Monday, June 10, 2013

June, 2013, Political Class Insanity, Bonus Post: Horrific Political Priorities, Welfare For Dead People, Welfare For Rich People, And More

Okay, I know I promised no more political class insanity this month but by the time I got done with the first five posts of lunacy, another set of idiocy from our politicians and dysfunctional government have cropped up. Some of these are so precious, and inane, that they cannot wait until next month.

The first post for this month’s insanity can be accessed at:

The remaining insanity posts follow after this one. The final, final, final set of insane behavior from the American political class is listed below:

1) We have a $17 TRILLION debt. We are under educating our kids. We have a bad homeless problem in this country. Not enough research is being done to cure diseases of the aging like dementia that will soon overwhelm the country. There are lots of good needs in this country that are starved for resources.

But these good needs have not stopped the Federal government, via the Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded more than $1.3 million to Columbia University to study how straight people are using the Internet for “online sexual pursuits."

“Researchers have raised significant concerns about the Internet's potential to facilitate sexual encounters that result in unsafe sex and place individuals at risk for STD/HIV,” states the grant, awarded to Columbia University. “Yet, how using the Internet for sexual pursuits may shape sexual behavior, including risk taking, remains a very poorly understood phenomenon, especially among heterosexuals.”

Additionally, this study will also look into how people misrepresent themselves online, and how the “online presentation” attracts people to engage in real-life sexual encounters. Misrepresentation of self on the Internet, who knew?

Are you kidding me? Bottom line is “who cares” and really, how will this small (only 150 people in the sample size) study make a substantial impact on a substantial amount of Americans? Bad, stupid priorities. Lord know this issue does not make the average American’s top 100 list of pressing issues in their lives.

2) A recent audit by Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) found that:
  • At least 1,164 dead Massachusetts welfare recipients had been sent $2.39 million over the course of six to 27 months AFTER going into their burial plot or cremation urn.
  • The audit found that in “a majority of sampled cases, store purchases, and ATM transactions were made after the recipients’ dates of death, suggesting that unauthorized persons were using public benefits.”
  • The audit also shows that food stamp benefits are going to individuals who live outside of Massachusetts, a no-no, and that Massachusetts food stamp recipients were using their welfare largesse in resort towns such as Las Vegas and even in the Virgin Islands.
  • On a similar note, The Boston Herald recently found "the state overpaid $27 million to food stamp recipients and then paid another $3.4 million in employee overtime to correct problems."
That last one is a double whammy. The Massachusetts government and the political class that operate it are so inept that it cost that state’s taxpayers an additional $3.4 million to fix what the government screwed up. If there was any justice in politics, the $3.4 million mistake should have been covered by docking the pay of the governor and everyone politician in the state legislature.

3) We will cover this topic in much more detail in the near future but I wanted to get a taste out about this insanity today. Congress is currently debating a new farm aid bill that is probably the most wasteful piece of legislative that constantly gets reenacted whenever it is about to expire. To give you an idea of how wasteful and insane it is, consider just a very small sample of people that have benefited from previous farm bill subsidies:
  1. According to government data compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the farm owned by former President Carter and his family collected $272,288 in subsidy payments from 1995 through 2012.
  2. During that same period, our current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack received $82,874 in USDA benefits for his 592-acre farm in Davis County, Iowa.
  3. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Michael T. Scuse owns about 21% of a farm in New Castle County, Delaware, a farm which taxpayers have paid out a whopping $1,051,107 from 1995 through 2012.
  4. There are no farms in Manhattan, but NYC residents there have collected subsidies totaling nearly $9 million in the past seven years.
  5. NYC struggling farmers include Mark F. Rockefeller ($356,018) and David Rockefeller ($591,057). These are the Rockefellers of obscene wealth fame who got filthy rich via Standard Oil, Chase Manhattan Bank, etc.
  6. In the ghetto of Beverly Hills, California, the ESTATE of comedian Jack Benny has collected $18,120 for a farm in Madera County, California, while $142,933 was been paid to Mary Ann Mobley (Miss America of 1959) for a farm in Madison County, Mississippi.
Disgraceful. Current and ex-politicians setting themselves up to get free taxpayer wealth even though the had or currently have high paying government jobs. Wealthy Americans in the largest urban city in the country getting taxpayer wealth probably for only owning some farmland somewhere.

4) Remember the Chicken Little sequester horror stories Obama and his colleagues were throwing out earlier this year? The Federal government sequester required the Obama administration to cut Federal government spending by a measly 2% or so, or about $80 billion in a grossly bloated multi-trillion dollar budget.

Rather than minimize the “pain” of sequester, the Obama administration went out of its way to make the small, small budget cuts as painful as possible for ordinary Americans. White House tours were terminated, Native American schools had their funding cut, air traffic controllers were put on leave in order to make the travel experience as bad as possible, etc.

According to a recent Washington Times report and analysis, they lied. There is no other way to describe their Chicken Little horror predictions. Why? The Times analysis found that there are currently about 27,000 Federal government job vacancies being advertised for potential new employees:
  • The budget cuts known as sequestration were supposed to wreak havoc, forcing the shrinking of critical workforces including airport security officers and food inspectors.
  • But since sequestration kicked in March 4, the government has posted openings for 4,300 federal job titles to hire some 10,300 people.
  • The median position has a salary topping out at $76,000, and one-fourth of positions pay $113,000 or more, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of federal job listings.
  • Altogether, the jobs will pay up to $792 million per year. Including job postings that have been open since before sequestration, the government is in the market for 27,000 employees who will make up to $1.8 billion a year.
More jobs have been posted since sequester. High paying jobs, much more than what most average Americans earn. Almost a $2 billion a year to be spent on future Federal employees‘ wages. Wouldn’t it have been a better idea not to hire additional employees and put that saved money towards the sequester requirements?

You cannot say the budget cuts are harmful and dangerous on one hand and then go out and hire 27,000 more Federal employees on the other hand. And they expect us to trust anything they say?

5) One last item. Ten members of Congress recently signed a letter which they made public and which said they wanted the National Football League’s Washington Redskins to change their name, make it less offensive to native Americans.

Let’s get real one more time: in these times of chronic and high unemployment, the under educating of our kids, the lack of a national energy strategy, escalating health care costs and a disaster known as Obama Care, a $17 TRILLION national debt, the integrity sapping Benghazi/IRS/press spying/Fast and Furious scandals, a lost and expensive war on drugs, and a myriad of other major problems facing just about every American, these ten Congressional people and their staffs have nothing better to do then to work on this issue, an issue that also does not make the top 100 of the average American’s fears and concerns.

I promise, that is it for political class insanity for this month. I cannot take any more of their lying, their wasting of money on wealthy Americans using farm subsidies as a cover story, sending money to dead people, and silly and useless Internet sex studies. It never ends.

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