The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Dark Trajectory

During the Obama presidency, our national debt has increased by approximately $7 trillion ($7,000 billion). Most of this money is being spent on entitlements, both old and newly-enacted. The strategy is simple—give a significant percentage of people free stuff and they will vote repeatedly for more free stuff. In fact, they are voting their wallets.

Those who suggest that we should be fiscally responsible and reduce spending are invariably characterized as uncaring or worse. Those who favor increased spending play a class warfare game in which (they claim) there is sufficient money to pay for all this, if only "the rich" would pay their "fair share." The simple fact that none of that is true doesn't really matter.

The Obama administration is a strong proponent of BIG government—a federal government that tries to solve every problem regardless of the inherent incompetence and corruption that inevitably result. Big government increasingly inserts itself into the lives of its citizens, attacks its opponents, violates our privacy, and has a voracious appetite for our hard earned dollars (coersively collected with an array of new taxes, soon to be augmented with a proposed 'carbon tax.').

Glen Reynolds quotes Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburg, who in 1887 said the following:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover That they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
It's impossible to say whether the United States will follow the dark trajectory suggested in Tyler's quote, but our profligate spending, our disfunctional government, our incompetent leadership, and our inefficient and often corrupt federal agencies do not bode well for the future.


But then again, maybe there is some hope that the young people of this country have begun to develop a clearer picture of where we're going and what needs to be done about it. Kara Mason of Colorado State University reports:
A newly coined voting bloc called Young Outsiders has two major attributes – they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Really fiscally conservative.

An overwhelming majority of these Millennial-aged voters actually think government aid does more harm than good, that the government is at its max when it comes to helping the poor, and – get this – that people on the government dole have it way too easy.

These “Young Outsiders” – named by the Pew Research Center in its recently released political typology report, make up about 13 percent of the voting population and could very well swing future elections in Republicans’ favor, research finds.

Pew described this voting bloc as “wildcards,” noting that “these Young Outsiders currently gravitate toward the Republican Party based on their fiscal conservatism and distrust of government.”

“Yet …Young Outsiders tend to be very liberal on social issues, very secular in their religious orientation and are generally open to immigration.”

In fact, the group holds liberal social beliefs: only 25 percent regularly attend church, 67 percent believe marijuana should be legal, and 78 percent believe homosexuality should be “accepted by society,” Pew found.

But, fiscally they are a way different story, the research found.

A whopping 86 percent of Young Outsiders believe “government aid to the poor does more harm than good.” What’s more, more than three-fourths of them, 76 percent, said the government can’t afford to help the poor any more than it already is.

And an overwhelming 81 percent agreed that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.”
Social liberalism and fiscal (governmental) conservatism can co-exist. Let's hope the next generation follows through.


USA Today reports:
A government website intended to make federal spending more transparent was missing at least $619 billion from 302 federal programs, a government audit has found.

And the data that does exist is wildly inaccurate, according to the Government Accountability Office, which looked at 2012 spending data. Only 2% to 7% of spending data on is “fully consistent with agencies’ records,” according to the report.

Among the data missing from the 6-year-old federal website:

• The Department of Health and Human Services failed to report nearly $544 billion, mostly in direct assistance programs like Medicare. The department admitted that it should have reported aggregate numbers of spending on those programs.

• The Department of the Interior did not report spending for 163 of its 265 assistance programs because, the department said, its accounting systems were not compatible with the data formats required by The result: $5.3 billion in spending missing from the website.

• The White House itself failed to report any of the programs it’s directly responsible for. At the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is part of the White House, officials said they thought HHS was responsible for reporting their spending.

For more than 22% of federal awards, the spending website literally doesn’t know where the money went. The “place of performance” of federal contracts was most likely to be wrong.
$619 billion? Come on, let's listen to the Democrats and spend even more of our money so that next year we'll break the $1 trillion level for disappearing taxpayer dollars.