Saturday, November 4, 2017

November, 2017, Part 5, Political Class Insanity: A Still Dysfunctional VA, Another Silly Bernie Sanders 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.

Let's get started:

1) We often reported on how during the Obama administration the Veterans Administration (VA) was a disaster. Long lead times to get an appointment to see a doctor likely resulted in many, many veterans dying while waiting for medical attention. This scandalous behavior was made worse when it was shown that high ranking Veterans Administration executives then tried to cover up their incompetence by manipulating waiting time records to cover up their ineptness.

For eight years, Obama promised to fix what was broken and never accomplished any worthwhile improvements. Trump came into office with high promises to also clean up the VA’s management lameness. Apparently, he also has not totally fulfilled that promise, as described in an October 3, 2017 article on The Hill website by Jacqueline Thomsen:
  • The VA inspector general is investigating a European trip that VA Secretary David Shulkin recently took.
  • His travels took him to London and Denmark and somehow tripped an investigation switch by the inspector general.
  • The VA inspector general’s office was not saying at the time why they thought it necessary to start an investigation.
  • But the Washington Post gave a potential insight to the investigation when they reported that Shulkin and his wife spent half of the trip's duration sightseeing and shopping.
  • His activities with his wife apparently included the Wimbledon tennis tournament, a river cruise on the river Thames, and touring other locations.
  • The Post did report that the Secretary took commercial flights do get over to Europe and sat in coach on at least one leg of his trip.
You know, maybe nothing nefarious happened. But given the past incompetence of the VA and the mistrust that the public has for the organization, why would a high ranking government official be so stupid to act in such a way that even triggered an inspector general investigation even if he did nothing wrong. Insane.

2) Cristina Laila, writing for the Gateway Pundit website on September, 27, 2017, discussed just one of many operations that were undertaken by the Obama administration that was probably illegal and possibly unConstitutional:
  • According to Ms. Laila, Congressional members are investigating how and why members of the Obama administration illegally made public people’s names who were supporting Donald Trump in the run up to the Presidential Election in 2016.
  • Susan Rice, a high ranking member of the Obama administration, recently admitted that she herself “unmasked” Trump associates to understand more about a meeting between an Arab crown Prince and senior Trump advisors.
  • At the time, Rice was the National Security Advisor and should have know better than to unmask these people whose names accidentally came up during an investigation.
  • Details of what is going on and why were put forth by quoting reporting from the Washington Free Beacon: “Congressional leaders and other insiders told the Washington Free Beacon that the investigation into the Obama administration’s unmasking campaign is gaining greater steam, even as the federal probe into alleged collusion with Russia drags on. “The misuse of intelligence information by members of the Obama administration is a serious issue that requires an exhaustive investigation and accountability,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), chair of House Subcommittee on National Security, told the Free Beacon. The investigation into these unmasking efforts continues to focus on top Obama officials, particularly Power, who is said to have had little need to unmask such sensitive classified information from her perch at Turtle Bay. Rep. Sean Duffy (R. Wis.), another Republican member closely tracking the unmasking scandal, encouraged his congressional colleagues to move past the Russian probe in pursuit of the facts about Obama’s potentially illicit spy operation on Trump associates.”
  • A Congressional official followed up with more details of the potentially illegal activity: “Congress is determined to follow the facts wherever they may lead us. And, ironically, the most damning revelations of the Russian investigation thus far incriminates the Obama administration,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on record. “Susan Rice’s admission to widespread unmasking against Trump associates may just be the tip of the iceberg. We are going to get to the bottom of this.”
  • And apparently it's not just a few Americans who were unmasked since it appears that former UN ambassador Samantha Powers unmasked hundreds of innocent Americans names during her tenure under Obama.
  • Trump advisor, Jordan Sekulow, discusses how badly Powers abused her unmasking power: “Her number of requests are unprecedented in the history of UN Ambassadors who also have the position to unmask. No other UN Ambassador has ever even made half of the requests Power made in their ENTIRE CAREER, let alone a few months.”
Just another lawless adventure during the Obama administration's lawlessness that so far has gone unpunished as have most of his other administration’s running afoul of the law actions. America truly does have two justice systems, one for those in power in which breaking the law has no consequences and one for the rest of us where we break the law, we pay the price.

For a comprehensive list of law breaking during the Obama administration go to:

3) We have often pointed out how when politicians and government try to solve a problem they usually make it worse. Obama Care was going to fix the health care cost problem in this country but it made the problem worse. Politicians want to raise the minimum wage and when they do, people ending up getting no wages as the higher wage levels cause businesses to cut back on their other costs which is usually payroll and staff

Another example of such political nonsense was described by Mary Claire Amselem, writing for the Heritage Foundation on October 5, 2017:
  • Senator Bernie Sanders has this pipe dream proposal that would call for the American taxpayer to pay for “free” college tuition at public universities in this country.
  • He somehow thinks that this proposal will help the poorer kids in this country get a “free” education and lead to better lives for them.
  • Given what happened in England when that country decided to give kids “free” college educations, it is difficult to imagine that Sanders knows what he is talking about.
  • A recent study in England found that removing college tuition fees for students actually benefited wealthy families much more than poorer families, the target of Sanders’ concept of “free” education.
  • It seems that back in the 1960s, England gave “free” college education to all its citizens who are fulltime students (but it was really not free, it just shifted the tuition cost burden to taxpayers).
  • Not unexpectedly, this caused a huge increase in the number of kids going to college in England, after all, it was “free” so why not.
  • But this huge increase started to financially burden the process and “after years of concerns about financial sustainability, England started to slowly introduce tuition fees in the late 1990s.”
  • A research study into the history of this program found that when tuition fees were introduced, the number of poorer students enrolling in Eland’s colleges actually doubled between 1997 and 2015, which does not seem to make common sense since one would assume that by introducing fees, poorer families would be least likely to afford college.
  • But the research actually found that this doubling of lower income students into college actually did make sense.
  • Under the old rules where EVERYONE got “free” college, the higher education system started to crumble because of so many students, with the quality of the education eroding and the financial situation deteriorating.
  • To stay fiscally viable, the government in 1994 capped the number of students allowed into the program to get a “free” college education.
  • By capping and rationing the “free” education seats available to only the brightest, it was the wealthiest students who were most qualified, since they had the best high school education, to get into college and get access to the now limited “free” number of seats.
  • Thus, not only did the wealthiest families get their kids “free” education because of this rationing, it was the poorer families and kids who actually had to pay for the ”free” education for the wealthier kids via higher taxes since there really is no such thing as “free” in this world.
So, another government program that raises taxes, advantages the wealthy, and leaves the original problem either unresolved or worse. And Sanders wants to implement this type of insanity in this country even though it is a known failure. What did Einstein once say: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” “Free” education fits this definition perfectly but as always, it does not stop a politician from trying to do what we know is a failure.

That will do it for today, what did we learn: nothing is free, the VA might still be dysfunctional and wasteful, and Obama and his cronies might have broken even more laws then we have previously identified. More insanity to follow.

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