Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June, 2018, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: Pelosi Still Out Of Touch, $130 Pens, $17 Million Fruitless INvestigations and Busting Lemonade Stands.

It is 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) Government wasteful spending continues to amaze and disgust:

  • An aide to the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, spent $1,560 to buy 12 fountain pens.
  • They must be great pens since the average cost comes out to about $130 per pen.
  • Each pen bears the EPA seal and Pruitt’s signature and apparently is used as gifts to important people around the world: EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the pens were similar to purchases made by Pruitt's predecessors "for the purpose of serving as gifts to the Administrator's foreign counterparts and dignitaries upon his meeting with them."
  • The EPA under Obama made a similar purchase but for almost twice the amount, $2,952, from the the same vendor with the purchase to be used for "non-monetary awards for Administrator."
Look, $2,952 or $1,560 is not going to balance the Federal budget. But this type of behavior is more a symptom of a bigger problem, a lack of respect for taxpayer dollars, a lack of respect that extends way beyond a couple of overpriced pens.

2) Okay, let’s talk about some real wasting of big taxpayer dollars. Robert Mueller has been chasing ghosts now for well over a year in his investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. Why he is not looking into the Clinton’s relationship with the Russians, a relationship that we already know resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing from Russian interests into the Clinton bank accounts, is a story for another day. 

Back to Mueller and a recent article on the Freedom Outpost website by David Greenfield:

  • Mueller has already spent almost $17 million in his hunt for Russian influences in the 2016 Presidential campaign.
  • He has basically come up with nothing for his efforts and the $17 million.
  • According to a USDA study back a number of years ago, the full cost to produce a school lunch was on average, $2.91.
  • Assuming that inflation raised that cost since the USDA study was done, you could conservatively estimate that the Mueller investigation cost, if it had been repurposed to feed some hungry kids in the country, could easily have fed about 5 million kids.
Talk about bad priorities, an expensive, useless, and hollow investigation vs. feeding millions of U.S. kids.

3) Politicians not only waste our tax dollars in Washington but they do a pretty good job of wasting our tax dollars locally also. Consider another recent article from the Freedom Outpost website by Matt Agorist:

  • According to the article: Jennifer Knowles, mother of three boys, wanted to instill a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in her sons over the Memorial Day weekend. So, Knowles and her husband decided they would have her four and six-year-old sons run a lemonade stand. “We have never had a lemonade stand and the boys thought Memorial Day weekend is going to be great weather, so why not have a lemonade stand across the street in the park,” Knowles said.
  • Besides giving their kids a lesson in business and being an entrepreneur, she wanted to teach them to be generous to those less fortunate than themselves and so the kids were going to donate the lemonade stand profits to a local charity.
  • The charity thy chose was going to support a child in Indonesia with food and clean water.
  • So they set up their stand in a Denver area park and did good business for a while and received great compliments from those passing by on their efforts and the purpose of their profits.
  • Which is when the local government, via local police officers, crushed the effort: “The police officers came over and they said that because my boys and I did not have permits for a lemonade stand they shut us down and we had to stop immediately,” she said. “My boys were crushed. They were devastated. And I can’t believe that happened. I remember as a child I always had lemonade stands and never had to worry about being shut down by the police officers. I mean that’s unheard of.”
  • Apparently someone complained about the kids and the police officers when then required to do their jobs, crushing the hopes and scaring two young kids doing the right thing.
  • While these kids got away with just a warning, the article points out that other kids operating other lemonade stands as young as five years old have received police citations.
Obviously, this problem could have been avoided if the local politicians had done their job and not wasted time on passing such stupid ordinances. I am assuming that the local government and the politicians that operate it have better things to do, from fixing schools to fixing potholes to who knows what else, anything has to be more important than banning kids’ lemonade stands. 

4) Let’s finish off today’s political class insanity with that inane quote machine Nancy Pelosi, the biggest contributor to political class insanity this blog has ever known. Before we get to her latest idiocy, let’s review some realities:

  • The nation’s unemployment rate is at 3.8%, almost record lows.
  • The unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanics, women, and people without a high school education is at or near record lows.
  • Wages are trending upwards.
  • Over 140 million American tax filers will see lower tax rates in 2018.
  • Companies are investing in jobs, training, and machinery.
  • There are now more job openings in the country than unemployed adults who are looking for a job.
  • Gas prices, which recently spiked, have come down quickly in the past week or so.
  • The stock market continues to hold at record high levels.
  • Consumer confidence surveys show high confidence in the economy.
  • Inflation continues to run at low levels.
We could go on but you get the idea: Trump has the country in an economic sweet spot with low unemployment, low inflation, and rising wages.

But the end of the world is near according to Nancy Pelosi: “May’s jobs report shows that strong employment numbers mean little to the families hit with soaring new costs under the Republicans’ watch.” Again, what color is the sky your world, Ms. Pelosi? What soaring new costs? She goes on to discuss how drug company executives are making millions of dollars and somehow that is more important than jobs, wages increases, lower gas prices, low inflation, etc, Insane.

That will get us started with this month’s insanity: Pelosi still so out of touch, and politicians wasting money from local lemonade stands to Washington. More insanity to follow.

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