Sunday, October 11, 2015

October, 2015, Bonus Post, Political Class Insanity: More Food Stamp Corruption, Failed Green Energy Projects, and Ineffective Congressional Members

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane and idiotic politician comments, etc.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity post we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history

Although we thought yesterday would be the final post on this month’s political class insanity, more insanity popped up in the past day or so that we want to get in for this month:

1) We have often talked about how Obama’s administration gave away almost $40 billion, mostly to Democrat supporters’ alternative energy companies, and got the American taxpayer nothing in return. Companies like Solyndra, Beacon, A123, and dozens of others just sucked down taxpayer money for nothing.

The latest example of why government and politicians should never get involved in trying to manipulate markets and realities comes from California and their state government’s failure to successfully change the market for alternative energy:
  • The California Clean Energy Jobs Act from 2012 raised corporate taxes for businesses operating in the state of California in order to subsidize and pay for clean energy programs and projects.
  • Many of these projects were supposed to be focused on state schools.
  • The objective of the legislation was to generate over $550 million on an annual basis and create, out of thin air, 11,000 “green jobs.”
  • But the Associated Press recently reported that the objectives are not being met and that more than half of $297 million that has been given to schools has been eaten up by consultants and energy auditors.
  • The oversight board that was created by the law to oversee the entire program and submit annual progress reports to the state government has never even met.
  • Oh, and those 11,000 green jobs, only 1,700 have been created so far, less than 20% of the objective. Pathetic.
Why do politicians always think that they are smarter than the market and more efficient and effective than what private industry and entrepreneurs can do? They almost always fail when trying compete and create in the marketplace. 

This California failure is very similar to a failed energy program that came out of Obama’s Economic Stimulus Program. In a similar Federal government program from several years ago, an October 2012 report from the U.S. Labor Department’s inspector general found that only 11,613 workers hired as a result of the stimulus program were still employed six months after the program began. This was a pathetic 16% of the goal, about the same success, or failure rate, of the California program. 

Thus, the California politicians had a benchmark for their legislation, decided to ignore reality and that benchmark, and implemented a failed alternative energy effort, just like the Feds. Insanity.

2) As we all know, the Federal government runs some very corrupt, crime infested, and wasteful programs. The three biggest Federal programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security easily lose over $200 billion a year from criminal activity and poorly run bureaucracies.

But state politicians are not much better at running a tight program, as witnessed by recent news out of Michigan. Three Muslim brothers in Grand Rapids, who were operating the Middle Eastern Market, pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud that cost taxpayers well over $1.2 million from two Federal food assistance programs that were administered by the state of Michigan. They pleaded guilty in order to allow two other brothers to not also be prosecuted.

And even worse news, they had been running their scam for nine years. The scam operated by providing food assistance recipients with a reduced amount of cash for their food stamps. The brothers would then use the cards at full value to buy other products. Given that the number of people getting food assistance support has risen by 50% since Obama took office and is now over 46 million people, it is highly likely that this Grand Rapids bust is not the only corrupt operation bilking the American taxpayer.

3) We have often made the case that we are suffering through the worst set of American politicians in the history of the country. According to the numbers, we are probably correct:
  • In a July public opinion poll from Gallup, they found that the current 114th Congress, the current Congress, has an approval rating of 17%.
  • The long term average of previous polls on different sessions of Congress is more than twice as much at 34%.
  • According to, the last two Congressional session have enacted fewer laws than any other Congress since 1947, 114 laws in each session.
  • The current Congressional session may pass substantially fewer laws than this pathetic 114.
Now, if Congress passed only three pieces of legislation a year that actually resolved a major issue, that would be better than passing 114 peices of legislaiton that do nothing, quality is always better than quanity. But the current political class has neither, quality or quanitity, the worst of all possible outcomes.

To further prove our point about how lame our current set of politicians are, consider an analysis done by the InsideGov organization. It created an Effectiveness Score to determine the least-effective members of Congress. The Effectiveness Score is the percentage of bills sponsored by each Congressperson over their time in office that went on to pass through committee to be considered by the entire Congress. Using this analysis, they came up with the 35 most ineffective politicians currently serving in Congress.

The track records of ineffectiveness of the worst Congressional offenders from that list of 35 are listed below. I did not include Congressional representatives that had been in office for less than five years. They are still learning the ropes and their efforts probably get little regard from the long time power brokers in Congress. 

But consider how lame some of these longer term Congressional members are when it comes to bringing forth important pieces of legislation:

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr 
Effectiveness Score: 2%
Total Sponsored Bills: 420
Bills Passed Committee: 9
Serving Since: 2007
  • Notes: a whopping 420 bills sponsored, but only 9 getting out of committee for an effectiveness score of 2%. Do you know of any job or position in the real world where you would keep that job if your success rate was 2%?
Congressman Richard E. Neal 
Effectiveness Score: 2%
Total Sponsored Bills: 160
Bills Passed Committee: 3
Serving Since: 1989
  • Notes: At least Senator Casey was busy, sponsoring 420 mostly ill fated pieces of legislation over eight years, more than 50 a year. Congressman Neal has been around for 26 years, about four times longer than Casey but with only 160 bills sponsored, less than 7 a year. Pathetic.

Congressman Keith Ellison
Effectiveness Score: 1%
Total Sponsored Bills: 134
Bills Passed Committee: 2
Serving Since: 2007

Congressman Michael M. Honda
Effectiveness Score: 1%
Total Sponsored Bills: 135
Bills Passed Committee: 1
Serving Since: 2001
  • Notes: In Congress for 14 years and a grand total of ONE sponsored bill got through committee.
Congressman Steve Israel
Effectiveness Score: 1%
Total Sponsored Bills: 231
Bills Passed Committee: 2
Serving Since: 2001
Congressman Andre Carson #4
Effectiveness Score: 0%
Total Sponsored Bills: 50
Bills Passed Committee: 0
Serving Since: 2008
  • Notes: Seven years in Congress and yet to get any sponsored bill through committee.

Congressman Steve King #1
Effectiveness Score: 0%
Total Sponsored Bills: 94
Bills Passed Committee: 0
Serving Since: 2003
  • Notes: Twelve years and Congress and yet to get one bill through committee.
Pathetic performance by people earning over $170,000 a year. No doubt we are living through the worst set of politicians ever to hold office. This type of performance illustrates why term limits are such a good idea. 

How much worse could it get if we replaced every member of Congress with a whole new set of people every few years? The current members are wasting time on legislation that never even gets out of committee while major issues facing Americans never get resolved. Heck, my dog could do just as good as people like Congressmen King and Israel whose Effectiveness Score is 0%.

That will do it for this month’s insanity. Ineffective legislators, food stamp corruption, and more failed expensive green energy/alternative energy disasters from our political class. More insanity next month...unfortunately.

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:

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