $3.4 million, are delinquent the city and is actively trying to collect $1,365,660 from 11 businesses.

72) A Federal income tax credit created to encourage the purchases of electric vehicles will have “little or no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet” in coming years, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Through 2019, the credit may cost taxpayers $2 billion, including $74 million this year. So while the new tax credit will increase the deficit, it will most likely do little if anything to decrease emissions.

73) A New Hampshire brewery, Smuttynose, will use $750,970 in Federal funds to construct a new brewery and restaurant on farmland outside of Portsmouth. The taxpayer money will help the brewery purchase three brew tanks and install sewer connections to its 42,000-square-foot facility.

74) Using taxpayer dollars, an academic team developed a dancing robot named Shimi to serve as a disc jockey for smartphones. Shimi “is designed to change the way that people enjoy and think about their music,” said its creator. When a smartphone is connected, Shimi “gains the sensing and musical generation capabilities of the user’s mobile device.”

More than the average robot, Shimi can also “[dance] to the rhythm” of the music. Shaped like a small pet, Shimi shakes its speakers and moves a mechanical foot to groove. The robot’s camera will sense a person’s movement and turn its speakers to face the listener.

And what government entity do you think funded this fiasco? Of course, the National Science Foundation forked over $547,430 of taxpayer wealth to accomplish this dubious invention.

75) Although government agencies will provide over $32 million in 2012 for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) – a program intended to expand access to healthy foods and fresh produce in some low-income communities, at least two recent academic studies found no relationship between diet and proximity to grocery stores. Policies promoting healthy food access have been tried before and shown to produce few results. A 15-year study of the relationship between food access and obesity rates came to similar conclusions.

76) New Mexico State University, Las Cruces received a $24,995 Federal grant to develop a course titled, “Should we want to be happy?” The curriculum will focus on “the nature, value and means to obtain happiness.” I know what would make me happy? Eliminating expenses like this one that explore what makes other people happy.

77) For every day researchers spent in one of the U.S. Antarctic research centers, government contractors spent nine days working just to support the science studies. Only one in five taxpayer dollars spent on the centers goes directly toward science projects.

A high-level panel’s Federal review of the $300 million U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) found the program needed dramatic reforms to improve the use of taxpayer dollars on the world’s coldest continent. The recommendations drew on each of the panel members’ experience at the Antarctic science centers. They concluded that at least $20 million a year in savings is possible.

78) The USDA awarded a nearly $50,000 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) to help New York’s Martin Sidor Farms “revamp their marketing strategy to raise brand awareness and increase sales of their North Fork Potato Chips.” The grant will be used to update the company’s website and brochures, and to engage the services of Slightly Mad Communications, a marketing firm, to boost sales.

79) In 2012, the Modernist Journals Project, a joint venture administered by Brown University and the University of Tulsa, was awarded $270,000 in Federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The award was for the creation of “a digital archive of a group of important early 20th-century American periodicals.” The Wastebook questions the need for such an effort since other entities, such as, Google Books, and Project Gutenberg, are already doing the same thing WITHOUT taxpayer funding.

80) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, a billion dollar company, nearly $7 million for the development of natural rubber tires using guayule.

Guayale is a plant native to the American Southwest and Mexico, with a long history as a natural rubber alternative. Cooper Tire will work with academic and government researchers and the Yulex Corporation, a developer of natural rubber products including condoms, latex free gloves, and other medical supplies.

Given that another tire company, Bridgestone, is already doing extensive research into Guayale WITHOUT taxpayer funding, it brings into question why we are paying Cooper Tire to do the same thing.

81) There are 78 structurally deficient bridges in Iowa, yet the state is spending thousands of dollars of Federal transportation funds to pave the way for a sculpture garden rather than fixing the state’s bridges. The sculpture garden will be located in the town of Waterloo, Iowa, and will be dedicated to former resident Lou Henry Hoover, the wife of 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover.

The town recently added a statue of Mrs. Hoover “on the corner of West Fourth and Washington, the former site of Hoovers’ home,” which will be relocated within the park. This existing bronze statue completed in 2004, shows “Hoover as a child with her dog back-to-back with her adult image.” A new bronze statue of Mrs. Hoover will be added.

The garden will feature the various sculptures of the first lady as well as landscaping and sidewalk enhancements, paid for in part with $145,000 of Federal transportation enhancement funds.

82) The National Endowment for the Arts gave $50,000 to fund the 9th Annual Games for Change Festival, a conference focused on “the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.” One featured game, Zombie Yoga, “uses Yoga and visualization to empower the player emotionally.”918 Another game puts players through life situations that would increase someone’s risk for HIV.

83) The U.S. Department of Commerce provided $1 million to Ogden City, Utah, to create a “Mobile App Lab.” The “lab” will include a “code shop operated by the Weber State University Research Foundation, a training center, and office space from high-tech start-ups.” Some hope the lab will “inspire entrepreneurs to get creative in their application development.”

84) The Port of Los Angeles will be spending nearly half a million dollars in energy efficiency funds to upgrade its tour yacht’s engines. The Port uses the 73-foot Angelena II to provide tours, lasting 60 to 90 minutes, of the Port of Los Angeles facilities for up to forty guests. The yacht provides several hundred tours a year “to highlight the capabilities of the Port facilities to customers, constituents, public leaders, foreign dignitaries, media and stakeholders.”

That is the official objective of the yacht. However, two years of the ship’s log show guests included screenwriters from Universal Studios, members of the exclusive Jonathan Club, and dozens of the mayor’s interns.

85) Although many readers are increasingly going high tech, switching from paperbacks and hard cover books to e-books that can be read on Kindles and Nooks, the Fullerton Public Library in California is going a different direction, spending thousands of dollars to install a vending-style book machine at a train station just blocks from the library.

The book machine is intended to provide more convenient access to books for commuters. The Fullerton Public Library used “a $35,000 Federal grant to install the machine, which will include a drop box for returns and a selection of about 500 books for checking out. Talk about going backwards while the world is going forward, a typical government behavior.

86) The Alabama Watermelon Queen went on a tour this year with some financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The state allocated $25,000 in Federal funds to the Alabama Watermelon Association “to promote Alabama’s watermelon industry through appearances of the Alabama Watermelon Queen at various events and locations."

87) Researchers believe they have found another means to help our memories as we age: the “World of Warcraft,” a fantasy video game featuring characters like orcs, trolls, and warlocks. A team of researchers used part of $1.2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (Again!!!) to continue a video game study this year to see if playing “World Of Warcraft” can improve our memories.

88) As recently as October 2012, a Federally funded program to help facilitate the sale of nearly 9,000 homes abandoned after Hurricane Katrina was still holding over 3,000 homes. Over $21.6 million was spent in the last year to maintain the homes and administer the program, with $5.8 million remaining. Since the program’s creation, the Federal cost has been over $200 million, much of it coming through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

89) In the name of increasing access to healthy food, healthy food vending machines costing $11,000 each, total cost over $612,000, are being installed in schools throughout Miami-Dade County. The machines are stocked with healthy lunch options such as wraps, salads, and fruit and yogurt parfaits. While the machines may be cool, there are more cost-effective ways to provide these healthy options to students, such as serving them from the regular cafeteria counters.

So why use the vending machines at all? “Students are very tech-savvy and love to text, punch in numbers and get things quickly,” one school official explained. Wow, he convinced me that this is a good reason to spend over half a million dollars when cheaper options are available

90) In spite of the robust demand for alcoholic beverages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $99,000 grant to the new Clayton Distillery Company – a New York distillery – in 2012. The distillery hopes to get off the ground and start producing beverages by the end of the year. Using taxpayer money, owners plan to buy a copper still and stainless steel vodka column. The distillery believes the grant will cover two-thirds of the equipment cost.

91) With $21,000 from the Pentagon, the 100-Year Starship organization hosted a September symposium for interstellar discussion. The focus of the gathering was to discuss how to get a manned spaceship to a planet in another solar system within the next century – a goal described as “most grandiose … at a time when only two nations – neither of them the United States, at least currently – can send humans into space.”

92) Thirty-thousand Lego pieces, paid for with a $3,700 National Scenic Byways grant, are being assembled to build a miniature replica of a historic downtown street in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The 18-foot-long display will depict Queen Street as it likely appeared in the 1920s and ‘30s. It is expected to be a permanent exhibit at the “for the kids, by George” Children’s Museum, which will showcase George Washington’s “adventures in the Eastern Panhandle” of West Virginia. The museum is primarily funded with a $290,000 National Scenic Byways grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration.

93) For years, the General Services Administration (GSA) has been awarding contracts to thousands of companies for outdated products like typewriters, trophies, photographic equipment, and commemorative items, even though most of the contracts produce little or no sales. The agency has not previously taken the time to determine which contracts it no longer should maintain.

The GSA is now planning to eliminate contracts for unused products and hopes “directing scarce acquisition resources away from the more than 8,000 obsolete contracts – which each cost at least $3,000 per year to administer – will streamline the schedule process and save more than $24 million a year.”

94) The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is funding over half a million dollars in summer stipends for scholars and teachers to examine a variety of projects, a large number of which range from the irrelevant to the bizarre:
  • Kalamazoo College received $6,000 in summer stipends to study “Priests and Concubines in England, 1375-1559.”It will “examine both cultural perceptions of clerical concubinage and the lived experiences of priests, concubines, and their children in late medieval England.”
  • At Ohio University, a professor used $6,000 for her scholastic inquest into romantic literature and suicide in Britain.
  • $6,000 was spent for a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor to lead a project titled “Music in the Films of Robert Altman: From M*A*S*H to A Prairie Home Companion.”
  • Another $6,000 was awarded to the University of Utah to lead a project titled “The Mother Goose Translation Project.”
95) With part of $548,731 in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one group of researchers discovered adults in their thirties who drink heavily also feel immature.

96) The Idaho Firearms and Accessories Manufacturers Association (IFAMA) received $25,000 in taxpayer funds to study the economic success of the Idaho gun industry. The group said it also spent part of taxpayers’ money on what amounted to a gun show.

97) The Small Business Administration in 2012 arranged over $2.0 million in loan guarantees for ten cupcake shops across the country. Taxpayers are on the hook for the loans if the businesses fail.

98) Not surprisingly, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $1.3 million for a study to test “the user experience, WiFi, 3G, and 4G performance, and even the performance of the operating system.”

Using taxpayer dollars, researchers will give 200 students new Samsung Nexus S phones running Google’s Android. The phones will come with one year of free, unlimited service from Sprint, who is donating the service to the study. After the one-year period ends, the students will pay a discounted rate of $44 per month.

Students are supposed to use the free devices as their primary phones, and they will participate in a few hours of cell phone experiments monthly. Some of the experiments will be interactive, such as downloading apps and using them during the experiment.

While advancing cell phone technology and development may be helpful to consumers, research is better funded by private industry, which will be the primary beneficiary from future successes. More cheap corporate welfare at the taxpayers’ expense.

99) A motorsports museum showcasing the “rich agricultural and motorsports history” in Kossuth County, Iowa, “through the display of key pieces of farm equipment, farm tools, and racing displays” was approved for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant in June.

The Kossuth County Agricultural & Motorsports Museum will be built at the county fairgrounds. “When completed, the museum will contain tributes to agricultural history in Kossuth County, a tribute to the history of dirt track racing in the area, and also a large toy train display.”

The $300,000 USDA grant will “help finance the construction” of the museum. Do our children have this money to spare?

100) In 2009, the United States Postal Service (USPS) printed one billion stamps commemorating one of television’s most well-known families, the Simpsons. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie each received their own portrait.

Sales were far below USPS’ expectations, leaving managers to perhaps say “D’Oh!” In their first two years, only 318 million Simpsons stamps sold. This move alone wasted $1.2 million.1072 “Nearly twice as many Simpsons stamps were printed than the most popular commemorative ever issued,” according to the IG. An Elvis stamp issued in 1993 was the agency’s most popular at 517 million sold. I guess no one bothered to check history or to produce the Simpsons as they were needed, not all at once.

Disgraceful. This is what our politicians work on and worry about but they have been unable to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to put together an annual Federal budget, something they have not done for  over three years.

The follwing steps would certinaly be good first steps to getting this insanity under control:

  • Step 1 from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" would reduce Federal government spending by 10% a year for five years. The theory of this step is that if you gradually reduce the budget of a government agency by 50% but still hold them accountable for their duties, these types of wasteful spending would vanish as the dollars to fund them vanished.
  • Step 39 from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" would impose term limits on all Federal politicians, "one and done." Most of the current Washington politicians have been around for ten or more years. They created this mess of wasteful spending, they are unlikly, unable, or unwilling to fix it. Time to replace them with people who actually care about the country's financial status and future.
  • Step 44 from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" would not allow any Federal taxpayer money be spent on any project unless that project significantly impacted the lives of a substantial number of residents of at least five states. Federal tax money should be spent on national programs and projects. State, local, and volunteer money should be spent on local projects.
  • And finally, Step 34 would remove any politician from any Congressional committee post that was not doing its job. In this case, any politiccian sitting on the House and Senate budget committees would be removed since they have gone three years without creating a budget, the primary function of their committees. Until we start holding politicians accountable for their performance, their performance will continue to stink.

There you have it, 100 examples of why our national debt is out of control. 100 reasons why no American, rich or poor, should spend another dime in taxes until the political class proves they are worthy of managing our wealth. With these 100 examples, it is pretty obvious they are not worthy.

The really sad part of all this is that we have not shared with you the overriding reason for this dismal financial management  performance, as identified by the Senator. We will cover this overriding reason tomorrow.

We invite all readers of this blog to visit our new website, "The United States Of Purple," at:

The United States of Purple is a new grass roots approach to filling the office of President of The United States by focusing on the restoration of freedom in the United States, focusing on problem solving skills and results vs. personal political enrichment, and imposing term limits on all future Federal politicians. No more red states, no more blue states, just one United States Of America under the banner of Purple.

The United States Of Purple's website also provides you the formal opportunity to sign a petition to begin the process of implementing a Constitutional amendment to impose fixed term limits on all Federally elected politicians. Only by turning out the existing political class can we have a chance of addressing and finally resolving the major issues of or times.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom: