Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August, 2016, Part 6, Political Class Insanity: Obama's Vacation Tab, Chciago'sSoaring Unemployment, Useless Bureaucratic Edicts 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. 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 get started with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) What would a political class insanity post be without an update from Chicago? Last week we showed some of the latest statistics from that imploding city relative to the incredible number of citizens who are wounded or shot every week. And these high violence statistics come from a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. According to a recent NewsMax article by Neal Asbury, murders this year so far are up 72% in Chicago and shootings are up at least that amount vs. 2015 according to the Chicago Police Department.

Mr. Asbury points out an interesting statistic that might be driving the higher and higher violence rate in the city besides the strict and failed gun laws: the African-American unemployment rate in Chicago is an unbelievable 37%. With so much of the population hanging around with no jobs to go to, there is a very strong case to be made that high unemployment leads to idle time which eventually leads to crime and violence. His whole argument and academic references can be seen at:


So much for the first African-American President, Barack Obama, and his former chief of staff and current Chicago mayor, Rahm Emmaunel, being good for African-American citizens, especially in Chicago. 37% unemployment is an embarrassment regardless of the race of the politicians involved with trying to solve problems and failing miserably to do so.

2) We have often made the case in this blog that our freedoms and liberty in this country are being suffocated and snuffed out by an overwhelmingly useless Federal government bureaucracy. As the size of government gets larger and larger but the necessary functions they should be doing stays relatively constant, the bureaucrats in those government jobs make up pointless tasks for themselves to do to justify their government positions. 

It is the same reality in private business also, not just government. If a business has excess personnel, those people in those excess jobs are likely to engage in busy work, low value added work just to show management that they are producing something even if it is not worth their salary they are being paid. 

The difference between government work and private business work is that most private businesses eventually figure out how to run lean and efficiently or they will go out of business. Unfortunately, government never goes out of business, never down sizes, it just keeps getting larger and larger and imposing more and more inane burdens on its citizens.

And this idiocy is not restricted to our Federal government. Consider the following insanity from the European Union (EU) governing body, as described by a recent article in the Telegraph:

  • The EU recently issued an official claim that no one who sells bottled water can claim that water can prevent dehydration.
  • Not only can’t a bottled water company claim this obvious reality, those that defy this EU edict could face up to two years in jail.
  • And this was not done at the whim of a bureaucrat somewhere, some bureaucrat or bureaucrats actually conducted a three year study to reach this conclusion, namely that there is no evidence that drinking water can prevent dehydration.
  • So some organization within the EU actually spend real tax money to come up with this idiotic conclusion from an idiotic study that was launched by some bureaucrat who obviously did not have enough to do on their job. No wonder the majority of Brits wanted out of the EU, not when you have to put up with, and pay, for this type of insanity.
  • A member of the British Parliament, Roger Helmer, nicely summed up this ridiculous situation: “This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”
I think Mr. Helmer nailed it nicely: stupidity and folly, all paid for by taxpayers everywhere across Europe.

3) But before you snicker about the stupidity and folly of EU government bureaucrats, consider what our own Federal bureaucrats are busy working on and wasting our taxpayer money:

  • According to a recent article from the Against Crony Capitalism website on July 16, 2016, our Federal government is now regulating wine refrigerators.
  • The Department of Energy has issued specific regulations just for wine refrigerators.
  • It requires manufacturers to test the energy efficiency of wine refrigerators and the Department itself has estimated that the cost of the regulation “would cost the average small business $12,500 to test whether their equipment meets specifications…”
  • To show how out of touch these bureaucrats are with the small business world and those that try to be successful in it, ”…The agency said the $12,500 testing cost is “unlikely to represent a significant economic impact for small businesses.”
Talk about justify your existence with nonsense? What percentage of electricity used in this country is consumed by wine refrigerators? Can that even be measured or is it too small to even be captured relative to the rest of the country’s energy consumption that it is next to nothing? And if it is that small, how much difference would increasing next to nothing be, still next to nothing? Bad priorities, wasting taxpayer money and worst of all, making small businesses even more likely to fail by burdening them with more nonsensical costs.

The Against Crony Capitalism captures the insanity quite nicely:

There are people who for some deep psychological reason just want to get into other people’s business. (I am joking but I am also increasingly convinced that this is true.) They need to stick their nose into things. They honestly think that they know better. These people are attracted to government like luna moths to high school football flood lamps. They can’t help it. It is in their nature. They must tell people what to do. It satisfies a deep deficit somewhere in the bureaucratic brain.

4) Let’s finish up today with one last piece of how the government bureaucracy wastes our wealth. Remember when Obama promised that if elected President, he would never take a vacation, that he would dedicate every waking moment of his life to serving the country and sacrifice his personal life for the office of President:
“You give me this office and in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you.” 

His actual quote in his own words can be seen and heard at:


Well, let’s check in and see how well he adhered to this promise:

  • The President has played nearly 300 rounds of golf since taking office.
  • He has taken a large number of international and long Hawaiian vacations over the past seven plus years.
  • The taxpayer tab for his vacations now total just under $80 million, $79,630,433.93 to be exact at last reckoning.
  • These numbers have been compiled by Judicial Watch via numerous and difficult Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • To get some of this information, Judicial Watch actually had to go to Federal court to get the Obama administration to comply with Federal laws regarding freedom of information.
  • Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton, commented on the his organization’s findings: “Taxpayers should be incensed that the Secret Service’s resources [are] wasted to provide security for endless golf excursions, political fundraisers, and luxury vacations. President Obama’s travel is a scandal. It’s about his abuse of the office and his abuse of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”
  • Judicial Watch pointed out that while George W. Bush also had a lot of down time, he always did it at the same location, his ranch in Texas, which resulted in greatly reduced taxpayer expense vs. the Obama travels, and the travels of his wife and kids on vacation that took them all over the world: “The … thing that’s interesting is that normally when Bush the younger went on his vacations, he went to his ranch in Texas … so sort of a fixed site [with] a constrained set of costs. They weren’t getting hotel rooms, moving multiple aircraft, fleets of cars. It was predictable, constrained. It was repetitive.”
  • As an example of the Obama excesses, Judicial Watch highlighted an August 2015 trip to Martha’s Vineyard, for the Obamas’ sixth family summer getaway to that location, cost more than $457,000 in hotels alone.
  • A Palm Springs trip in February, 2015 for a meeting with other national leaders that featured golf, several Democratic fundraisers, and filming of an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” cost taxpayers $1,189,985.70.
Look, it is a tough job, down time to unwind and recharge is necessary in any job, never mind the Presidency. But two things that make this story classic political class insanity: 1) he promised he would take NO VACATIONS, a statement that was obviously a lie and ruse to get elected as almost 300 rounds of golf and almost $80 million in taxpayer money prove and 2) why do he and his family need to take vacations around the world at taxpayer expense, no other President did so? Bush the younger went to Texas to vacation, Bush the older went to Maine, Carter went Georgia. Only this President has used the American taxpayer as his own personal American Express card to see the world.

That will do it for today’s insanity, more insanity tomorrow.

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