Friday, April 6, 2012

823,000 Reasons to be Annoyed

In reading about the $823,000 spent by the General Services Administration in 2010 on a ridiculous training conference you just have to start asking questions and making some demands:
  • Of our Bloviator in Chief, who is pounding the drum of a “Social Darwinist” budget (that mind you does not actually cut the dollar figure of government) and keeps talking about the rich folks paying their fair share, can we ask him to cut back on the hyperbole and maybe try and get serious for once? I would be willing to wager that this ridiculous “Buffet Rule” would result in some hedge fund manager having his tax bill increased by something around $823,000. How exactly would it only be fair to raise those taxes again? This is money that was flushed down the drain, plain and simple. Supposedly this administration has been the most diligent ever in trying to find the duplicitous waste of the Executive Branch. Thankfully some ass attempting to carry water for the administration has pointed out that these extravagant trips started under Bush (as if we needed a reminder that he sucked) and I guess that is supposed to absolve them; but if you are the rich guy, what is unreasonable about telling the Democrats to go screw, and doing whatever you can to keep your taxes from rising? This is one tiny little example of ridiculous waste that is perpetuated by all levels of government. This was just another case of the annual ritual of shoveling money out the door before closing the books, which occurs in all agencies and departments everywhere. Heaven forbid you not spend ever single dollar borrowed form our grandchildren allocated to your agency. This does not even address any real waste, measured in the billions, so why not demand, in the loudest possible voice, that there be real, actual CUTS before there is any discussion of taxes being raised?
  • To our Republican friends who think they are in the catbird seat on this one, can we ask them to stop being such smug shits and to also get serious? As pointed out above, the evil and terribly austere Ryan budget does not actually cut the government. There is no seriousness anywhere in this discussion because they will not start with the most important aspect of starting to save our future - the Defense Budget. The Department of Defense could blow through $823,000 a thousand times faster than the GAS, mainly because no one pays any attention to how they waste money. They are of the opinion that they waste none, so they don’t even bother to check. Seriousness people. This is supposed to be a turning point election, you are trying to convince Independents and the libertarian minded that your horrible track record needs to be ignored because a 2nd Obama term is the harbinger of the apocalypse, yet you only cut the most miniscule things that lack powerful constituencies. You want support? Get serious about the real problems.
  • To our talking heads, do you mind taking a long walk of a short pier? The Supreme Court arguments over the individual mandate have really brought out the froth from the left wing commentators, and it is becoming exceptionally painful. You have had weeks and weeks of how just plain stupid we are, how could anyone question the need, power or scope of our Federal government. The good folks over at The Nation have an entire issue devoted to telling you how absolutely clueless and helpless you would be without the benevolent greatness of our government to Shepard you from cradle to grave. Isn’t that just a wonderful story to weave for your children? You can be whatever the government determines for you! I can not wait for my boys to grow old enough that I can tell them they live in a country where Washington can tell you that you CAN NOT grow wheat on your own property, that it CAN break down your door and drag you away for growing reefer in your basement even though your state has no problem with it, and that to be a citizen in good standing you MUST BUY a properly approved and mandated health insurance policy. Government is good and great and you are just a tax paying means to an end. These are all truths of the world we live in, truths that should not be questioned or rolled back, EVER! To question these things would be the end of America! And we libertarians are the crazy, naïve fools?
This tiny, insignificant episode is just a reminder for everyone of the issue. Bureaucracy has no incentive to be efficient, to save money, to think outside the box for an alternative solution, to be bold and decisive in furtherance of an objective; these are all things that would get you fired from a government job. We question every expansion of the size, scope and intrusion of government not because we are naïve, or because we are heartless or even stupid. We question it because it is a necessity. Government unchecked will grow. New programs, new people to “help”, larger and larger budgets, and more and more restrictions on you and yours because that is the nature of the beast, not because it is inherently malevolent, it is just what happens. Mind you, that in this case, this is the agency that is in charge of deciding on how to best spend tax money, so please do not fault us when we are suspect about how well our government will do with complete control over healthcare, the one part of our economy that at present is nothing but regulations and rent seekers with absolutely no market forces to hold price increases in check. We resist and question, as all should, because someday in the not to distant future the “other guys” will be in charge, and they might use these new, ever expanding powers in ways that you find abhorrent, at which point the only thing to say is “T.S. my hypocritical friend, you should have been a little less trusting in the unquestionable greatness of government and not such an out and out ass towards the people looking to protect you from the possibilities of government run amok.”

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