Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April, 2017, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: $28 Trillion and Nothing To Show For It and More

It is the beginning of another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Today and for all of the insanity posts this month, let’s start off with a welcome piece of honest political dialog. It comes from a State Department spokesperson. Mark Toner, who is about to start the daily State Department press briefing. In a joking matter, he makes the following quote: "Welcome to the State Department. I think we have some interns in the back. Welcome. Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy."

He then burst out laughing at his own quote, indicating he also knew what a joke the Obama administration has been, especially Mr. Toner’s State Department, when it comes to cover ups, lack of transparency, denial of Freedom of Information Act requests, the prosecution of whistleblowers, etc. But at least it was a little refreshing to finally hear some actual honesty out of Washington as we see from the actual clip of the news conference:

With that context of honesty, let’s see what other insanity has been going down:

1)During the Obama Presidency, the Federal government spent about $28 TRILLION of American taxpayer money. Some of that $28 TRILLION will be extracted from future U.S. taxpayers since during the same timeframe the Obama administration spent well over $9 TRILLION it did not have and had to issue debt to cover its spending ways.

A TRILLION dollars is a lot of money. How much money? Consider this: if you had spent a million dollars a DAY since the day Jesus Christ was born, you would still not have spent a TRILLION dollars. If you had spent a thousand dollars a day since Jesus Christ was born, you would still not have spent a BILLION dollars. And yet the Federal government spends over $10 billion a DAY, which explains why we have an almost $20 TRILLION national debt load.

Okay, so what did we get for the $28 TRILLION that Obama and the rest of Washington spent over the past eight years? According to a recent article by columnist Terry Savage, not much:

  • We certainly did not fix the myriad of bridges, dams, tunnels and roads that need to be repaired in this country over the past eight years and $28 TRILLION. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our national infrastructure of roads and bridges rated a D+ as far as what condition they are currently in and it will take an additional $4.6 TRILLION to make them all safe and functioning properly.
  • Our armed forces are no longer the envy of the world, as we have pointed out often in this blog, even though the Pentagon was given over $600 billion a year in its budget for the past eight years. Trump believes that an additional $54 billion a year is needed just to start fixing our armed forces capabilities.
  • Within 18 years the Social Security Trust fund will be busted meaning about a 20% across the board decrease in Social Security payouts.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program is currently looking at a $24.6 billion deficit which means higher flood insurance rates or more government subsidies.
  • The Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation, which insures pensions of failed companies and union plans, is estimated to run out of money within ten years, assuming no new liabilities are placed on its books.
  • The Government Accountability Office now says that the Post Office is unlikely to be able to meet its retiree health and benefit obligations in the very near future, requiring either a cut in benefits or more government and taxpayer subsidies.
  • The annual interest payments on the national debt that Obama and company have run up to almost $20 TRILLION is the third largest Federal Government budget item and is growing the quickest. It will likely grow even quicker in the future as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, meaning that more and more Federal tax dollars will be going to paying off the debt load, leaving less and less Federal tax dollars available to fix the problems listed above.

And Ms. Savage did not even touch upon these other pressing financial and societal problems:

  • Medicare and Medicaid are both hurtling towards fiscal insolvency.
  • Our public schools continue to generally do a horrible job educating our kids.
  • Healthcare costs continue to skyrocket every year with Obama Care being a total failure in addressing the problem.
  • Terrorism threats continue to grow both home and abroad.

$28 TRILLION spent and really nothing to show for it. Government programs heading for bankruptcy, retiree benefits in ever growing danger, medical care getting more and more expensive, nothing to show for $28 TRILLION in spending and $20 TRILLION in debt. The level of incompetence to attain such heights of failure is mind boggling.

2) Let’s follow up the previous point about financial madness with another point of financial madness. According to Todd Beamon, writing for the NewsMax website on February 28, 2017, reported on how Random House had outbid other publishing houses to get the rights to book deals for future books written by Michelle and Barack Obama.

Thus, as reward for overseeing the Federal government spending $28 TRILLION and giving us nothing in return, the Obamas will get $60 million for writing books for Random House. Now, that is pure political class insanity, being that big of a screw up and getting $60 million to boot.

3) According to CBS news reports, the Philadelphia district attorney was recently criminally charged with receiving $160,000 in Caribbean trips, gifts, and cash as favors given out from his government position:

  • Despite making around $175,000 a year, more than three times the median family income in this country, he is still believed to have illegally received complimentary suites in fancy hotel with his girlfriends, a Jaguar convertible and and $3,400 sofa.
  • His transgressions included getting a friend a vastly reduced jail sentence and arranging for a friend and business owner to avoid the screening process at an airport.
  • He had previously been hit with a $62,000 ethics violation fine for his activities.
  • The ethics board found over 20 illegal gifts from so-called “prohibited sources:” ...“individuals who had a financial interest that the district attorney was able to substantially affect through official action. They included criminal defense attorneys who were handling cases prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office as well as subordinate employees and contractors of the District Attorney’s Office.”
Fortunately, this crooked public servant got caught but it makes you wonder how many other government bureaucrats and politicians do not get caught.
That will do it for today’s insanity: trying to understand how big a trillion dollars is and how the political class spent twenty eight of those trillions but got nothing in return, the Obama’s cashout for doing nothing worthwhile, and at least one crooked government servant gets caught. More to follow.

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