Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December, 2015, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Bomb Detecting Elephants, Social Security Ineptness, TSA Insanity and More

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.

So let’s get started with the latest insanity:

1) A primary, continuing theme in our political class insanity series is the fact that the Washington political class and the Federal government it oversees waste hundreds of billions of dollars a year from wasteful spending, inefficient operations, and outright criminal fraud. 

This point was driven home again in an article by The Hill back in May, 1015. The article featured some of the waste that was uncovered by a Senate oversight committee headed by Senator John McCain called “America’s Most Wasted.” Highlights of that analysis included the following atrocities:

  • The Federal government spends almost $300 billion a year on hundreds of expired Federal government programs.
  • This number was based on a Congressional Budget Office analysis that was released back in January. 
  • Some of these programs included Army research done relative to bomb detecting elephants ($50,000), puppet shows in Vermont, and the creation of a dog bite prevention website ($391,000).
  • $225 million was incorrectly sent by the Social Security Administration to 106,000 citizens. 
  • The National Guard has spent $49 million on advertising agreements with pro sports leagues to support recruiting.
  • The government spent $14 million on a program at the Department of Agriculture to develop a catfish inspection office even though the Food and Drug Administration already has one.
  • The EPA spent $15,000 to study pollution from backyard barbeques.
Nowhere in the Constitution is it stated that taxpayer wealth should be used to study barbeque smoke, puppet shows, redundant catfish inspections, etc. And of this expense is being wasted while tens of millions of Americans are either homeless, hungry, or unemployed. Pathetic insanity.

2) As a result of the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve printed trillions dollars of money to try to restart economic growth. Given that we are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars, one would hope that someone, somewhere was tracking that flow of the trillions and making sure that it was being used the way it was intended to be used.

But as always when dealing with politicians and the government operations they are supposed to be overseeing, that is a false hope. Take a look at the following video where a Congressman is asking the head of the inspector general organization within the Federal Reserve if anyone, anywhere is tracking those TRILLIONS of dollars. I guarantee that you will be shocked by the non-answers and half baked answers the head inspector general gives. 

The bottom line is that the Federal government printed and distributed TRILLIONS of dollars and has no idea whether it did any good, where that money went, how it was used, etc.:

3) While the inspector general at the Fed is obviously not doing her job, as the previous video shows, the inspector general at the Social Security Administration (SSA) continues to uncover massive ineptness and fraud within that organization. Figure this one out. The latest audit from the Social Security Administration found that SSA erroneously sent out $128.3 million in so-call “low-dollar” overpayments between 2008 and 2013. The SSA recognized their mistake and tried to recover the overpayments, a good thing.

Unfortunately, they are so incompetent that it cost them $323 million in expense to try and recover the $128.3 million and ended up collecting only $109.4 million. Thus, they ended up spending almost three times the amount of money that they recovered, making a waste of taxpayer money even worse, spending over $213.6 million at the end of the day in an effort to recover $128.3 million. You cannot make up this nonsense. 

4) The following video is short but gives a concise insight of how large, unwieldy and freedom threatening government has become. Rather than repeat all of the scary stats within the video, just consider the following nuggets:

  • 21.3 million people, or 16% of the voting population works for some level of government in this country. Thus, a huge voting bloc that would want to extend and enlarge their own salaries, benefits, etc., has a big say who is elected to the detriment of non-government employees who are responsible for the well being of these government employees.
  • Before the last recession started, the average total compensation package (i.e. wages, benefits,etc.) for those not working in government was about $61,000 a year while the compensation package for the average government employee was $123,000. If anything, as you will see in the video, that gap has probably gotten worse since the recession started.
See the rest of the depressing news at:

5) Let’s finish today’s political class insanity with another visit to the buffoons over at the TSA, that government entity that is supposed to protect the traveling public. Of all the government organizations we talk about, the TSA has to be the inept, incompetent group of government employees when it comes to doing their job effectively and efficiently.

We already discussed the reality that when a field test was done to find out how often a fake weapon or bomb could be smuggled past TSA screeners, those screeners failed a whopping 95% of the time to identify and confiscate the dummy weapons and bombs. This is just one of many screw ups we have covered relative to the TSA over the years.

And to that history of ineptness, we add the following failure. The Associated Press recently reported that a convicted male sex offender used a stolen female boarding pass assigned to a female to pass through TSA security screening and almost made it onto a plane in Utah. The guy allegedly took a boarding pass that a woman passenger had accidently left behind at a check-in kiosk and used it to get past TSA.

Fortunately, the woman who lost her boarding pass got a replacement boarding pass which likely led to the discovery that the guy was not the name on the woman's original boarding pass. So not only did the TSA screeners fail to see that the id presented to get past security was not the same name on the boarding pass, they did not even question the reality that a guy was trying to get through security with a boarding pass with a distinctive female name on it. Insanity and dangerous at the same time.

That will do it for this today’s political class insanity from the worst set of politicians ever to serve the country. More tomorrow.

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