Obama’s Massive Cleantech Bust

Solyndra AuctionBarack Obama came into office promising to change the face of America’s energy future with the use of Cleantech. He told us that we would be on the cutting of new energy technology, dubbed Cleantech by the media.

Then the Obama administration went out and committed $150 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks to the new technology. Many of the company names may not be familiar to most Americans: Abound Energy, Beacon Power, Fisker, V.P.G., Range Fuels, Ener1, A123 and ECOtality.

However, these companies received an ocean of cash from our government in the hope that they could benefit the American people. But instead of a brave new world of clean energy technology the American taxpayers got a bunch of bankruptcies scattered across the energy technology landscape.

We had Solyndra, the text book case on how not to build a company. Solyndra received over half a billion dollars in loans for a product that was undercut by Chinese competition in short order. They were soon in bankruptcy.

Other technology companies like LG Chem built facilities and ramped up production when there was no market for their products. The plant was built with $151 million from the stimulus to make batteries for electric cars that people never bought.

The American taxpayers gave half a billion in loan guarantees to Fisker, an electric car startup who promised to build their plant in Delaware. The plant was never built and Fisker is now bankrupt.

We all know that new technology investments can be risky and problematic. How many times did Thomas Edison fail to make a working light bulb? Edison tried over 10,000 different substances in making the filament of an incandescent lightbulb until he found one material that worked and was economical.

The Obama Cleantech failures are understandable in the light of progress but a different picture has emerged as people have dug deeper into the companies that were involved.

Many of the investors who were involved were Obama campaign contributors. They traded campaign contributions for government subsidies, loans and grants. Solyndra was a prime example. We’ve written about it here, here and here.

They essentially took the money and ran. And if they couldn’t run they got huge tax write-offs for their personal losses. Meanwhile, the government continues to dole out cash in a hope that something positive will come out of the avalanche of cash.

Well, some benefit seems to have come out of the Energy Department’s largesse. With the increasing availability of natural gas, more and more Cleantech companies went bankrupt where they bought up by the opportunistic Chinese at fire sale prices.

One such company is Wanxiang and its opportunistic CEO Pin Ni. They were able to buy six Cleantech companies so far, including A123, an electric car battery startup that lost over 130 million tax dollars.

Wanxiang currently has 27 plants in 13 states and some 6,000 American workers.  Pin Ni says every third car made in the U.S. has Wanxiang parts.

So what’s wrong with a Chinese company, or any foreign company, taking advantage of an opportunity that the American taxpayers originally financed and employing thousands of American workers? You decide.

 

 

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Top 10 moments of government waste from 2013

Let it Flow Government WasteHere’s a post by Dustin Hurst at http://watchdog.org with the top ten moments of government waste in 2013.

Governments across the lands waste millions and billions of your dollars each year, but some are better at bad spending than others.

LET IT FLOW: Government loves to spend your money.

Americans are completely used to this. The story of the $150 toilet seat or the $200 hammer no longer shocks the public, but instead serves as a reminder that government just doesn’t care about how it uses taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.

While most of the attention to waste rightly focuses on the binge-spenders inside the Beltway, Watchdog.org journalists have their keyboards trained on state capitals across the land. They find unusual and appalling stories of waste, fraud and abuse that other media outlets ignore.

So let’s take a peek at the top 10 examples of government waste from across the states in 2013:

10. Paying more for green

Taxpayers are footing the bill to green a federal building in Minnesota, and the tab isn’t cheap. “The Whipple project is costing as much as 40 percent more per square foot than a new office building, according to some critics, and we’re buying it,” wrote Minnesota’s Tom Steward earlier this year.

Read Steward’s full story here. 

9. Run it

Oregon just can’t leave well enough alone. That state set aside $50,000 to create a pilot project to see if buying walking desks for public workers would improve health outcomes.

Read Northwest Watchdog’s story about the walking desks here. 

8. Home, times two

What would you do with two luxury homes just blocks apart? That’s the pressing questions weighing on the shoulders of the Nebraska University president because of a little waste in the Cornhusker State. The university decided to buy its president a $750,000 mansion, even though he already owns one just blocks away.

Here’s Nebraska Watchdog’s story on the purchase. 

7. Netroots ninnies

Netroots Nation is a gathering of liberals from across the country. So why did two employees from a county in New Mexico use taxpayer money to attend the shindig?

Read here to find out. 

6. Cosmic car sale

Sure, car companies need to advertise, but do they really need to use taxpayer money to paint the roofs of their factories? Who are they trying to entice with that ad?

Tennessee Watchdog has that story. 

5. Let’s get paid

Times are still tight in Oklahoma, but some public employees don’t give a rip. At least 10 well-paid higher education employees received 5 percent raises this year, adding on to their six-figure salaries. Straight cash, homey.

Oklahoma Watchdog has the details. 

4. The cleanest bridge around

This is definitely one of the oddball stories on this list. This city in Nebraska wants to spend at least $600,000 to pigeon-proof a bridge. Think about that for a second. Officials want to take money from families and businesses to protect a bridge from bird poop.

Nebraska Watchdog has that story. 

3. Crime and public service pay

An ex-mayor gets sent to prison for smuggling guns. He serves his time and is released. Thanks to his public service, he has a never-ending income source when he hits the streets — his taxpayer-funded pension.

New Mexico Watchdog has more on that. 

2. No, really, crime pays

Room, board and income? Sounds pretty sweet, right? That’s essentially the deal some prisoners received. Wisconsin Reporter found that prisoners in that state received more than $600,000 in unemployment benefits while behind bars. Yikes.

Read more here. 

1. Common sense is dead

Scrubbing a welfare program’s rolls of the ineligible like a good idea, right? Maybe in the rest of the country, but Illinois just doesn’t play that way. After spending millions of dollars hiring investigators to audit the state’s Medicaid program and those investigators experiencing wild success, the state ended the evaluation and stopped purging people from the program. Because saving millions and millions of dollars each year just makes too much sense.

Illinois Watchdog has more on that here. 

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The TSA sends Christmas Greetings

TSA Latex Glove

Here’s an oldie but a goodie from last year. Needless to say conditions haven’t changed much with the TSA.

The Transportation Security Administration, better known as the TSA, has come under attack by the media and the general public since its very founding. It has provided the American public with both amusement and revulsion.

These two emotions are sometimes connected to the same incidents. Who will ever forget “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” The story became a national sensation with numerous passengers referring to their private parts as “junk.”

But the TSA will not be deterred and here we are once again at one of the busiest travel times of the year. Between the long security lines, patdowns and full body scans, American travelers are have their civil liberties violated every second.

In order to take a look at the lighter side of the TSA procedures here are are several videos that you’ll find amusing, as long as we don’t forget that the TSA has the powers of a secret police force.

This next one is an especially catchy tune that has its foundation in some truth. People have been forced to remove artificial limbs in order to pass through security.

Finally, we have a beautiful song that illustrates the abuse in a quick video appropriately titled “I’ll be groped for Christmas” by Roxi Copland.

So if you’re flying this holiday season, consider these videos as a warning about the TSA. Merry Christmas!

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The Bureaucrats Around Us

Americans are surrounded by a sea of bureaucrats. Under Barack Obama the size of the Federal government has grown exponentially with new bureaucrats, new laws and new regulations.

And the bureaucrats are being paid in some cases up to 40% than workers performing the same jobs in the private sector. But not all government bureaucrats work for the Federal government. Many of them are employed by state and local governments.

In California, a state that is flirting with bankruptcy, we have a number of cases of bureaucrat over-payment.

  • In 2010, it was reported by Bloomburg that in the mostly Hispanic city of Bell the bureaucrats were looting the city treasury. Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns $787,637. Bell pays its police chief $457,000, more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck makes in a city of 3.8 million people. Bell council members earn almost $100,000 for part-time work.
  • In the same year cops in Oakland were making on the average $188,000 in salary and benefits.
  • A state psychiatrist was paid $822,000, a highway patrol officer collected $484,000 in pay and pension benefits and 17 employees got checks of more than $200,000 for unused vacation and leave.
  • A California bureaucrat was fired but he was able to collect $550,000 in “unused” vacation time. James C. Tudor Jr., the former president of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, took home more than $550,000 after he was fired in 2007 in the wake of an internal probe that “uncovered serious abuses at the highest levels.” 

Now, these are the most publicized cases of bureaucratic overreach but it’s the cases that are under the radar that will bankrupt America.

  • We have the case of the Philadelphia bureaucrat that worked for 2 1/2 years but will receive a city pension of $50,000 in exchange for a one-time payment to the pension fund of $122,303 to become vested in the pension plan. The loophole has now been closed but previous users will still receive their large pensions for short times on the city payroll.
  • We need look no farther than Congress to discover that members of Congress who serve at least five years receive a pension. In 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000.

Here’s a video from Dan Mitchell at the Cato Institute that frames the problem better than I ever could.

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IRS still doing business with tax deadbeats

Lois LernerWho’s afraid of the taxman? Apparently, some of the vendors of IRS are not afraid of the nation’s taxman. A recent audit found that the IRS was owed about $589 million by 1,168 IRS vendors as of July 2012.

When the nation’s tax collector cannot even collect taxes that are owed by its own vendors, can their be any reason to believe that the very same agency will be able to collect ObamaCare penalties.

“When the IRS conducts business with vendors that do not comply with federal tax laws, it conveys a contradictory message in relation to its mission to ensure compliance with the tax laws,” said J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

According to the taxman, they check a vendor’s tax status when they award a contract but they don’t check their tax status continuously. George has recommended the IRS require an annual tax check for all contractors, but the agency says federal acquisition regulations don’t authorize them.

Defenders of the service claim that they don’t have a choice with who they do business with. The IRS must routinely pay fees to banks and other financial institutions when it orders them to turn over records about taxpayers, the report said.

The agency also has to pay filing fees to state and county governments to file tax liens. “Thus, even if these entities have unpaid tax debt, the IRS must still use their services,” the report said. The IRS said 863 of the delinquent vendors provided these types of services to the agency.

The IRS is allowed to withhold government payments to individuals and businesses that owe back taxes. However, the tax agency has only done this in a limited number of cases.

The whole sordid episode points out the double standard practiced by the IRS. If you were an organization that criticized Obama in any way then your tax exempt status may have been held up through two election cycles.

If you were a public figure then more than likely you were allowed to settle up with a minimum of public exposure. But if you were just an ordinary citizen then expect the hard hand of the IRS that pound you into paste.

Oh, and by the way, this agency has been tasked to enforce the purchase of health insurance under ObamaCare. Fat chance that they’ll be able to do a credible job chasing down health care scofflaws.

 

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Senator Tom Coburn’s 2013 Wastebook

2013 Waste BookSenator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released his latest version of the Wastebook. In it he cites a variety of wasteful spending that adds up to $30 billion. We should all be aware that this a mere fraction of government waste but Coburn’s cites these as among the most egregious.

“We’ve had the Defense Department and people in the other non-Defense discretionary departments screaming the cupboard is bare. There’s nothing else to cut. The fact is that just isn’t true,” Coburn told reporters as he unveiled the 2013 Wastebook on Tuesday.

In fact, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was moaning about having to cut to the bone Coburn found DoD is leaving 2,000 MRAP’s, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, behind in Afghanistan to be destroyed rather than delivered to other bases. Each of these vehicles cost $500,000 for a total of $1 billion in wasted assets.

The military has decided to simply destroy more than $7 billion worth of equipment rather than sell it or ship it back home. The DoD claims that the Afghans can’t maintain the equipment while cynics say that the defense industry would suffer if the equipment wasn’t destroyed.

Then we have the purchase of 21 C-27 transport planes manufactured in Italy over the protests of Defense DEpartment officials. We’ve written about this here. The taxpayers paid $631 million and the planes were never go operational. Half will be mothballed and the rest will be cut up for scrap. As Coburn said, “It doesn’t fit with common sense.”

But the Department of Defense wasn’t the only government department wasting money on a daily basis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut housing assistance for the disabled elderly while subsidizing thousands of risky mortgages, including more than 100 homes (that cost in excess of half- a-million dollars each) within walking distance of the ocean in Hawaii.

And while nutrition assistance was being reduced for many needy families, USDA was spending money on celebrity chef cooks-offs and running up the taxpayer tab on Bloody Mary’s, sweet potato vodka, and red wine tastings from here to China.

At least billions of dollars were paid to government employees for doing nothing during the government shutdown. In fact, the White House said that it cost at least $2 billion in back pay for furloughed workers.

While the National Guard was pinched due to the sequester with at least 8,000 National Guardsmen being dismissed the Pentagon is continuing to spend money on non-military services.

The Army National Guard teamed up with Superman on a $10 million “Soldier of Steel” promotional campaign, intended “to increase awareness and consideration of service opportunities in the National Guard.”

The recruitment ads dovetailed with the release of the Warner Bros. blockbuster movie, ‘Man of Steel,’” the latest Superman movie and, strangely enough, with a downsizing of the National Guard.
Then we have the various ‘what were they thinking’ expenses, all while the National Debt is $17 trillion and counting:

  • The National Endowment for Humanities has given $1 million to the Popular Romance Project since 2010  to “explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction, taking a global perspective—while looking back across time as far as the ancient Greeks.” 
  • The State Department spent $630,000 to attract followers to its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • NASA is spending $3 million to study how Congress works.
  • Through the tax code, Uncle Sam is assisting the operation of the legal brothels in Nevada to the tune of $17.5 million.
  • NASA spent $125,000 to study the making of pizza in outer space using a 3-D printer.
  • $50 million was used to fund National Technical Information Services, an agency that charges for reports that often can be found for free through a Google search.
  • The Army spent $297 for a Mega-Blimp that was intended for intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. It made one 90-minute flight over New Jersey and was sold back to the contractor for $301,000.

The list goes on with funding for “pole dancing” for utility workers, a bed-rest study, a comic superheroes documentary and Superstorm Sandy ads for tourism.

The question that members of Congress have to ask themselves is how they have allowed this to go on for so long.

 

 

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Child Abuse in Our Schools by Our Schools

It's the RulesWith the increasing use of zero tolerance rules promulgated by school boards across the United States we seen a flood of incidents that could only be laughable if they weren’t so ludicrous. We are seeing a flood of child abuse in our schools by our schools.

Now, I understand that children in schools can sometimes be very difficult to handle. My wife teaches 20 kindergartners here in Virginia and more often than not she arrives home exhausted especially around holidays.

But these particular incidents have nothing to do with disciplining difficult students and everything with lazy school administrators who are loathe to make difficult decisions.

The most recent outrage is the case of a six-year old boy in Colorado who was suspended and accused of sexual harassment for kissing a girl on her hand and cheek. The sexual harassment charge has since been dropped.

“It was during class,” first-grader Hunter Yelton said in an interview with CNN affiliate KRDO. “We were doing reading group, and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened.” 

At six a child has no idea that a kiss is not something that you do in school. The teacher could have very easily defused the situation by simply telling Hunter that ‘We don’t do that in school’. Instead, she made more of the incident than was necessary.

A seven-year old in Colorado was suspended for throwing an imaginary grenade during recess while he was playing alone. No one was threatened, no one was hurt but the school principal claims that the boy broke one of their ‘absolute’ rules.

The principal simply decided that an imaginary play weapon was just as dangerous as a real play weapon.

The rules are laid out by Mary Blair Elementary School in a list of “absolutes” that are posted on the school’s website and are aimed at making Mary Blair a safe environment. Included in those absolutes are no physical abuse or fighting – real or play – and the no-weapons absolute also covers real or play weapons.

We have a report of some moronic educrats in Nebraska wanted a 3 1/2 year old deaf boy to change his name because it vaguely resembled a gun when he signed it. Grand Island’s “Weapons in Schools” Board Policy 8470 forbids “any instrument…that looks like a weapon.”

Fortunately, after a public outcry school officials have backed off their attempt to make young Hunter Spanjer change his name in order to conform with their policy.

Then we have the case of a six-year old Maryland boy who was suspended for saying “pow” while having his fingers shaped like a gun. His parents found it necessary to hire an attorney to represent the youthful offender at a school conference.

In most cases these types of behavior can be taken care of by the teachers. Simply telling a child that ‘We don’t do that’ is often enough to correct the situation. However, school boards and school administrators insist on zero-tolerance rules in order to cover their butts, so to speak.

The most egregious use of zero tolerance enforcement that I have ever heard of took place in Port Washington, Wisconsin some years ago. A student poked another student with the point of his pencil. Now the poked student was wearing a heavy winter coat at the time.

The administration called the police who came to the school and arrested the student. He was taken away in handcuffs and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently, pencils are the weapon of choice in American schools. Any Google search turns up over 18 million hits.

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The ObamaCare Medication Mess

ObamaCare MedicationsThe hits keep coming for Barack Obama and ObamaCare. Nancy Pelosi sure was right when she said that we had to pass the bill so we knew what was in the bill.

It seems that everyday brings a new revelation about the terms and conditions of ObamaCare. The latest has to do with the medication formulary, or list of medications, that the various insurance companies are allowing for their various plans.

After the shock that you can’t keep our doctors, our plans or our hospital, the latest shock is that you can’t even keep your medications under ObamaCare. People who expected the new plans to provide pharmaceutical coverage comparable with that of employer-sponsored plans have been disappointed.

The insurance carriers are scrambling to make a profit on ObamaCare. They have monthly costs that range from 30 to 200% higher than previous plans. Partly, it’s due to the rules that HHS and the bill mandated for coverages.

Previous insurance plans allowed people to pick from a laundry list of coverages. A single man wouldn’t need the coverages specific to women’s health, so he did’t need to sign up for them. People who no longer were planning on having children wouldn’t sign up for those coverages.

But under ObamaCare their is one rigid list of coverages that everyone is required to take whether they need them or not. Choice has been eliminated. The central planners have given people no choice.

When it comes to medications one way to reduce cost is to reduce the medications that are covered. This is particularly aimed at people who have chronic illnesses and conditions.

Drugs on your health plan’s formulary will typically have fixed co-pays. These costs usually count toward your deductible and the out of pocket and lifetime limits on the total amount of money that your health plan can ask you to spend.

These co-pays are fairly substantial with costs ranging from $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, after which insurers pay the full tab.

People whose annual income is at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level will qualify for cost-sharing reductions. But people qualify for these cost-sharing subsidies only if they enroll in a higher cost, “silver” Obamacare plan.

Take, for example, the drug Copaxone for multiple sclerosis. Someone on a bronze plan would be responsible for paying about 40% of the drug’s costs out of pocket, on average. That comes out to about $1,980 a month. Fortunately, this medication is covered under the co-pay arrangement but what if your medication isn’t in the formulary.

If your drug is not in the formulary then you are responsible for the full cost. More importantly, your cost is not covered under the co-pays or the out-of-pocket limits.

ObamaCare is similar to the HMO plans that were offered in the 1990s. They were a failure then and they’re a failure now. Some medications are enormously expensive and in many cases people need them to survive.

Sure, there’s an appeal process but that could take months. How many patients will be able to pay thousands of dollars a month while their appeal is being heard? Very few will have the money to wait.

Here’s another problem with the descriptions of the various plans: the formularies are either hard for the consumer to find or is simple non-existent. In some cases, the insurance companies simply disregarded HHS rules and state and federal regulators failed to review final drug formularies.

To make things more confusing the drug formularies vary from state to state and even within a state. Some ObamaCare advocates claim that insurers will continue to rely on drug formularies, as they currently do in the private market and Medicare Part D, to decide which prescriptions are covered and which are not.

Then there are the conspiracy theorists who claim that the insurance carriers are trying to force chronically ill patients off their plans. ObamaCare mandates that people can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

What better way to discourage people with pre-existing conditions from signing up than by not covering their life-saving medications?

We haven’t heard the last of this because one of the medications that is not covered by many plans is the HIV/AIDS single pill.

“The fear is that they are putting discriminatory plan designs into place to try to deter certain people from enrolling by not covering the medications they need, or putting policies in place that make them jump through hoops to get care,” said John Peller, vice president of policy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

I don’t think that the HIV/AIDS lobby will take that without a protest. nor will those people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

 

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Blowing in the Wind

A bottomless pitOne of the left’s most precious subsidies is for wind power. The Federal government has provided energy subsidies for everything from nuclear power to fossil fuels and most recently for renewable energy.

The goal of the subsidies is to help nascent energy companies pay for expensive technology and succeed at providing alternative types of energy to American consumers.

A 2012 study authored by researchers at the Breakthrough Institute, Brookings Institution, and World Resources Institute estimated that between 2009 and 2014 the federal government will spend $150 billion on clean energy through a combination of direct spending and tax expenditures.

Renewable electricity (mainly wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and tidal energy) will account for the largest share of this expenditure, 32.1%. The report found that without federal action, spending on clean energy will decline by 75%, from $44.3 billion in 2009 to $11.0 billion in 2014.

Fast forward to December 2013. At the end of this year the costly subsidy to wind energy producers is due to expire. Meanwhile a new study from the Institute for Energy Research states that the subsidies shifts millions from taxpayers to benefit a select few.

The longstanding tax credit for the wind energy industry was last extended in early January, after frantic budget and tax negotiations that lasted through New Year’s Eve. It’s up for renewal once again at the end of this year, and once again caught in the middle of a broader political melee over the budget.

The tax credit subsidy is worth about $12 billion and dozens of House Republicans are lobbying House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) to scratch the credit.

They say that the credit is driving growth in the industry despite a lack of “market demand” and that the credit “is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate.”   

The IER study argued that the tax credit is inequitable with ten states receiving more than 72 percent of the “transfers” in 2012. At the top of that list were Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and North Dakota, which each received, net, more than $100 million from the tax credit. The biggest “payers” were New York, Ohio, California, Florida and New Jersey.

The American Wind Energy Association pushed back with a point by point rebuttal. Among other things they pointed out that wind power had generated more than $25 billion in private investment. “American wind power supports 80,000 full-time jobs,” the group claimed.

The group said wind energy is helping bring down electricity prices overall and using tax incentives to spur growth in domestic energy production is “nothing new.”

Another pro-wind power group, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, also recently wrote to congressional leaders urging them to renew the tax credit. They claimed that the uncertainty over the credit last year has already cost them investments and jobs.

“The nation’s wind industry developers do not need this tax credit forever, but they do need policy certainty in the near term to bring their costs to a fully competitive level,” the letter, signed by several Democratic and Republican governors, said.

So as the days click down the

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Epic waste: The myth of Tom Coburn

Here’s a post from Judson Phillips at  http://communities.washingtontimes.com entitled Epic waste: The myth of Tom Coburn. Mr. Phillips is no fan of Senator Coburn’s because he believes that he’s stating the obvious and in the end doing nothing about the problem. You decide who’s right.

Tom Coburn rants about government waste being the problem. Waste may be the problem but he is not the solution. Photo: AP Photos

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2013 — Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has created a cottage industry in Washington. 

The Federal Government is rife with waste, fraud, abuse and corruption. Every American knows this. Every seventh grader knows this. Television and newspapers know this.

In fact, TV news as well as print and digital reporters love stories about government waste. It is something that generally gets Americans unhappy.

Tom Coburn knows this too. Every year, he produces something called the “Waste Book.” It details fraud and waste in the federal government. Coburn has ripped the government for spending $1.5 billion on a fraud ridden cellphone program. He has ripped the government for spending millions of dollars for a “Mars menu” even though there are no plans for NASA to go to Mars. He has ripped the government for abuse in the food stamp program, including last year featuring the story of a stripper who made $85,000 in tips and was on food stamps.

Coburn is in the news again. This time he is railing about the fraud in the Social Security Disability Program. He was featured on 60 Minutes Sunday night and there is a nice story Monday in the Washington Times about his war on fraud in the Social Security Disability program.

It is an open secret that program is riddled with fraud. It has become the welfare program for those who cannot get welfare. It is a cash cow for lawyers and non-lawyers who are permitted to handle SSDI claims.

 

Coburn has been focusing on one lawyer in Kentucky, who at least according to Coburn has been misusing the system to make a lot of money in fees for himself.

There is just one problem.

There is a dirty secret about Tom Coburn.

Coburn loves to get on the media and talk about fraud and waste. It has become his niche. Instead of being grilled by the liberal media for allegedly being a conservative, he comes out with these “attacks” on waste and he gets a nice softball interview from left leaning Steve Kroft at CBS.

Tom Coburn’s dirty secret is that he does nothing about the fraud. Sure he rants and rails about it, but what has he done?

The answer is nothing.

Fraud and waste are there in the federal government in massive amounts. What has Coburn done? He has gotten himself a lot of face time on the media. But that is it.

What programs has Coburn eliminated? No one has to go look that up on the Internet. The answer is simple: None.

When was the last time Tom Coburn stood on the floor of the Senate for 21 hours to try and have a fraud ridden program eliminated? When was the last time he filibustered a bill to get a fraud ridden program eliminated?

The answer is, he has not.

The government discovered long ago that fraud was good business for the government. It’s good business for Tom Coburn too. He discovered he could complain about fraud while doing nothing and the media would swoon over him.

Two years ago, a General Accountability Office report was released detailing hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud in the government.  At the time, Coburn said that report will make “all of us look like jackasses.”

Real Americans did not need that report to think that everyone in Washington looks like a jackass.

Including you, Senator Coburn.

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