Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sequestration






Well, the moment of truth came for the Sequestration event.  Kind of like a Moon Eclipse; the pre-event Administration warnings of doom and gloom were significantly more exiting than the actual event.  As the cartoonist [Stantis] above noted, the catastrophes Mr Obama hysterically predicted failed to occur.  Still another event affecting Mr Obama's credibility -- or lack there-of. 

Just to let Congress know how devastating the Sequestration has been on his budget, Mr Obama has advised that he is cancelling the White House tour program; since those tours are usually conducted by unpaid Interns, this action serves no purpose -- monetary or otherwise -- but is in step with the majority of his other actions.

But, there was a positive in this non-event. 
It caused us to examine the Administration's agency budgets to see if there was any fat that might be trimmed.  And, amazingly enough, it looked like a liposuction clinic.

Generally, if legislatures or government execs are faced with demands to cut the budget, they will first announce cuts to high demand services such as police, the fire department, teachers, and emergency services.

They will avoid sweetheart construction projects on which they get kickbacks, or the massive bureaucracies they've created to employ cronies and relatives and to spin contracts to their henchmen. 

Normal Corruption  [Buzzle.com]



We can live with kickbacks, since they are part and parcel part of the acknowledge political process.  Bribes, kickbacks, "campaign contributions", etc.s are one-time events and rarely tie to long-term feeding at the corruption trough. 






Redundancy is the norm          [Agilecmmi.com]


But, we can't live with bloated bureaucracies which have long term costs of retirement benefits; these bloats have flourished in the past four years with massive increases in the upper half of staffing and management -- with salary scales ranging between $75,000 - $200,000, plus benefits. 

When these folks retire, taxpayers will have to continue to support them until they are buried, and taxpayers will likely pay for that as well.



But, for the moment, let's look at the budgets for these individual agencies -- and try to determine if they are cost effective, or if they can trim their budgets -- or if they should be eliminated altogether!


1) Dept of Education [$66 Billion] [5,000 employees]
[figures below were requested budgets]
Recall for the moment, the emphasis Mr Obama has placed on making our kids competitive in Math, Science, and Technology.





Not a penny for Math/Science



a) Mathematics and Science Partnerships:   $ -0-
b) Educational Technology State Grants:     $ -0-
c) Reading First:                                        $ -0-
d) Teacher Incentive Fund:                         $ -0-





While those Education programs were de-funded, these others have increased exponentially:
a) Office for Civil Rights [?]: $53.6 Million
b) Inspector General [?]: $26 Million
c) OTHER [undefined]: $5.6 BILLION
[That's a lot of money that is "undefined".  Is this another Administration Slush Fund?]
  

2) Dept of Energy [$31 Billion/$27 Billion in Discretionary Funds] [16,000 employees]
 
$13.5 Billion to these scams                          [FBI Photo]

a) $11.5 BILLION:  Maintaining nuclear weapons and Navy nuclear submarine reactors
b) $ 2.5 BILLION: NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration]; protecting nuclear weapons
c) $ 1.3 BILLION:  Research and Development
d) $12.2 BILLION: Direct Loans for "Advanced Techology" [e.g., Solyndra]
e) $ 1.2 BILLION:  Guaranteed Loans to private lenders [e.g.,  Solyndra default]
f) $   6.3 BILLION:  Undisclosed

3) EPA  [$9 Billion]  [17,000 employees]
a) $ 1.1 BILLION:  Monitoring "Climate Change" and Improving Air Quality
b) $ 3.8 BILLION:  "Protecting" US Waters?
c) $ 1.9 BILLION:  Community Clean-up
d) $ 0.7 BILLION:  Ensuring Safety of Chemicals and Pollution Prevention
e) $ 0.8 BILLION:  Enforcing Environmental Laws.

--- Now here's where it gets really ugly!

2,716 of these DHS Armored Command Centers
4) Department of Homeland Security  
[$60 Billion]  
[240,000 employees]
DHS assesses threats to the US.
"Budget breakout is difficult to define"

Documented DHS threats include:
a) Muslim Lobbyists
b) Pro- and anti-abortion activists
c)  Environmental Activists
d) Tea Party groups
e) Second Amendment ralliers
f)  Ron Paul supporters
g) Third Party voters
h) Historically Black colleges
i)  Returning Combat Vets from Iraq


5) Dept of Agriculture  [$135 Billion]  [105,000 employees]

$30 Billion for NOT growing crops!
a)  $30 BILLION:  Agricultural Subsidies to farmers [for NOT growing crops]
b)  $95 BILLION:  Food subsidies, including food stamps, school lunches, "nutrition program" 
c)  $3 BILLION:  Rural housing, Utilities, Business coop service, "Rural Development"





d)  Slush funds (?)     [$3.5 Billion]
     (1)  $    893,000:   Office of Asst Sec for Civil Rights
     (2)  $    498,000:   Office of Tribal Relations
     (3)  $ 3,576,000:   Congressional Relations?
     (4)  $    848,000:   Marketing & Regulatory Programs
     (5)  $    893,000:   Natural Resources & Environment
        
Going through these budgets is an excruciating exercise, as we are certain it is meant to be -- to dull the sensibilities of the reviewer.  Since we have worked for the government, and prepared and padded budgets, we're quite familiar with what is fluff and puff, and what is real. 

As best we can determine, there is massive redundancy in these agencies, overlapping charters, and duplicated offices.  For example, the Department of Agriculture overlaps with DHS and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in redundant programs for Native Americans; we'll presume there is no benefit to Native Americans from these programs, so they are merely sinecures for friends, family members, and paybacks for political contributions.

Why does the Agriculture spend $3.5 Million on "Congressional Relations"?  We recognized they must brief Congress periodically, but they already have massive administrative budgets in each office for such purposes. 

Why is Agriculture paying out $30 BILLION for subsidies to farmers so they WON'T grow crops?

Our recommendation for Sequestration cuts which will have no impact on effectiveness:

1.  Cut Department of Education by 50%; shift grants to HHS [eliminate Department of Education].
2.  Cut Department of Energy by 50%.  DOD already has responsibility for much of nuclear security.
3.  Cut EPA by 50% with no impact:  Monitoring Climate Change? Have an intern read the
     newspaper.
4)  Cut DHS by 50% with no negative impact.  Good God!  Where do we start? 
     a) What do 240,000 employees do, other than look for US citizens to arrest. 
     b) These people must be jammed together, cheek to jowel, gasping for a reason for existence.
     c) Fire 200,000 of these employees and provide grants to the States to beef up their regional
         security issues.  If they can't find jobs, put them on welfare for a year; it's a lot cheaper than
         paying them salaries and benefits, and retirement!
5) Cut Agriculture by 35% and fire 60,000 employees.  That leaves plenty left over to perform meat inspections and farm advice programs.  Slice the Agriculture IT budget by 75%; that has to be a massive rip-off since it is physically impossible to spend $1Billion on IT equipment and services for a single agency.
                                                              [RollCall]



Why is Agriculture spending billions on IT ? 
----[It's incredibly hard to spend that much money on IT products and services!]






Sequestration?








It's the best idea to have come out of the White House during this entire Administration -- even though Mr Obama now refers to it as a Republican plot to disrupt the country and denies any association with its creation.  Once again, Mr Obama has been caught in a bald-faced lie -- and even the Media is calling him out on it.

As a footnote, even his own Party is calling Mr Obama out on the subject.  Representatives Issa [R] and Waxman [D], both of California, have slammed Mr Obama for ignoring more than 16,000 recommendations from agency Inspectors General which would collectively save $67 BILLION per year.


Neutering these Inspectors General is the fact that Mr Obama has not made such appointments at the State Department, USAID, the Labor Department, and the Interior Department -- which have a collective budget of $900 BILLION.

It would appear that Mr Obama has no interest whatever in stabilizing the budget -- or the economy.  We return to our original hypothesis that his goal is to undermine US Stability.

Congress:  Here's your fatted calf!  Sharpen your carving knives! And keep a close eye on Mr Obama.