Friday, February 19, 2010

Chronicling Obama's Wasting of Your Money

I'm somewhat fascinated by the way the Obama administration is using the roughly $800,000,000,000 blank check which Congress generously gave it (of our money) at the beginning of Obama's term. Nominally the money was for saving the economy from disastrous ruin, and for job creation/preservation (both noble goals, and both utterly unrelated to and unaffected by this unprecedented bold display of waste and largess). The Obama administration has been dolling out this money slowly, with careful thought, spread between bribes, payouts, PR moves, partisan initiative support, and other targets for maximal political value. A brilliant strategy, on its face, as long as you can control the media message and continue to "get away" with it.

I wonder, though, what would happen if one or two large-impact media organizations started chronicling the various handouts and political giveaways for what they really are. For example, consider today's $1,500,000,000 handout of your money. What if, instead of the typical coverage, somebody was covering the event from the perspective of an average, fiscally responsible, hard-working American; eg:

Today, Obama gave $1,500,000,000 of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars to state housing agencies, to help pay for their increasing bureaucratic oversight and to help fund some new programs. Your money will help pay for people who are underemployed stay in houses they can no longer afford, help pay for houses people bought who could never actually afford them, and help subsidize payments for people who used their homes as ATM machines to live above their means. States have yet to announce how much of this funding will effectively (through budget redirection) go to subsidizing general state government waste and corruption, but sources indicate that at least part of the money will actually go to dead-beat home debtors.

Hey Fox News, if you happen to be reading this, feel free to use my blurb when you describe this latest taxpayer ripoff. I'd love to see a regular column for each of the Obama "stimulus" handouts with a similar real-world perspective...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Obama and the Boy Scouts?

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts. In lieu of this, and being a boy scout once upon a time, I thought it might be fun to evaluate our comrade Obama against the traits which define a boy scout, per the scout oath. We'll keep score, and see how Obama stacks up to other American boys whom he would nominally be setting an example for.

So, if I remember correctly, a scout is:

  • Trustworthy

  • People with this quality are honest, can be trusted to do the right thing even if it difficult, and are not corrupt. Any of this sound like any politician, much less Obama? Leading of with a solid zero points for this one.

  • Loyal

  • This one is more mixed, since it really depends on who you're considering. Obama has been very loyal to his liberal base and campaign doners, pilfering billions in taxpayer money for special interests while continuing to relentlessly advocate a socialist agenda. On the other hand, he has cheerfully ignored his duty to uphold the Constitution, his responsibility to protect the country from enemies, and his promises to change corrupt politics in Washington. We'll give him 1/2 a point.

  • Helpful

  • Well, I guess if you're a campaign doner or a banking executive you might disagree, but I think most of the rest of the country would give him a zero here. It might be hard to say what another person might have done in his place, but it's hard to believe anyone could have been less hopeful to America's long-term interests than Obama so far. No points here.

  • Friendly

  • Hm, gonna have to say mixed. Obama puts on a good face publicly, and is fairly proficient and reciting his prepared speeches, but behind closed doors (and increasingly publicly) he's revealing more of his contempt for anyone who refuses to bow to him and fall in line. Still, 1/2 point for this.

  • Courteous

  • It's hard to be a seasoned politician without mastering this quality, and Obama succeeds here. Some might argue that bowing to foreign dictators and giving Iran the green light to develop nuclear weapons is a bit too generous for the American President, but it's hard to argue that Obama is not accommodating and cordial. A full point for this one.

  • Kind

  • This one is not really applicable to the presidency, so I'm gonna discount it. I have no idea if Obama exhibits this quality or not.

  • Obedient

  • Another pass on this one; you could argue he earns the point for sticking to the party line, but it's not really a desirable quality in his professional capacity, so I'll ignore it for scoring purposes.

  • Cheerful

  • Obama gets a 1/2 point for this one, as he's typically stoic.

  • Thrifty

  • If you could get negative points, it would be hard to capture the magnitude of failure on this point; I guess it will suffice to say a solid, unequivocal zero here.

  • Brave

  • Well, it would have been brave to let the big banks fail, instead of giving in to their blackmail. Also brave would have been standing up to your own party when they advanced bad and/or corrupt ideology. Working with the Republicans to fix the underlying actual problems with the banking system, instead of exploiting the crisis, that would have been brave. Obama is not that kind of person, no points here.

  • Clean

  • I'm gonna expand this from the colloquial physically clean to include corruption and dirty politics, since it seems more applicable to the position. Obama gets high marks for physical cleanliness, and low marks for political dirt. So, 1/2 a point here.

  • Reverent

  • In a surprise, I'm gonna have to give him reasonable credit here. After all, this typically denotes religious subservience, and Obama is a steadfast believer in the Church of Global Warming. He also might be Christian or Muslim depending on the occasion, is a strong believer in the socialist doctrine, and follows his party doctrine well. If only he believed in the Constitution and the separation of powers in the US government, he's get a whole point; only 1/2 point then.

    So, as a final tally, we have 10 applicable categories, and Obama scores a 3.5/10. Hm, I guess Obama would not have made a good boy scout. Oh well, happy anniversary to the Boy Scouts anyway, just don't look to Obama as a role model. :)

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Taking the bad with the good

    It's time for another installment of "things I would do if I were president, which are probably indicative of the fact that I'm the farthest thing from a politician you can imagine". In this episode, a voting strategy I would adopt, publicly and vocally, to try to put some sort of limit on the amount of absolute garbage, pork, largess, and corrupt money funneling which gets passed through our Congress. I'm philosophically aligned, in this, with Ron Paul, who voted against the bill containing his own amendment because he observed it was also filled with tacked-on corrupt garbage and pork, just because the other despicably corrupt Senators knew it was likely to pass. So, without further ado, this would be my plan, in bullet-point form:

    - I will veto any bill which contains any provision which I consider harmful to the American people, no matter how beneficial other provisions might be. In doing so, if there are beneficial provisions in the bill, I will ask Congress to pass the beneficial provisions as separate distinct bills which I can approve.

    - I will publish a web site, visible to everyone, with the offending provisions of any bills I veto enumerated, along with explanations as to why I consider them harmful.

    - On the same site, I will publish all the provisions I consider beneficial which have been proposed or offered but not yet passed, to encourage Congress to pass them in an unencumbered manner.

    - When possible and clear, the site will also list the primary supporters and detractors for both the damaging and beneficial provisions, such that the American people can get a sense of which members of Congress are offering helpful legislation, and which are offering malfeasance, corruption, pork, and/or simply bad ideas.

    For this, I'm certain I would be labeled the great obstructor, or something similar, and very little legislation would pass, at least for a while. However, something like this would likely have significant enough long-term benefits to our mess of a legislative process, that even four or eight years of passing absolutely nothing would have positive benefits overall. Then again, as I said, ideas like this (along with a healthy aversion to public exposure) are why I'm not a politician, and am unlikely to ever become one.