Sunday, February 14, 2016

February, 2016, Part 7, Political Class Insanity: Unsustainable Federal Debt, Unprotected LA Citizens, Obama Plays The Blame Game (Again!) 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 posts 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) This topic is from a few years ago but it is a good example of how today’s politicians are in it for themselves and not for the good of Americans. We have already discussed many instances how politicians ensure they get paid first when it comes to taxpayer wealth. 

Today’s greed comes from the California Political Review website in an article that was published on April 26, 2013 by Katy Grimes. Ms. Grimes wrote that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband had been awarded a California railroad track contract:

  • Her husband, Richard Blum, won the first phase construction contract for California’s high speed rail line.
  • The winning bid for the construction was almost a billion dollars which comes out to a mere [sarcasm]  $35 million per mile of track that is to be laid between the not so mega-cities of Madera and Fresno.
  • A billion dollar contract that goes to a U.S. Senator’s husband. Just a coincidence? If I had to bet, I would bet that it was not a coincidence, given the widespread corruption that exists within the political class today, corruption we report on every month. 
But there is also a bigger issue. The politicians in California want to build a high speed rail line along the length of most of the state. The first leg between two very small cities is coming in on an initial bid of a whopping $35 million per mile. Since no government infrastructure project has ever come in at or under budget, that $35 million cost per mile is likely to go much higher. 

And what is the cost going to be when they try to build a rail line in much more populated areas like LA? The costs are going to go through the roof. I will predict today that this endeavor will never make enough money to pay back a cost that is starting at $35 million per mile and future California taxpayers are going to be paying for this idiotic idea for generations.

2) We have often discussed the reality that the economic recovery from the last recession, as led by President Obama, has been the weakest economic recovery that the country has seen in a very, very long time. Despite spending (and wasting) over $800 billion on a so-called economic stimulus program, record low fuel costs for consumers and businesses, and trillions of fake dollars that the Federal Reserve pumped into the economy, the Obama recovery has been stained with the following realities:

  • 45 million Americans still rely on the Federal government for food assistance every month.
  • 14 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed since they still cannot find full time jobs years after the end of the recession.
  • Wages and household incomes have flatlined over the years since the recession ended.
  • Newly created jobs have tended to be in low paying industries.
  • The labor participation rate is at decades long lows, bouncing around at the same levels we suffered through during the Carter administration’s stagflation years.
  • The true unemployment rate, the U-6 rate, is still almost 10%.

Not a pretty picture from an economic perspective despite the tailwinds of the stimulus, low energy costs, and trillions of Fed paper dollars. Increased taxes, thousands of new Federal government regulations, politicians’ economic ignorance, and the doubt that all of this injected into the economy has left us with a pathetic economic recovery.

And now for the real insanity: given that the entire recovery was run by and occurred during the Obama administration, a time when the Democrats controlled the entire Congress for the first two years of his administration and controlled the Senate for the first six years of his administration, whose fault is this anemic recovery? According to Obama and his recent comments, it is essentially Bush’s fault that the recovery has been so bad despite the fact that Bush left office in early 2009.

Yes, Obama still cannot admit that he screwed anything up, it is always someone else’s fault that he failed to deliver on his promises and duties. The reason why the latest jobs report was so tepid is that there is a lingering “hangover” from the recession in 2008 (eight years ago), a recession that ended well over six years ago. Thus, the reason that the economic recovery that he oversaw and managed and spent lavishly on has been so pathetic is because of what Bush left him with seven years ago. 

As we have said many times with this President, he fails to be a leader since a leader takes blame when things go bad and hands out credit when things go well. This President has not taken the blame for anything but is quick to jump into the spotlight when things go good. 

Note: for those of you that blame Bush for the recession, please refer to the following post where we explain that the seeds of the last recession were planted way back in the Carter administration (a Democrat) and cultivated by the Clinton administration (a Democrat):

3) A recent Washington Examiner article by Anna Giaritelli on February 4, 2016 reported on another Obama administration failure, this one in the area of criminal illegal immigrants. A Senate subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest recently issued a report that estimated the number of fugitive criminal illegal immigrants in this country is larger than the total number of people living in New Hampshire’s largest city.

There are an estimated 170,000 illegal immigrants in this country who have been arrested on various criminal charges but who have been let go into the public domain rather than deported. This number is larger than the population of Manchester, New Hampshire, the state which hosted the second primary event of the Presidential campaign. Only 110,000 people live in Manchester. 

The 170,000 criminal illegal immigrants is also larger than the population of 26 U.S. state capital cities. The 170,000 is also larger than the populations of such well known U.S. cities as Chattanooga, Tennessee, Vancouver,Washington, Salem, Oregon, and Kansas City, Kansas. In other words, the Federal government has released a lot of criminals onto the streets of America, criminals that should not even be in this country to begin with.

But it gets worse. The Obama administration reported that in 2015, its immigration function detained 63,539 criminal illegal immigrants, only about one third of the number of criminal illegal immigrants it released back into society. Thus, for every criminal the administration took off the streets of America last year, it put three more back onto the streets. In no universe can this be considered anything but an insane failure of the political class and the government it operates. 

4) Pete Kasperowicz, writing for the Washington Examiner on February 4, 2016, explained how really bad the national debt situation is, as reported by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in a recent Congressional hearing. This is particularly important seeing how the debt level recently exceeded a devastating $19 TRILLION. This comes ot to about a $160,000 debt burden for every U.S. family in the country, a burden that goes up every moment of every day.

The head of the CBO, Director Keith Hall, told Congress recently that the national debt trajectory cannot be sustained. Even an improving economy could not reverse the dire consequences that will occur unless that trajectory is curtailed by government spending cuts. Testifying in front of the House Budget Committee he said: "[Economic] Growth will help,” but “We're so far behind, it's hard to imagine that just growth is going to fix this deficit and debt problem."

The CBO is estimating that another whopping $9.4 TRILLION in national debt will be incurred in just the next ten years under current trends, about another $80,000 for every U.S. household. So much debt will make it hard for the Federal government to convince other countries and individuals to invest in U.S. bonds to finance the government operations and the debt it has incurred. This will require the Federal government to increase the interest rate it pays, further increasing the debt.

Director Hall went on to say that: "Over [the] next 10 years, we could see debt go from 74 percent of [gross domestic product] to 86 percent, then eventually to 155 percent over 30 years, which is a really high number." Yes, that is a really big number that makes our financial situation look like Greece and other countries that have spent their countries into a huge debt hole.

Hall also went on to explain how the Obama administration’s idiotic position that since the annual deficits are down to “only” about half a trillion dollars a year, life is good. First of all, half a trillion a year is more than any annual deficit incurred by any previous administration and second, the CBO is quick to point out that under the current spending scenarios, the debt will soon start climbing again and quickly get to a trillion dollars a year.

When pressed by Congressional members on what are the big drivers of this unsustainable debt, Hall replied: "The big growth in the deficit is from Social Security and spending on major healthcare programs. Those are the two big-ticket items that are creating this problem going forward." I am assuming that the medical programs he is referring to are Medicare, Medicaid, and Obama Care. 

Obviously, the Obama administration in its first seven years has come up with no effective ways of curtailing the out of control spending in these programs. In fact, I do not believe the adminsitration has come up with any programs at all including ineffective ones. But it certainly did add to the problem with the expensive and almost useless Obama Care legislation.

Great insanity today:

  • The Washington political class continues to spend and indebt us to a future of financial insolvency unless radical spending cuts occur.
  • The Obama administration releases three illegal immigrant criminals onto the streets of America for each one it apprehends.
  • Seven years into this administration the President continues to blame everyone else but himself for his failures.
Funny stuff unless you are an under protected, over taxed, fed up taxpayer. More insanity tomorrow.

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