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And the truth is, there were no budget cuts – only a slight decrease in the rate of perpetual spending increases. John Hayward, always right on target with his assessment, correctly identifies the problem with Ebola and lots of other things in our country: the government is an ineptocracy, and the consequence of failure in an ineptocracy is MORE MONEY to spend on stupid stuff that has nothing to do with what they’re supposed to be doing.ebola virus

Case in point: the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health. Swimming in funding, they find money to study why lesbians are obese, but can’t seem to come up with a cogent strategy to stop the spread of a disease that the Chief Ineptocrat said would “likely never come here.” Right. I’m thinking minor epidemic, at least.

And it’s not just nutjob progressive groups or loony cable-TV hosts spreading this nonsense; last week, Hillary Clinton also blamed the Left’s all-purpose failure demon, the sequestration “cuts” actually mild reductions in the rates of spending growth from the 2011 Budget Control Act for any problems that might arise in the government’s response to Ebola.  “They’re working heroically, but they don’t have the resources they used to have,” Mrs. Clinton sniffed.

Thus is the one and only example of spending restraint from the hilariously misnamed “Budget Control Act” – a tiny tap on the spending brakes, which has since been largely rescinded – blamed for every blunder of the $3.5 trillion super-sized government worshiped by the Left as the best doctor, investor, builder, business manager, charity, and employer in human history.  Every dollar the State does not receive is the one dollar that causes the whole damn operation to unravel.  The sort of actual, honest-to-God spending cut that most private-sector businesses deal with on a regular basis would reduce Washington to rubble.  And if people like Hillary Clinton are going to keep blaming sequestration for everything, should we pause for a refresher course on the history of that ill-fated bit of automated fiscal restraint, and remember exactly whose idea it was?  Hint: his initials are “BHO,” and the reason he came up with the idea was to terrorize Republicans into accepting tax increases by threatening them with mandatory cuts to defense spending.  That would be the same “BHO” who is currently losing a war in the Middle East against a threat he refused to see until it was far too late).

In truth, the CDC and NIH are swimming in money, just like every other appendage of this ridiculously overpriced, painfully mis-managed government.  Like every other agency, they fritter away their money on silly distractions and naked attempts to extend their power.  They put more effort into “mission creep” than their actual mission.  When confronted with a crisis that exposes an inability to handle core functions, the agency curls into a defensive crouch and begins whining that it’s under-funded.  If that works – and until now, it often has – the result is growth through failure.  Instead of being torn to bits by enraged taxpayers, the agency gets more money than ever before, and promptly begins wasting it on robot-squirrel studies to cite one of the more memorable examples of madcap spending from Senator Tom Coburn’s epic “Wastebook” series.The NIH makes an appearance in the most recent edition of the Wastebook, for spending $325,525 on a study to determine if marriages are happier when angry wives calm down quickly.  The answer, you will be shocked to learn, is “yes,” although the Wastebook archly advises, “Regardless, men who want a happy marriage are probably wise to avoid telling their wives the government’s advice to resolving marital conflicts is for her to calm down.”The 2014 edition of the Wastebook hasn’t been released yet, but it’s a fair bet that the NIH’s $1.5 million study of “biological and social factors” to determine why lesbians tend toward obesity more than homosexual males will make the cut.

via Blaming Ebola on Republican budget cuts: The Ineptocracy Strikes Back | Human Events.

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Adjusted for inflation, our government has spent five times more in 50 years “fighting poverty” than we’ve spend onwelfare spending and percentage of poor every war since the American Revolution. Yet, the number of people classified as “poor” has not changed much in 40 years. How can this be? The percentage of people considered poor has remained pretty static for a long time, yet spending grows at an atmospheric rate. Could it be there are too many programs? Too many agencies? Too many government functionaries collecting a paycheck to do the same thing as someone in some other department?

Over 100 million people, about one third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S. But today the Census will almost certainly proclaim that around 14 percent of Americans are still poor. The present poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1967 a few years after the War on Poverty started. Census data actually shows that poverty has gotten worse over the last 40 years.

How is this possible? How can the taxpayers spend $22 trillion on welfare while poverty gets worse? The typical family that Census identifies as poor has air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, and a computer in its home.The answer is it isn’t possible.  Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family “income,” Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state.For most Americans, the word “poverty” means significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing. But only a small portion of the more than 40 million people labelled as poor by Census fit that description.

The media frequently associate the idea of poverty with being homeless. But less than two percent of the poor are homeless.  Only one in ten live in mobile homes. The typical house or apartment of the poor is in good repair and uncrowded; it is actually larger than the average dwelling of non-poor French, Germans or English. According to government surveys, the typical family that Census identifies as poor has air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, and a computer in his home. Forty percent have a wide screen HDTV and another 40 percent have internet access. Three quarters of the poor own a car and roughly a third have two or more cars. These numbers are not the result of the current bad economy pushing middle class families into poverty; instead, they reflect a steady improvement in living conditions among the poor for many decades.

poor infographic

via The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop.

As harebrained schemes go, this one’s a real winner. Let’s have an institution that can’t even cover its costs for performing its core function get involved in offering check-cashing services and making small money loans to “underbanked” people who probably can’t afford to pay them back. But hey, if they lose money on this scheme, it doesn’t matter – it’s somebody else’s money anyway, right? This is precisely what Fauxcahontas -a financial genius in her own mind- wants to have the POST OFFICE do.

This brilliant can’t fail scheme comes from the mind of the Post Office Inspector General and Elizabeth Warren. It was said of Napoleon III that insane schemes multiplied in his brain faster than rabbits. I don’t even want to picture what the inside of Elizabeth Warren’s brain looks like.

As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money each year, a new report suggests a way to add to its bottom line: offer banklike services, such as a check cashing card that would allow holders to make purchases and pay bills online or even take out small loans. The idea is to provide services that are now unavailable in many communities.

Sure the USPS can’t figure out how to make money on its core function, so why not have it branch out into a risky and complicated line of work that it has no experience with.

via Elizabeth Warren: Let’s Have Bankrupt Post Office Lend Billions to People With Bad Credit | FrontPage Magazine.

Yes, for the government it makes perfect sense. Sounds like a $7 billion slush fund for Obama to throw around to his cronies.

The Department of Health and Human Services revealed on Wednesday a plan to spend up to $7 billion to find ways to reduce spending under the Affordable Care Act while maintaining or improving the quality of health care.  The solicitation for bids for this wide-ranging project appeared today on the Federal Business Opportunities website:

The purpose is to develop a Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design, and Analysis (RMADA) IDIQ [Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity] to respond to expanded needs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT (ACA) and Health Care reform ACT (HCERA). The work awarded under the RMADA will involve the design, implementation and evaluation of a broad range of research and/or payment and service delivery models to test their potential for reducing expenditures for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and uninsured beneficiaries while maintaining or improving quality of care.

While the contract is to be an IDIQ contract, meaning that the quantity of work is variable and therefore the price to be paid is not fixed, documents accompanying the contract indicate the maximum is set at $7 billion over the life of the contract:

via HHS Plans to Spend Up to $7B to Find Ways to Reduce Costs Under Obamacare | The Weekly Standard.

The rollout of the Obamacare website, healthcare.gov, has been a complete well-documented disaster. The government, in its classic incapable manner, managed to spend half a BILLION dollars for a site that just doesn’t work. Take heart, working-class tax-dollar generators: they’re going to fix it. At what cost to you, we’re not sure, but they claim they’ll have the “best and brightest” working on it.

Just curious – if you were going to blow through $500 million to build a website that was a critical component of your signature legislative accomplishment, wouldn’t you get your “best and brightest” to work on it the first time around?

This Politico piece says that HHS “won’t say” what’s wrong with the site. My guess is they don’t have any idea.

The Obama administration Sunday said it’s called on “the best and brightest” tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.

The unusual Sunday 600-word blog post from HHS was the first update in more than a week on the many failings of an expensive website that HHS itself described as “frustrating for many Americans.” But it didn’t specify who the administration had called in, or when the American people would see clear-cut results on Healthcare.gov.

“We’re kind of thinking of it as a tech ‘surge,’” an HHS official told POLITICO. The Health and Human Services statement didn’t explain everything that’s wrong, or give technical details about the repairs underway. It outlined some steps being taken to fix the site, including updates with “new code that includes bug fixes.” The department also says it’s installing monitors to catch parts of the website that are proving the most troublesome for consumers. And it also said it had seen some improvements in wait times and consumer access to the website, the online portal to health insurance exchanges or marketplaces the federal government is running in 36 states.

via Tech ‘surge’ to tackle Obamacare websites – Jason Millman – POLITICO.com.