Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicken Little And The Washington Political Class, Part 2: Biden and The Hyatt Regency

Last week we did a popular post that showed how inane and stupid the Chicken Little talk was from Obama and other Washington politicians relative to the financial sequester:


The sequester required a small 2% across the board cut in spending by the Federal government because the President and those in Congress were too incompetent to come up with a rational plan to trim government spending over a 17 month period.

The President was given the task of deciding how to cut the spending by a measly 2% and he chose the most vindictive and cruel ways to do it, ensuring that the citizens of this country would suffer the most despite the fact that the government wastes hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

He chose to shut down school and family tours of the White House despite the low cost of continuing them and the tradition of continuing them. He chose to release over 2,000 illegal alien criminals, of which over 400 had been convicted of a violent crime. He threatened to shut down the long tradition of the White House Easter Egg Hunt despite its low cost. He threatened other measures to maximize the negative impact on America.

We pointed to a number of ways that the government could have cut far more expense with much less pain to Americans. However, politically, that was not the best route for the President, with vindictiveness and pain being his path of choice. A week or so after that post, we have uncovered a whole new set of wasteful spending projects and programs that Obama should have shut down long ago but did not.

1) Last week CBS News, a main component of the mainstream media, actually did a piece on government waste that should have been cut before it even happened. The IRS spent $60,000 to have a mediocre Star Trek themed video produced for internal use. The video can be viewed at the following link:


You cannot claim that you are running an efficient government operation when tens of thousands of dollars are spent on unneeded videos, especially poorly made ones like this piece of trash that will have no redeeming value and impact virtually any American’s life. Makes you wonder how many more such government videos are produced that are just as unnecessary.

2) U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont recently wrote a letter to a Vermont citizen regarding the status of the next generation U.S. military fighter jet, the F-35 which has been under development since 2001: “The F-35 program has been poorly managed and is a textbook example of how not to buy military equipment. The causes of the F-35 program’s present difficulties are too numerous to detail in my response to your letter; however, I believe the F-35 program is approaching a point where the military services and a majority of Congress will recognize that the jet is just too costly to proceed with purchases at today’s planned levels.”

While I applaud the Senator’s candor, I think he is being a little too kind. According to a recent report from the Secretary of Defense by the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, J. Michael Gilmore, dated February 15, 2013, the fighter’s ultimate cost is likely to be about $1.5 TRILLION which will put it at 100% over budget. The plane currently cannot fly in bad weather, on instruments, or at night due to failures in many of it systems. These failures exist despite the fact that the American taxpayer has already spent $400 billion on this disaster.

$400 billion already spent, No viable jet fighter in sight. Over $1 TRILLION still to be spent. You could give a lot of White House tours for $1.5 TRILLION.

3) Apparently the Federal Department of Education has a great amount of say in the education processes on native Americans. As a result of sequester, this administration and its strategy to make these measly 2% cuts hurt as much as possible, forced expense cuts on Native American schools in Minnesota, according to the outraged Congresswoman from that district, Congresswoman Betty McCollum:
  • Native American schools in Minnesota are freezing salaries, leaving job openings unfilled, enlarging classroom sizes, and making other cost savings moves to satisfy demands being enforced by the Department of Education.
  • The White Earth Reservation tribal school may cut the school year down to save money.
  • The Red Lake School District has cut security staff.
However, at the same time these kids’ education capabilities are being cut, the Department of Education is creating a totally new position that pays over $127,000 a year. The job is going to a former aid of Congressman Charles Rangel, David Johns, and is titled, “Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans.”

I would assume that this is not a solitary position and that this new executive director will also have a staff of people burning through taxpayer money. You decide: do not create and staff this position and new entity, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in
order to minimize the cuts to Native American education processes or expand the Federal government bureaucracy and screw the kids’ education. Not being the vindictive type like our President, I would have kept the resources with the kids and not the bureaucrats.

4) And for the worst hypocrisy of all, Vice President Joe Biden. He recently flew to Europe where he spent one day London and one day in Paris. Total cost to the American taxpayer: about $1 million. Yes, one million for a two night stand in Europe. Copies of the receipts for these two nights can be seen at the following link:


Details of the London expenditures include the following:
  • Biden’s entourage needed 136 rooms at the Hyatt Regency, certainly not your low end hotel accommodations by any stretch of the imagination.
  • These 136 rooms resulting in a total of 893 room nights for the stay for members of his security force and other entourage members, all for a one night visit.
  • The total cost just for the hotel stay came out to $459,338.65, or a little more than $500 per room for these public servants
Comparable expenses were run up at the Paris stopover.

Look, I understand the need for our politicians to visit overseas locations and meet foreign leaders. I understand they need to be kept safe, it is a dangerous world out there. But come on, 136 rooms, Hyatt Regency, $500 a night? Why did these people not stay at our embassies, they are secure. The London embassy certainly has the room:

Or why couldn’t Biden have stayed at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, another secure location which also certainly has the space while the rest of his entourage stayed at the equivalent of the Red Roof:

The reason he did not is that Biden is just like every other politician in the White House and in Congress: they are so out of touch with reality and the need to intelligently and unselfishly cut expenses that they would rather have the people of America suffer before they see their plush, extravagant, and selfish life styles affected.

Biden’s expenses could have been used to operate White House tours for a whole year. Instead, the tours are out for Americans, the Hyatt Regency is still a go for politicians.

This Chicken Little behavior of our political class through this whole sequester mess, a process they agreed to 17 months ago, proves once and for all that we need term limits more than ever in this country, as proposed by Step 39 in “Love My Country, Loathe My Government.” When the ruling political class is more focused on making life painful for the citizens in this country, it is definitely time to replace those that find being vindictive more preferable to being compassionate and caring.

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