Friday, February 17, 2017

Four Examples of Why The Washington Swamp Must Be Drained

Today’s stories we typically save for our monthly “political class insanity” series but they all kind of grouped together today so we decided not to wait for next month’s insanity review. Despite spending almost $4 TRILLION a year, the Washington political class runs a pretty shabby show when it comes to the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations. If we had spent a lot of our own money on a new car  or a house or even a movie ticket and experienced such insanity and wastefulness, we would be clamoring for a refund. Why we do not do clamor for a refund on our taxes, given the following wastes of our resources and wealth, is a mystery to me:
1)Phoenix Brooks, writing for the Daily Caller website recently, reported on some massive ineptness on the part of the Secret Service organization:
  • According to her reporting, based on an investigation by Judicial Watch, the Secret Service has lost thousands and thousands of sensitive and expensive “assets” within their jurisdiction over the past 15 years.
  • The total number of assets lost or stolen comes out to 11,780.
  • These assets include 121 weapons, 736 cell phones, 571 Secret Service badges, and six cars during those 15 years.
  • Over 1,362 assets, more than 10% of the total, were lost in a single year, 2004.
  • As a further insult to incompetence, the Secret Service organization took almost a year to respond to the Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, which in a press release stated the obvious: “This is supposedly an elite law enforcement agency — how did all this equipment get stolen?” or lost. “This is alarming. Every American should be alarmed about this,” Judicial Watch’s Irene Garcia told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
How does a supposedly elite Federal government agency lose six cars? And most distressing is the lost of hundreds of Secret Service badges that if they fell into the wrong hands, would give criminals and terrorists access to important government buildings and personnel. Insanely pathetic.
2)The TSA is supposed to be our last defense against terrorist activity as it pertains to mass transportation. They should be always on the watch and on high alert to look for anything or anyone who might endanger a traveling American. But apparently some of these TSA employees had other things to do while “protecting" the traveling public, according to recent police reports:
  • A dozen TSA employees are each facing ten years in jail for using their jobs to participate in and cover up a massive drug smuggling ring.
  • They allegedly smuggled $100 million worth of cocaine into the country from their jobs spread across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • These employees had job titles that including baggage screeners and security personnel, you know, the kind of people that should have been protecting you and not smuggling drugs.
  • Law enforcement says that as much as 20 TONS of cocaine may have been smuggled into the country by these folks over an 18 year period.
  • According to news reports, up to five smugglers were used in each airline flight, each carrying as much as 33 pounds of cocaine on each flight, with their security check-in process cleared by those in the smuggling ring.
We pay  billions and billions of dollars every year for the TSA to “protect” us but it took them 18 years and 20 TONS of cocaine to finally realize what was going on. Again, pathetic management and use of taxpayer money.
3)There are very few people I respect in the Washington political class but one who I do respect, and one who gets it, is Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. Unfortunately, he is often a lone wolf crying out in the night against government's wasteful spending and stupidity. It is a shame we do not have five hundred more like him in Congress, people that would actually look out for the wealth and welfare of the American taxpayer. If this dream world existed, all of us would be paying far less in taxes and be enjoying a far more effective and efficient government.
He showed his disgust with how government bureaucracies and operations work in a Congressional hearing that is captured in the video linked below. His tirade was directed towards Federal GSA executives who had abused taxpayer funds on a conference in Las Vegas and committed all kinds of ethical and potentially criminal violations in the course of planning and executing a conference halfway across the country when most of the attendees were stationed in DC. What particularly irked him for the following wastes of money:
  • $44 dollar breakfasts for attendees.
  • $7 for mini-Monte Cristo sandwiches.
  • $800,000 for the conference itself.
  • The hiring of a mind reader to provide entertainment at the conference.
  • The fact that the American taxpayer paid for 15 people to fly out to Las Vegas to “scout out” the conference location beforehand.
His tirade can be viewed at the following link:
Again, it is a shame that there are not so many more people like him looking out for our welfare and safety. If there were, than maybe TSA employees would not be smuggling illegal drugs and the Secret Service would stop losing cars, guns, and badges.
4) But it is not just government bureaucrats and employees who are inept and incompetent and waste taxpayer wealth. Consider the sad case of sitting Congresswoman, Corrine Brown, who is:
  • Facing 357 years in prison for her corruption and greed, all at the expense of the American taxpayer.
  • According to the Washington Examiner, she not only is facing 357 years in jail but is also facing a $4.8 million fine for diverting money from a charity (One Door For Education) that was supposed to give scholarships to kids to her own wild expenses.
  • Her chief of staff is set to testify at her trial that the Congresswoman diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the charity to her own accounts.
  • This corruption is independent of the other ethical and potentially criminally activities she incurred previously relative to the Federal Election Commission rules and regulations including accepting and not reporting campaign donations from foreigners and not reporting the use of a corporate plane.
Corruption and incompetence up and down the Washington political class, from a likely corrupt Congresswoman to greedy, party going GSA employees to TSA drug smugglers to an inept Secret Service. Now you know why “drain the swamp” is a proper strategy that should be used to fix the massive failures of Washington.

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