Sunday, July 3, 2016

July, 2016, Part 3, Political Class Insanity: DHS Fail, Obama Care Fail, and Other Poltiical Class Fails

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. In fact, last month we set a record, needing ten full posts to cover it all.

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.

It looks like our politicians have been especially insane over the past month or so let’s continue with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A perfect example of this principle was discussed in the January, 2016 issue of Reason magazine. Barack Obama in the past, along with HIllary Clinton today, have been hot to trot to have Federal taxpayers provide universal pre-kindergarten funding for every kid in the country. Clinton’s justification and claim, unfounded as it is, is that universal pre-kindergarten would have significant societal benefits. This was the same claim that Obama made several years ago.

But as with many politicians’ grand claims, this one apparently is also false. We have already proven Obama’s claim wrong several years ago using research done by his own Health and Human Services (HHS) organization that showed Head Start daycare not only did not provide an educational boost to attendees as promised, in some cases, it actually retarded the intellectual development of kids that were in Head Start. That original discussion can be seen at:

And now new research from Mark Lipsey, Dale Farran, and Sandra Jo Wilson of Vanderbilt University show that the HHS study from several years ago still applies to today’s pre-kindergarten programs, despite what claims Clinton makes. Their research including the following components:

  • They studied a group of more than 1,000 kids over several years that were divided up into a pre-kindergarten program and another group that did not attend any pre-kindergarten programs.
  • Thus, we have a classic test and control experiment.
  • Kids in the pre-kindergarten group did much better on a series of early learning measures than the other groups of kids…..until they got to actual kindergarten.
  • By the end of the first year in school, "there were no longer significant differences between the two groups on any achievement measures.”
  • In other words, the positive impact of pre-kindergarten lasted no more than a year.
  • Even worse, by the end of the second grade, kids in the pre-kindergarten group actually performed slightly worse than the control group.
In other words, in this study, within two years kids were made dumber by going to pre-kindergarten vs. those that did not. These results are consistent with other studies we have already discussed including the link above. Thus, if Clinton wants us to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, at least be honest with the taxpayers and tell us what we are really funding, according to the researchers: nothing more than a Federal babysitting program with at best, no long term positive benefits to society and the kids and at worse, a potential dumbing down of those that attend such programs.

But Hillary being honest….might be a stretch.

2) Obama Care was supposed to resolve the major problem of ever escalating health care costs in this country. We have proven many times in the past several years how this legislation has failed epically to achieve that goal. To review the many failures of Obama Care, under the phrase “unfolding disaster” in the box above for access to dozens and dozens of past blog posts that proved how bad Obama Care has failed. Alternatively, just go through the past months' and years' buttons listed on the right side of this page since every month for years we have had to dedicate at least a few posts every month to the failures.

We have made the case that one of the reasons why Obama Care is a massive failure is that it never addressed the underlying root causes of our high healthcare costs. It tried to apply a health insurance solution to a public health problem. And as always, apply a solution to the wrong problem is never successful

One of the major root causes of our high healthcare costs is the epidemic of obesity in this country. Obesity leads to a myriad of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, strokes, failing knees, failing hips, etc. Until this and other root causes are mitigated, healthcare costs will continue to escalate. And relief is nowhere in sight and certainly be providing by Obama Care, three years after its launch.

According to the latest CDC study, more than 40% of American women are obese, not overweight, and that figure has jumped up 5% over the past decade. American men have held steady at a still high 35% over the same period. Without addressing this root cause, Obama Care has no chance of attaining its original objective of “bending the cost curve” of healthcare in this country. 

But Washington not knowing or addressing root causes of a problem is why we are still losing the war on drugs, why we still under educate our kids, why we still have not national energy strategy, why our borders still leak, etc.

3) We often wonder what Federal organization is the worst run, most inept. Usually the TSA, the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Homeland Security rise to the top of the incompetence list. Today we have a great candidate in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Keep in mind as you read the following insanity that this organization is supposed to keep us safe from terrorists.

According to reporting from the Western Journalism website by Scott Watson: 

  • A DHS employee strolled into DHS headquarters with a gun, a knife, an infrared camera, pepper spray, and handcuffs.
  • The employee, Jonathan Weinke, has/had top secret clearance and is now under investigation for conspiracy to commit workplace violence.
  • He has also been charged with carrying a pistol without a license.
  • Maybe not the smartest criminal or terrorist of all time, Weinke came under suspicion when he went through the regular security measure at work when his backpack was run through a security screening machine which is when security officers found a folding knife with a 3-inch blade, two hand-held radios, pepper spray, an infrared camera and a set of handcuffs.
  • As a result, a search of his body resulted in finding a five shot hand gun with dangerous hollow point bullets. 
  • A Federal search warrant lists potential charges as “attempt and conspiracy to assassinate, kidnap or assault a member of the executive branch of the government, false impersonation of a federal officer and possession of a firearm in a federal facility.”
Feel safe and secure with DHS personnel in charge, people that cannot even prevent their own employees from bringing weapons to the DHS workplace?

4) We have often pointed out the sick reality that the Obama administration has put thousands and thousands of Federal government regulations in place during the past seven and a half years. We have always asked two questions from these outrageous number of new regulations:

  • Are we to believe that the previous 43 Presidential administrations were so inept that the Obama administration had to fix the world with thousands and thousands of new, likely useless, bureaucratic regulations?
  • How much time, effort, and wealth are diverted by business owners and their employees from the real economy to comply with these regulations and how much do these regulations cost the American consumer and businesses?
  • A recent Heritage Foundation article by Milton Padilla and Tori Whiting took a shot at what that cost to the country is of these again, probably useless regulations.
  • Their article’s title asserts that “Obama’s 229 Major Regulations Cost $108 Billion Each Year.”
  • The 229 major regulations are the total so-called major regulations since the beginning of his Presidency.
  • Just the 43 major regulations Obama put into place from 2015 increased Federal government regulations costs by over $22 billion a year as estimated by the Heritage Foundation’s Red Tape Rising” study of Federal government regulations.
  • Even more scary is that Obama has another 144 major regulations in the process of development that could be put into effect before he leaves office early next year.
  • The biggest regulation whores include the EPA, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Energy.
  • The cost of $108 billion a year comes out to almost $900 a year for every American household, $900 that cannot be spent on vacations, dinners, new cars, etc., i.e. $900 that cannot be used to expand the economy and create jobs for unemployed Americans.
  • Since the annual Index Of Economic Freedom shows that economic freedom in the United States has declined eight of the past nine years, roughly the length of the Obama administration, it leads one to make the reasonable conclusion that as Obama has increased regulatory burden on Americans and American businesses, our economic freedom and vitality have been declining.
This over regulation of America may explain that despite an $800 billion economic stimulus plan, record low energy costs, and a Fed that pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, Obama has presided over the most anemic recession recovery in a very, very long time. Quite possibly, putting thousands and thousands of regulations in place, regulations that divert energy and resources into government compliance rather than economic vitality, is the main reason why the Obama administration’s economic performance has been so pathetic.

That will do it for today’s insanity: gross over regulation, a Department of Homeland Security that cannot protect itself, another Obama Care fail, and how Einstein corrected predicted Federal government’s performance with pre-kindergarten failures. More insanity tomorrow.

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