Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘bloated government’

The government is open!

Woo hoo.

Happy days are here again as the massive machine that is our federal government gets back in gear.

OCareFlowChart

President Obama and the other members of the progressive ruling class are free again to pretend they support our soldiers and veterans.  They can continue to impugn the character and motives of conservative lawmakers, as they borrow even more money in the name of our grandchildren and spend us into ruin and collapse.

They can lay claim to being the winners.  The losers of course, are the taxpayers – the average folks just trying to get by.  They’ll get no relief and will just end up on the hook for more and more as the debt grows larger and larger.

John McCain and the other Republicans who attacked Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul are the cowards.  They claim to be conservatives but were too afraid to go up against that giant government machine in the name of the people who elected them.

The fools?  They are mostly the mainstream media – the water boys and cheerleaders for Team Obama, who don’t yet realize they are the useful idiots.  And they are those who still believe the media is telling them the truth, who believe that government can solve all their problems and are grateful this morning that members of Congress have stopped fighting.  They believe the absence of conflict signals everything is just fine.

The conservatives, the dreaded tea party members of Congress, claim they have no intention of standing down, that they plan to continue the fight.  That’s admirable, but how do they win?  They are a minority, surrounded by life-long political animals who are living the dream and have demonstrated that they are ready to go to any length to squash anyone who tries to ruin it for them.

So celebrate!  Eat, drink and be merry!  Like it or not, the government is back in business!

Oh, and next week?  Amnesty of course!  There’s no such thing as illegal in Washington anymore, no one is held to account for their actions, and it appears there’s not a thing to be done to change that.

The giant machine of government, that rolls along devouring its host, is unstoppable.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

I haven’t been posting regularly here for over a week.  Part of this is just personal things that have been taking up my time.  But mostly it’s because of the nature of the news.  And it’s not because we’re having a slow news cycle, but because the news is so overwhelming.

You know when you face some daunting task, like cleaning out the garage, you may open the door, survey the mess and simply close the door and walk away.  You just don’t even know where to begin.  The news has been like that lately.  I just don’t know where to begin.  So I close the door and walk away.  But that doesn’t get us anywhere.  We need to be vigilant.  So it’s time to catch up.

There was a story about two weeks ago, that didn’t get a lot of notice.  It was about how the Veteran’s Administration is over budget and behind schedule on multiple construction projects.

The Government Accountability Office released a report showing that many of the VA’s construction projects were years behind schedule and their cost overruns were at $1.5 billion.  One example given was a medical center in Aurora, CO.  The medical center was originally scheduled to be completed and opened in 2008 at a cost of $200 million.  It’s still not done.  The GAO report says it will be complete in 2015 at a cost of $800 million.

The contractor however, projects it will open in 2016 at a cost of $1 billion.  The contractor blames the delays and costs on multiple changes the VA has requested to the original plan.  I find no information about anyone being held accountable for any of this.

And that lack of accountability is what is so emblematic of Washington in general.  For me, this story is like a microcosm of all that’s wrong with our federal government.  The GAO, the Government Accountability Office, really isn’t holding anyone accountable.  They simply do the math and supply the information.

The contractor is most likely correct, and the changes made by the VA are to blame.

The VA released a statement that says, “The Department has taken measures to implement recommendations from the Government Accountability Office through several initiatives to improve the scope, cost and schedule information of major construction projects.”

Hmmm, yeah, that ought to fix it.

Congress approves the money for all this and has real oversight authority.  But it is clear that oversight was not exercised here.  And to be fair, how can they know about something like this in time to put a stop to it?  There are thousands of projects just like this going on at any given time.  How would they ever keep an eye on all of them?

And that’s the point.  Our tax dollars are being spent by federal bureaucrats who have no incentive to spend them wisely.  There is no penalty FlushingMoneyfor waste and corruption and no one is held responsible.

No one is watching them.

Only when a project goes bad enough to get some attention from the media, does anyone in Washington even raise an eyebrow.  They are always reacting to bad news, never watching to prevent that bad news.

They can’t.  It’s all just too big.   Our federal government has grown into something it was never intended to be, something that no one can control, not even our elected leaders in Congress.  It rolls along, devouring our tax dollars in a way that would never be tolerated in the private sector where people are made to answer for their mistakes and their employment is on the line.

As I said, this story didn’t get a lot of attention.  It was around for a day or so, and then everyone moved on.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because we’ve become accustomed to being outraged by dollar amounts counted in trillions.  Millions, even billions no longer get our attention.

Maybe it’s because we’ve grown so accustomed to corruption and out of control spending from the federal government that we’re just not surprised by a story like this one.

Maybe we’re just tired – tired of our demands for quality leadership and accountability falling on deaf ears.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

Last night, the Treasury Department (the soon-to-be enforcers of our healthcare) posted an announcement on their website about Obamacare.

“The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.”

Everyone has been scrambling, trying to figure out how to comply with the law and come up with the money to pay for that compliance, with little direction from the government that imposed it on us.  Implementation is just months away and no one seems to know what to do.  The exchanges promised by the government are still not set up and the law is still being written, as so much was left by Congress to be up to the “discretion” of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.

It’s contributing to unemployment, as companies large and small look for ways to avoid being penalized.  The nation is engaged in a giant game of hot potato.  No one wants to get stuck paying the bill.

The Obama administration, who have loudly been touting Obamacare as “the law of the land,” now seems like it doesn’t want to comply with it either.  Everyone, including some on the left, are calling the entire thing a “trainwreck.”    So, as has become a habit now, the administration is picking another portion of another law that it doesn’t like and announcing that they simply won’t enforce it.

Businesses are to get a free ride for another year.  We won’t have to watch that trainwreck happen, at least not now, not until 2015, at which time the administration says it will enforce the law.  Now, what happens in November of 2014, right before all this?

Think, think, think….

Oh yeah!  Midterm elections!

The left is hoping to take back the House and retain the Senate next year.  But if voters actually see Obamacare in practice, that is simply not going to happen.  Obamacare is such a disaster that the democrats know they will lose even the low information voters who still believe they are going to get super-deluxe healthcare that someone else is going to pay for.  Remember, not a single republican voted for Obamacare.

My own personal opinion is that President Obama and his close, inner circle don’t really care about any of this.  They are content to ride out the minutia and the day-to-day issues in favor of their larger plan.  These are book people.  They are academics and idealists.  Like their foreign policy, all this works out great on a blackboard and in the faculty lounge discussions.  They peer down their noses at those of us who point out the faults of their plans.

It doesn’t much matter to them that Americans are suffering because the country has no direction and the rest of the world is spinning out of control.  It works in their books and so they know in their minds, that it will eventually work in practice if they just get rid of the opposition and give it enough time.  This is naïve at best and insane at worst.

We are living their dream.  We are their guinea pigs.  We are their experiment in progressive ideology.  They are rich and insulated and will pay no price when all this crumbles.  That will be left to us also.

So if they have to put off their grand plan for another year to placate some members of Congress and deceive voters just a little longer, it’s no big deal.  It’s a small price to pay to see their lifes’ work implemented, and their progressive dreams imposed on us all.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

When I was a teenager, I spent too many summer days at the beach, trying to get that perfect tan.  With my pale Irish skin that usually meant more painful sunburn than tan, but that never deterred me from trying.

Now I pay the price.  For at least the last fifteen years, I faithfully visit my dermatologist twice a year, always on the lookout for skin cancer.  This morning I went for my semi-annual checkup.

The lady who runs the front desk asked for my insurance card and my driver’s license.  She explained that they were making the move from paper to electronic records and wanted to scan both of these into their new computerized system.  Since they are participants in my HMO, I had no reason to deny them my insurance ID.  But the license was a different issue for me.

I told her I would prefer not to have my license become part of that record.  She insisted.  I told her I would like to speak to the doctor about it.  And I did.  I told him that there is already so much information about me in his records and I am uncomfortable adding the picture ID.  Hackers are very sophisticated these days and I try to protect myself as best I can.

I also took the opportunity to talk to him about the upcoming portion of Obamacare that will require all those records be added to a national database.  I told him that when the time came that they asked him to hand over his records that I did not want mine included.  He shook his head and shared that he too is concerned about it.  He said some patients had expressed the same concerns.  But apparently not too many.  He told me it was not necessary to provide my license.

We are still peeling back the layers of the onion on just how much of our private information has been compromised by the NSA and the FBI.  The idea that all of our private medical information will soon be available to government officials, government flunkies and any hacker is just too much.

As I left the doctor’s office I passed through the waiting room.  A patient was signing in, and handing over his identification without question.  All the way home I thought about this.  For every person like me who is saying, “Hey, wait a minute.  I don’t want my private information handed over to the government,” how many more are just giving away their privacy?

A giant, out of control government that sees no bounds to its power is no longer the stuff of crazies and conspiracy theorists.  It is front page news.  They are rifling through our communications at will.  And when they can get their hands on our medical records, they will go through those too.

They won’t find anything terribly interesting in mine, but that’s not the point.  What transpires between me and my doctor is my business and no one else’s –ConfidentialMedRecords certainly not the government’s.  And I am choosing to opt out.  As this all gets closer, I intend to let all of the doctors I see know that I do not give permission for them to share my records with anyone unless they have my approval.  That includes the federal government.

I’m not sure where that might end.  But I wonder what might happen if millions of Americans joined me and simply said, “No thanks.  I choose not to participate.”

Perhaps those in charge might get the message they seem to have forgotten – that they work for us.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

Politico is reporting that lawmakers and those who work for them are getting pretty worried about Obamacare.  Some are so worried that they are quitting their government jobs in an effort to lock in their current health plans.  They think they’ll be better off than taking their chances with Obamacare.

From the Politico article:

“Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance  premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking  about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the  year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers  onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits  exorbitantly expensive.”

But, but, but, I thought Obamacare was a great thing.  That’s what they told us.  It would be like magic – everyone getting high quality healthcare and we were going to save all that money to boot.  So why are all those people in Washington so afraid of it now that it’s about to kick in?

We’ve been sold the proverbial bill of goods.  All those nightmare scenarios so many of us warned of are about to become reality – skyrocketing costs, death panels, long waits for sub-standard care, doctors leaving their practices…

And now those in Washington, many of whom thrust this monster on the rest of us, are running for the exits.

And if we don’t keep a very close eye on them, they will be bailing themselves out, exempting themselves from what they expect the rest of us to accept.

-Kathy

Full Politico article.

Read Full Post »

Today we’ll try to break down the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.  Like the others, this story continues to drip out with new information sometimes by the hour.  It’s already long and twisted, but let’s try to hit the high points.

The tea party took root in early 2009.  People were angry about too much spending under President Bush, especially the TARP bailout.  Now it seemed that President Obama was going to triple-down on big spending as he signed the Stimulus bill in February and Congress was talking about Obamacare.

Americans who had never been involved in protests or political organizations started to meet and look for ways to influence politicians.  These groups were loosely organized but most were focused on the same issues – fiscal responsibility and smaller government.  They came to be known collectively as the Tea Party.

The left attacked them.  They were accused of racism, homophobia, even violence, when the only record of any violence at a tea party event was committed by those on the left against tea party members.

Some of these groups applied for tax-exempt status and this is where the IRS scandal begins.  Groups with names that indicated they may be part of the tea party had their applications singled out.  The reported number of such targeted groups has grown since this story began and we now know that hundreds were in the IRS’ crosshairs.

Requests languished in the bowels of the IRS machinery for months, many for more than a year.  When they finally did hear from the IRS it was requests for more and more information, much of it far outside the law.  They were asked about their donors, their volunteers, what books they read, if they might ever run for office, what prayers they said, their jobs and how many hours they worked….

These usually came with a 2 week timeline for return and always with a warning that any false information would be considered perjury.  For grandmothers and business owners who had never participated in government before, this was a scary threat.

Many applicants complained to their congressmen, who in turn questioned the IRS.  132 of these members of Congress contacted the IRS over a 2 year period, trying to find out what was going on.  In March of 2012, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee and told them, “There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” (when they apply for status.)

Not satisfied with Schulman’s answer, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa requested an investigation by the Inspector General.  IG Russell George conducted this audit and has testified that he notified Treasury officials that he was doing so.

His final report substantiated the claims of the tea party applicants that they had been treated improperly by the IRS.  This report was to be made public on May 11, 2013.

Wanting to get ahead of the story, Director of IRS Exempt Organizations Division, Lois Lerner, arranged a “planted question.”  She was to speak before a conference of the American Bar Association on May 10 and asked someone in attendance to pose a question about the IG report.  We have since learned that the White House and Treasury Dept. were involved in this strategizing.

Since then, this story has spiraled and spread as bureaucrats and elected officials scramble to cover their behinds.  Initially it was all blamed on a couple of “rogue” employees in one IRS office.  But while the creep of responsibility continues to climb the pecking order, all we hear from those in charge is that they didn’t know, they hadn’t heard, they can’t recall or they thought someone else was fixing it.  President Obama says he heard about it on the news, just like the rest of us did.

It would take pages and pages for me to run through it all.  But click here for a great timeline of events from Director Blue.  It shows the twisting and turning of a too big government at work.  It’s breathtaking.

High level government officials, earning six-figure salaries and perks you and I can only dream of, all paid with our tax dollars, now face congressional scrutiny.  And they sit before us as arrogant and condescending as possible, offering incredulous reasons for what has happened.  We are asked to believe that no one in charge knew what was going on.  Ms. Lerner, who started the ball rolling, claimed Fifth Amendment protection yesterday, saying she refused to answer Congress’ questions.

LoisLerner

Imagine that.  She was part of the machinery that denied thousands of Americans their rights under our First Amendment, but has no issue asserting her own, and apparently no interest in finding the truth.

If Ms. Lerner and Mr. Schulman and all the rest of the bureaucrats and politicians are innocent, if none of them has done anything wrong, where does the problem lie?

Perhaps it’s in a government that has grown so large that it has taken on a life of its own.  Everyone involved can point to someone else and trap us all in a maze of secrecy, bureaucracy and lies.  No one is running the store.  No one knows what’s going on.  No one is to blame.  No one pays any price when things go wrong.

Except the average American, crying out for someone to listen to him.  It seems to me that the tea party has been right all along.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

Michael Huerta, the head of the FAA, told members of Congress yesterday that airports around Washington, DC will feel little to no impact from the furloughs of air traffic controllers that are being blamed on sequester cuts.  So lawmakers travelling in and out of DC will be unaffected.

Isn’t that nice?

So when we peasants are wasting precious vacation time standing around an airport, or trying to make a meeting that our small business depends on, at least we know our elected leaders and their buds won’t be inconvenienced.

Once again, it is the hard-working citizens of American who suffer the consequences of the short-comings of those in Washington, while those who made the mess pay no price.

Washington Times story

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

We all get pretty annoyed when we hear about abuses to our welfare system.  We’re compassionate and benevolent and we know some people just need some help sometimes.  But we also know there are far too many people taking advantage of the system, and of us.

Well try this – the Boston terrorists were welfare recipients.

From The Boston Herald:

“Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.

 State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

 In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.”

Full article here.

Gee, I wonder if they used Obamaphones to detonate their bombs.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of hearing that angry, old, white males are the problem in America.  It’s angry, old, white males who contributed the most in taxes to support all this.  No wonder they’re angry.  I’m angry too.

Today, when you see the news that law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying, peaceful American citizens are waiting in line for hours at our airports because our elected leaders have cut air traffic controllers because we can’t afford them, think of this.

When you hear our elected leaders talking about their latest bill to “fix our immigration problem” and bring another 20 million into the fold, think of this.  Ask yourself how they are going to monitor the movement and intentions of all those people when they missed these guys even after the Russians called us and warned us!  Think of how many of those 20 million will run straight to the welfare office.  I know, they told us they won’t be eligible for benefits.  Right.

The next time some pompous politician yells at those honest, hard-working, law-abiding American citizens that they, “don’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer!”  think of this.  Those Americans just might need far more than 10 bullets to protect themselves from jihadists living down the street – in a house supported by their tax dollars.

Our entire system is badly broken and this episode shines a bright light on how deep it goes.  People paid with their lives and their limbs.

And what does our government do in the face of all this and more?  Disarm Americans, welcome in known law-breakers by the millions and demand we give them more tax dollars.

For what?  To fund the next terrorist?

It’s high time we stopped worrying about political correctness, diversity and what passes for compassion these days, and started doing what’s good for honest, hard-working American citizens.

We’re pretty tired of being used as the world’s doormat.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

We Americans are a pretty easy-going bunch.  The nuts make the evening news, but they are the exception.  Most of us go about our business, rarely rocking the boat.  But there is an increasing awareness of the insanity that is our federal government and frustration with the things they do.

Because of sequestration, they told us there isn’t enough money to pay for Secret Service, so this group of 6th graders can’t visit the White House.

6thGradeNoWhiteHse

But they found the money to provide security for a bunch of 1%ers to attend an evening at the White House with Justin Timberlake and a collection of soul musicians.

WHMemphisSoul

We know that our Dept. of Homeland Security is buying massive amounts of ammunition.  They told us it was for training purposes and that buying in bulk saved money.  But then they sent out notices to Border Patrol agents that they can no longer afford to provide bullets for the agents to use for qualification training.

A week later DHS is ordering bagpipes.

Remember this guy?

GSATubGuy

And how about this little guy?

ShrimpOnTreadmillAnd who can forget our friend, the Obamaphone Lady?

For decades we have watched the federal government spend our tax dollars so irresponsibly, they might as well have lit a match to it.  When they run short, they simply borrow more and sign our children’s name to the IOU.

Sequestration has been their vehicle to show us, the citizens of America, their frustration as our elected leaders.  Compared to what we spend, the dollar amount is relatively small and isn’t even a cut in spending.  It’s actually a cut in the amount of increase in spending – they simply can’t get by with what they had last year.

Do we ever actually see them going “line by line” through our expenses cutting waste and redundancy?  Not a chance.  When forced to make adjustments do they stop funding studies of pig feces in China or those Moroccan pottery classes?

No.  When we ask them to be responsible, they thrash out at us.  They threaten us and even put us in danger.

No more FDA meat inspectors for you!  And we’re taking away air traffic controllers too.  No more Blue Angels to inspire our youngsters, and your Mom and Dad?  Well, we’ll just see about their Medicare.

But don’t you dare ask us to stop supporting that government leech in the tub in Vegas.  Your kids will pay.  They are no longer welcome in our White House.

We are all doing far more than our fair share out here in the real world while our leaders carry on as though nothing has changed and they haven’t done anything wrong.  Ask them to make some adjustments and they lay on the floor kicking and screaming like toddlers who don’t yet possess the ability to control their frustration and anger.  They strike out at us, purposefully seeking ways to make us pay for upsetting their lifestyle and proving to us that we need to give them even more tax dollars.

I’m sorry to say so, folks, but America has become a two-tier system – the political elite and those of us who do their bidding.  Our leaders are drunk with their own power and have no intention of willingly relinquishing any of it.  If we question them or dare ask them to “do their fair share” they threaten and punish us.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  It’s not how our Founders set things up.  But as long as we continue to elect and reelect them, this is the way it’s going to be.  As long as we have uninformed and under-informed voters who believe the old media and the hollow promises of our politicians, it’s simply going to continue.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally …you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

– Variations of this are going around.  I was unable to identify an original author, but would be happy to give credit if you know who that may be.  Most likely this has grown and changed as it goes from inbox to inbox.

And please feel free to add your own entries.  There are many, many more, I’m sure.

-Kathy

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »