Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July, 2015, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Obscene Government Salaries, Obscene Wordlwide Violence, Madoona Gets Taxpayer Money, and More

At the beginning of each month we take a week or so to review the latest insanity from the American political class. Insanity from them includes a wide range of very depressing actions which can include wasteful spending, idiotic quotes, an inefficient and ineffective government bureaucracy, failed economic policies, etc. Every month we continue to prove that we are being served by the worst set of politicians ever.

And as you will see, this month’s review and discussions do nothing to prove that this thesis is wrong in any way:

1) It is both funny and frustrating when a politician or government bureaucrat acts like they are smarter than the rest of us. Given the track record of politicians and bureaucrats in wasting taxpayer wealth and never operating an efficient and effective government program, for any of them to talk to down to us or think we are less smart than them is just plain insane.

Let’s start this insanity off with some background data. According to a Pew Research effort from mid-2014, 53% of Americans either believe that the Earth is not warming or that it is warming naturally with mankind’s existence and actions having nothing to do with the warming. Given that background, consider the condescension from current EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy relative to global warming doubters: “When I put a report out on acting on climate like we did yesterday that shows how dramatically our world will change if we don’t act, and just the benefits we can deliver if we do. I am doing that not to push back on climate deniers. You can have fun doing that if you want, but I’ve batted my head against the wall too many times and if the science already hasn’t changed their mind it never will.

But in any democracy, it’s not them that carries the day. It is normal human beings that haven’t put their stake into politics above science. It’s normal human beings that want us to do the right thing, and we will if you help us.”

Now, many times in this blog, in fact every month, we have discussed the reality that being a global warming doubter and a believer in science is a perfectly sane and rational position to hold. In fact, in 2014, NASA admitted that it was not able to explain “the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.” In addition, despite rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1997. 

Despite all of the data and realities, Ms. McCarthy believes that 53% of Americans are not “normal human beings.” Maybe she needs to be reminded that regardless of what she thinks, regardless of how condescending she is, she just insulted 53% of Americans by calling us not normal, the same people that pay for her high salary and standard of living.

2) A major, overarching foreign relations policy objective of any American Presidency should be to protect the safety of every American. One way to do that is to minimize the violence and tyranny in the world to better shield Americans and American interests.

Now, given the narcissistic nature of this President, I am sure he thinks that he has been a superstar when it comes to foreign policy. In fact, he recently stated that he made the U.S. the most respected country in the world again, a position we soundly rebuked at the following link:

But it is pretty difficult to say his foreign policy is a success since as the leader of the strongest country in the world, he has oversaw a substantial increase in the amount of violence throughout the world, which indirectly (so far) places every American’s life in a higher chance of danger:

  • According to a recent article by the UK Telegraph paper: “The theory that human beings are evolving into more placid, cooperative creatures is undermined by research that suggests the world is considerably less peaceful than it was eight years ago.”
  • “Last year 180,000 people were killed in internal conflicts, a number 3.5 times higher than it was in 2010″ and “death from terrorism has risen fivefold – killing more than 32,000 people in 2014,” quoting Dr. David Hammond of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
  • The article reports that the United Nations estimates that almost 1% of the world’s population is now refugees.
  • This translates into 60 million people having been displaced because of the increased violence, making this level of refugees being at the highest it has been since the Second World War”
  • In another measure of increasing violence, worldwide military and security spending was a whopping $14.3 TRILLION in 2014, an increase of over 15% since 2008.
  • The $14.3 TRILLION is the equivalent of the combined economies of Brazil,Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Since much of world’s violence and military activity is in the Middle East, an area where the Obama administration has been actively involved, from Iran to Syria to Libya, it is pretty clear that this administration’s foreign policy efforts have been a failure.

Tough to make the world more violent when your public intent is to make it less violent, epic insanity.

3) As we all know, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were prime reasons why the Great Recession occurred. It resulted in the American taxpayer spending almost $200 billion to bail out these poorly managed, politically corrupt government entities. 

Thus, it seems a little stupid and wrong when both organizations announced recently that the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will get a raise in their annual salaries from $600,000 to $4 million. $4 million a year, ten times more than what the President is paid. The reason given for the seven fold increase is that higher salaries were needed to attract good executives. 

To its credit, the Obama administration opposed the obnoxious pay raises but legally could not stop them. Just another area where this administration is powerless to have any influence or pull, not even being able to exert its will within the Federal government it supposedly leads. No government employee deserves a $6 million annual salary.

4) We have reported many times in this blog how the farm subsidy programs of the Federal government have made it easy for rich, non-farmers to get handsome sums of money in the form of subsidies even though most of them never farm the land they own. In the latest episode of American taxpayers paying huge sums to rich landowners, the New York Post recently reported that Madonna is the latest millionaire to get government subsidies.

The Post reported that Madonna purchased a taxpayer owned piece of land next to her $4.9 million mansion in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. Apparently, she said she plans to use the land for a tree nursery. In fact, she has been planting Leyland Cypress, eastern white pines and Robusta juniper trees. Unbelievably, she is now entitled to collect multiple tax benefits because of the land’s “agricultural” use.

But the dealings are a little shady. The county and town of Southampton had purchased the the 24 acre parcel for $10 million in 2010 and had planned to preserve it as is. Somehow, Madonna paid only $2.2 million for it just five years later. In addition, since the land was zoned for “production for commercial purposes of agricultural products,” local residents say she is only growing the trees out of a legal obligation and to give her mansion more privacy and tax subsidies. 

According to the article, Madonna will receive big tax breaks from the county that are only given to farmers, and will pay just $2,260.28 a year in local property taxes on the 24 acre plot, all because she is planting a few trees. For comparison, the owner of one acre across the street from this parcel pays $6,841.52 in taxes annually.

“That’s not a nursery,” area farmer John White said. “She just doesn’t want people to see her riding — and falling.”

So, as we see, it is not only the Federal government that gives away taxpayer money to wealthy Americans for doing nothing under farm subsidy laws, local and county governments also get into the act of giving away taxpayer wealth.

That will do it for today. Giving millionaires taxpayer money for not farming, giving away millions of taxpayer dollars to leaders of dysfunctional government entities, increased world wide violence levels since the Obama administration came into power, and a top Obama executive calling the majority of Americans “not normal.” 

The diversity of political class insanity continues to astound, depress, and infuriate all of us.

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