80% of Dept. of Energy loans went to companies owned by or connected to President Barack Obama’s top campaign fundraisers
From Rags to Riches on You and Your Neighbor’s Tax Dollars
By Jerry McConnell
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The wheels of TRUE justice, not those of the Obama-Holder unJustice Department, are beginning to move, if ever so slightly; but moving they do appear to be. With all the roadblocks the dastardly duo of Obama and Holder are placing in the path of progress, it’s a wonder that they are moving at all.
Those two conniving chameleons of corruptness and chicanery run the most illegitimate department of justice in the history of this one-time great country (BO – Before Obama). In fact, to call it the Justice Department is the most improper and nonfactual title that could be bestowed on it. Justice does not dwell within its parameters.
It is only fitting that officials holding office in the Congressional House of Representatives are finally stirring with comments that include the word ‘impeachment’. It is about time and probably close to FIVE years late; but I shouldn’t be saying “late” as it is NEVER too late to bring daylight to the dark and mysterious corridors of that terribly mismanaged and mishandled Executive Department. The apparent sins of the Treasury Department’s former tax-Cheat Secretary and currect Internal Revenue Service are childish when compared to the unJustice Department.
As columnist Wynton Hall has stated in a TownHall.com column “Report: Obama Spent $11.45 Million per ‘Green Job’ Created” online on May 08, 2013, that alone should have been enough ammunition for a legitimate Justice Department to get ITS wheels moving. But alas, no such thing at the Obama-Holder vice den of obfuscation and corruption.
Truthfully, the entire Energy Department loan guarantee program has been a veritable money fountain of wealth to Obamanistas and the man himself. As Wynton Hall says in his TownHall.com column: “In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama promised to create 5 million “green jobs” if elected president. However, an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) finds that since 2009, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) $26 billion loan program created just 2,298 permanent jobs, at a cost of $11.45 million per job created.”
Any way you look at it two thousand, two hundred and ninety eight green jobs is one hell of a long way from FIVE MILLION green jobs; in other words, four million, nine hundred ninety seven thousand, seven hundred and two jobs short. And Obama PROMISED to CREATE FIVE MILLION GREEN JOBS. So far as I know the ONLY promise he has fulfilled during his whirlwind campaign prior to the election in November 2008 is that he would take care of his constituents and with 47 million of them on food stamps today he is keeping his word; AT OUR EXPENSE.
But let’s look at the BIG picture. That number of less than 3,000 jobs at $11.45 million per job comes to a total of $26.3 BILLION. Now you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer are paying for those jobs. That’s your $26 billion plus that you paid in taxes with the honest expectation that it would be spent honestly; but you were wrong; DEAD WRONG! When this Administration smells or sees money they can figure a lot of ways to make it disappear. And their always-ready-to-collude, party members, are fully complicit.
As Mr. Hall states, “The losers are the American workers who would otherwise be gainfully employed but for the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars on the administration’s obsession with ‘green energy,’” said Institute for Energy Research (IER) Policy Associate Alex Fitzsimmons. “As the economy continues to suffer and dollars for federal programs get harder to come by, it is getting increasingly difficult to defend a program that costs so much and produces so little.”
How many times has Obama passed billions of dollars on the “greening” of America only to see his campaign financiers take to create “green” corporations and then see them go belly up with all those tax dollars disappearing into thin air and Obama donors’ pockets.
In his New York Times bestselling book “Throw Them All Out”, Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer revealed that 80% of Department of Energy loans went to companies owned by or connected to President Barack Obama’s top campaign fundraisers.
Read that again – EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE DOE LOANS WENT TO OBAMA’S FUNDRAISERS. Who knows how much was skimmed off in the process.
Don’t forget, Obama came into politics from a job as a street hustler for public service, traditionally exceptionally POORLY paid work; today he is worth multi-millions. You do the math. It’s your money he has now and he is the only one still smiling in America.
SUCKER! How do you like that title, Mr. and Mrs. America?
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu May 16, 2013 4:04 pm
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Christopher A. Preble
It’s Tax Day, and for millions of Americans that means ponying up to the IRS. The federal government does many things these days—most of which would be more efficiently carried out at the local level, or in the private sector. But Uncle Sam also engages in a particular form of charity that many Americans overlook: spending many tens of billions of dollars to defend wealthy, developed nations.
A new Cato infographic puts it all in perspective. It shows how much American taxpayers spend to subsidize the security, and to defend the interests, of other nations that are more than capable of defending themselves.
The average American spends $2,300 on the military, based on the latest data available. That is roughly four and a half times more than what the average person in other NATO countries spends. These countries boast a collective GDP of approximately $19 trillion, 25 percent higher than the U.S. They obviously can afford to spend more. So why don’t they? Because Uncle Sucker picks up nearly the entire tab.
Looked at another way, U.S. alliances constitute a massive wealth transfer from U.S. taxpayers (and their Chinese creditors) to bloated European welfare states and technologically-advanced Asian nations.
Despite the size and wealth of our allies, they are military dwarfs compared to the United States. The particularly galling comparison is the disparity between what the United States spends on the military as a percentage of the federal budget and what other countries spend on their military relative to total government spending.
While the United States spends 20 percent of the budget on the military, Japan spends a paltry 2.3 percent. Our NATO allies? The average is 3.6 percent. Even South Korea’s share of military spending is roughly half of our total, and they have much bigger threats to worry about. By providing for their security, we have encouraged allies to divert resources elsewhere.
The Constitution stipulates that the federal government should provide for the “common defence.” But the document never talks about providing for the defense of other nations. Their citizens are not party to our unique social contract. On this tax day, you might rest assured that wealthy citizens around the world are grateful that you are defending them, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a word of thanks.
It is time to rethink our alliances and the culture of dependency we have created among our allies. They have become wards to Uncle Sam’s dole. Only by ceasing to foot the security bill for them will we create an incentive for them to spend more.
Additional Cato resources on defending wealthy allies:
- “Seoul Threatens Pyongyang with American Force” by Doug Bandow
- “Why Does U.S. Pay to Protect Prosperous Allies?” by Christopher A. Preble
- Cato video: “Get Out of Libya, Get Out of NATO,” featuring Christopher A. Preble, Benjamin H. Friedman, and Justin Logan
- “NATO at 60: A Hollow Alliance,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 635, by Ted Galen Carpenter
Central Intelligence Agency. “The World Factbook 2012.” Washington, D.C., 2012.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Military Balance 2013. Edited by James Hackett. London: Routledge, 20.
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Is that a stink bug? Nope it’s a camera.
Most people understand that we have a massive military industrial complex (MIC.) Defense contractors and government partner to develop weapon systems and improve our “war fighting” capabilities. Massive amounts of money go to the Pentagon and contractors. So much money is moved through Defense that the GAO recently threw up its hands and said that the Pentagon budget was not auditable.
This should concern us. Nothing in government should be “too big to audit.” Not the Federal Reserve, not the Pentagon. We have an obligation as a citizenry to insist on knowing what is going on, at least on a fundamental level.
Since the Bush Administration another industrial complex has emerged, the surveillance industrial complex. An offshoot of the MIC, it is a fast growing area for contractors and there are mega (tax) dollars to be made in surveillance.
Take a look at this amazing video recently produced by the Air Force and General Dynamics introducing drones which act and look like birds and insects. They will be powered by the sun, wind, power lines, even “vibrating machinery.” It is truly mind blowing technology which may soon be reality on the battlefield. It may already be.
How would you like a swarm of these things floating around your town?
Pretty amazing but this was probably near state of the art early last year.
And if one wants to buy one’s own insect drone, one can now for $99 as this video from Mashable.com reports. For $3K one can buy a swarm. Talk about having fun with your neighbors.
The post Your Tax Dollars at Work : Check Out the New Tiny “Bug Bot” Drone from the Air Force appeared first on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.
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There’s been a lot of talk about the high cost of the 2012 election, with both major candidates spending more than a billion of dollars once affiliated groups are included. Some people find that too much. Others point out that Americans spend that much every year on potato chips, and surely deciding who will lead the United States government is at least that important.
And of course the bigger amounts are government spending. When politicians vote to give money to students, the elderly, farmers, automobile companies, defense contractors, and other voting blocs, political considerations are certainly part of the decision-making process. When Republicans vote for $60 billion in “Hurricane Sandy recovery aid,” including money for Alaskan fisheries and activist groups, aren’t they buying votes?
But for the moment, let’s take a look at how much the candidates did spend, and how much they got for it. I’ve added Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson to the usual Obama-Romney comparison to get some perspective.
So the first thing we notice is that Obama and Romney spent respectively $10 and $7 per vote, while Johnson spent less than $2. But party and outside groups roughly doubled spending for the major candidates. More money was spent on behalf of Romney, but presumably money spent by groups other than the official campaign is less efficient, so that their total expenditures were effectively similar. And we can only wonder how much of “the libertarian vote” a Libertarian Party candidate might pick up if he had enough money to be heard.
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John Embry – Silver Will Soar Hundreds Of Dollars Higher
Today John Embry told King World News there is now a shortage of physical silver and the price is headed hundreds of dollar higher than current levels. Here is what Embry, who is chief investment strategist at Sprott Asset Management, had to say: “I don’t think the action in the gold and silver markets is reacting or based on reality. For both gold and silver, what inventories are available are rapidly being consumed. We are still seeing games being played in the paper market, but in the meantime those inventories are shrinking rapidly.”
The day will come, an inflection point, when there isn’t enough physical metal left, and that is when prices are going to rise exponentially. Right now the fundamentals are incredibly supportive and the sentiment is extremely negative.
So I don’t see many negatives in the story. It’s just the timing of the move that’s driving people crazy….
“If you look at Friday’s action in gold, there was no reason for gold to plummet like a stone, but it did. Ever since gold moved above $1,750, the manipulators have been working on the price daily. It’s ridiculous because they are operating contrary to the fundamentals and eventually it’s going to come back and bite them.
If we take a look at silver specifically, it’s an absolute layup for multiples of the current price. I find it funny that people worry about the short-term downside. We are talking about a buck or two, maybe, and we’re talking about hundreds of dollars on the upside.
To me it’s just astounding, looking at the risk/reward ratio, why anybody is the least bit concerned about what’s going on short-term. Right now there is an obvious shortage of physical silver developing. I’ve seen nothing to dispute the fact that physical silver inventories are extremely tight.”
Embry had this to say regarding the Japanese: “Look at what’s going on in Japan. For years the Japanese have run up debt and they could get away with it because they had big savings, a trade surplus, and competitive industries. But now everything is falling apart for them.
Prime Minister Abe and his new Finance Minister Aso have been blatantly outspoken in saying that the only remedy for the debt is monetary debasement of historic proportions in order to drive the currency lower. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is doing the same thing. To me this is just additional fuel to supercharge the precious metals higher, and in this case it’s overpoweringly strong because it will mean the Japanese will be moving into gold in a very big way.
Egon von Greyerz has stated there may be as much as $200 trillion worth of debt in the world. Superimposed on that is a derivatives pile that if correctly accounted for would be well over $1 quadrillion of notional value. When you think about that, it can’t possibly be repaid or even serviced as we go forward. So the only option is to print more money in order to give the impression the financial system is holding together.
When you look at the propaganda that came out of the Fed ten days ago when they released their minutes, it was preposterous. The Fed was just worried about the direction of things and so they essentially came out with a false statement, which they most assuredly won’t live up to.
The reality is we will continue to see ‘QE to infinity’ as Sinclair said. I mean we seemed to see a great relief after the fiscal cliff was postponed. They kicked the can down the road a month and a half, and it just shows how desperate people are for supposedly good news.
That wasn’t good news at all. It basically solved nothing, and yet it was greeted with an enormous amount of relief. It’s ridiculous.”
Embry also added: “As a Westerner, it really depresses me to think that all of our gold is headed East, and our standard of living is headed South. That’s the only reason I can think of that means being old isn’t a bad idea.”
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:23 am
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In an effort to show progress with implementation of our national ID law, the Department of Homeland Security issued a press release just ahead of Christmas reporting that thirteen states had “met the standards of the REAL ID Act of 2005.” Their compliance is not actually compliance, though. Read on…
Next Tuesday, another ‘deadline’ for REAL ID compliance arrives. Due to widespread public opposition, the majority of states and their people are not complying with the national ID mandate. Many states “have not provided sufficient information, at this time,” the DHS release says. I think that’s bureaucratese for: “They’re ignoring REAL ID.” But it doesn’t matter. The states ignoring REAL ID have been granted deferments. I’ve been looking for the Federal Register notice making this deadline extension official so I can put it next to the deadline extension from March 9, 2007, and the one from January 29, 2008, and the one from December 28, 2009, and the one from March 7, 2011.
The states that have tripped over themselves to follow this federal mandate should feel slightly burned. They’re no better off than the states that did nothing. And states need never comply.
We all know by know that the federal government will never use the lever that REAL ID gave them to “force” compliance on the states. The law says that the federal government can refuse IDs from states that aren’t in compliance. Basically, that means TSA would send most American travelers to secondary search. But that means that the federal government—not the states—would be blamed for travel nightmares (even worse than we already experience) all over the country. Deadline extension after deadline extension after deferment make clear that the federal government is not going to hold up air travelers because of REAL ID.
Now, the states that DHS says are complying aren’t really complying. You see, DHS long ago retreated from the requirements of REAL ID and established a set of “material compliance benchmarks.” These are 18 steps that bring one closer to REAL ID compliance, but they are not REAL ID compliance. And many of them are things that states were doing anyway. So, to the extent DHS is trumpeting progress, it’s a rooster taking credit for the sunrise.
Nonetheless, REAL ID ‘progress’ is the stitching together of a system to track and control us through our nationally uniform identity cards. It’s the system that will be used to control our access to work, to housing, to medical care and medicine, to guns, to credit and financial services, and much more. Big government, thy administrative tool is national ID.
The DHS release is a little more muted about the $263 million dollars it has spent or distributed on REAL ID so far—a quarter of a billion dollars toward a national ID system nobody wants. The continued spending is probably what keeps a small coterie of DMV bureaucrats and allied groups pushing for a national ID.
These national ID advocates will be well-represented at a Heritage Foundation event on REAL ID January 28th. Heritage is bringing in a Department of Motor Vehicle bureaucrat from Connecticut, a representative of a small national ID advocacy group, and the co-author of a recent Government Accountability Office update on REAL ID. I’ll hope to learn—as I’ve never been able to do before—how the national ID program would increase our security more than it would cost us in dollars and privacy—a quarter billion dollars, so far, and still counting.
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Unconscionable levels of waste, fraud, and abuse continue to plague America’s 11 year nation-building mission in Afghanistan. According to an investigation by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), officers with the NATO training mission shredded the financial records of fuel purchased for the Afghan National Army. As a result, “the U.S. government still cannot account for $201 million in fuel purchased to support the Afghan National Army.”
On the document destruction, SIGAR investigators determined among its many findings that:
- The two fuel ordering officers cited efficiency, saving physical storage space, and the ability to share document [sic], as factors in the decision to scan and shred the documents. They added that they believed that the scanned documents had been stored electronically on a [Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A)] SharePoint portal or shared drive, but they could not recall the exact locations.
- … CSTC-A was unable to locate any of the missing documents.
A number of other projects underscore the problems U.S. agencies confront in carrying out large-scale development initiatives. For instance, the U.S. military plans to provide electricity via diesel generators to about 2,500 Afghan homes and businesses around Kandahar, according to a report over the summer by the Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran. U.S. government planners expect the program, called the “Kandahar Bridging Solution,” to cost American taxpayers about $220 million through 2013, that is, until the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers build a new hydropower turbine at a dam in neighboring Helmand.
Washington planners, in keeping with their population-centric counterinsurgency doctrine, assume that many Afghans will be pleased to have power, and thus, will throw their support behind the Afghan central government. Instead, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the deputy commander of U.S. forces in Kandahar last year, found no evidence that the added electricity was yielding greater support for the government, a conclusion far from surprising. Moreover, Dahl also discovered that the turbine at the dam will provide residents with less power than what they currently get from the generators. As SIGAR noted, “the U.S. government may be building an expectations gap.”
Yet another in a laundry list of dashed expectations may soon be the new $23 million road in Helmand, dashed because the Afghan government has yet to compensate landowners for buildings and property demolished during construction.
The United States continues to expend money and lives for stabilization efforts and infrastructure projects that may still fail to leverage Afghan support for the government. At its heart, that failure lies not only with the mission’s overlapping, redundant, and expensive development strategies, but also with the underlying assumption that when armed with “performance-based contracts” and “metrics to measure achievement,” government bureaucracies can successfully plan such projects.
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The infant-industry argument claims that tariff protection is needed so that fledgling industries can grow up and fend for themselves. History taught us that these industries rarely, if ever, grow up. Today, due to the rules of the World Trade Organization, tariff protection is no longer a viable policy tool. So what’s an infant industry to do? Seek subsidies, of course.
The year 2012 marked the 20th year of subsidies for the U.S. wind-energy industry. After twenty years of subsidies, the industry remains in diapers. I became personally involved with wind energy when I explored the installation of a wind turbine on my property in northern Minnesota. Turns out that even with a 50 percent subsidy—30 percent from the federal government and 20 percent from the state—the personal investment would still lose money.
The infant solar cell company, Solyndra, cost taxpayers around $385 million in losses from federal loan guarantees. Fortunately for taxpayers, Solyndra lasted only a few years before going belly up otherwise she might have been on the public dole for years to come.
Energy subsidies do not stop with the infants. Subsidies go to the mature gas and oil industries and are estimated to be around $41 billion annually. Ivan Eland estimates in No War for Oil (The Independent Institute, 2011) that adding the cost of “protecting” the Persian Gulf to our price of gasoline might add another $5 to each gallon.
All the subsidies going to the energy sector, both hidden and explicit, have two things in common. First, they distort the true cost of energy, lowering the price and leading to inefficient overconsumption. Second, they provide politicians with grateful friends who fill campaign coffers with cash to keep the bad-policy machine well lubricated.
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By Gene Healy
My Washington Examiner column this week focuses on an important new study from the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities.” If you’ve read any of the ample media coverage the report’s received, you may have heard that DHS grants have gone toward 13 sno-cone machines for terror-warriors in Michigan, a latrine on wheels for Fort Worth, Texas, a $100,000 underwater robot for Columbus, Ohio, and a Halloween “zombie apocalypse” demonstration at a swank resort outside San Diego.
But, as I argue in the Examiner,
the media focus on “waste, fraud, and abuse” misses a graver problem with DHS’s decade-long spending spree. Sno-cone machines and “zombie apocalypse” parties aren’t the worst things DHS is underwriting. We ought to worry more about the proliferation of surveillance cameras, mobile biometric scanners, armored personnel carriers and police drones.
The useless projects DHS funds are far less troubling than the ones that can be used to harm Americans’ privacy and liberty—and Coburn’s report is replete with examples of the latter.
Just today the Daily noted another troubling DHS project: “Government officials are quietly installing sophisticated audio surveillance systems on public buses across the country to eavesdrop on passengers…. Linked to video cameras already in wide use, the microphones will offer a formidable new tool for security and law enforcement. With the new systems, experts say, transit officials can effectively send an invisible police officer to transcribe the individual conversations of every passenger riding on a public bus.” The Daily notes, unsurprisingly, “In San Francisco, the Department of Homeland Security is funding the entire cost with a grant.”
It’s a mistake to look at DHS grants simply through the prism of government waste—as if what’s going on here is of a piece with $500 toilet seats and bridges to nowhere. The costs of this unthinking slide toward a militarized, high-tech Idiocracy can’t be measured in budgetary terms alone.
More highlights from Coburn’s report after the jump:
Coburn also notes the use of DHS funds for police purchases of “Long Range Acoustic Device” crowd-control weapons:
originally developed for use by the military as a nonlethal way to repel adversaries, including Iraqi insurgents or pirates, by making a loud and intense sound that is capable of damaging hearing. Law enforcement agencies have purchased LRAD machines for purposes that include crowd control and issuing message and alerts across vast distances, though its use in terror-related preparedness is questionable.
In 2009, the Pittsburgh police department used its LRAD machine to disperse a crowd that was protesting the G-20 summit….
In 2009, the San Diego County Sheriff stationed its LRAD device at the town-hall meetings of Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), which drew conservative and liberal protestors. The San Diego sheriff’s stated that the LRADs were in place so they “could use the LRAD in place of pepper spray” if there were problem at the event, which there was not.
… Mobile Fingerprinting Devices:
The Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia,?part of the National Capital Region around?Washington, D.C., spent nearly $12 million to upgrade?its automated fingerprinting system called NOVARIS?and purchased mobile devices for use by officers in the?field. Digital fingerprinting had been in place for?Fairfax police since the early 1980’s, but the county?applied for, and won, UASI funds to purchase a new?state-of-the-art system, that would also help it?coordinate with neighboring counties. “Since it was?due for an upgrade, we took the opportunity to use the?UASI grant funds to refresh the system,” explained Alan Hanson with the department.
Hanson explained that the equipment “is used most often in a voluntary capacity” in situations where people are stopped but do not have identification.
…Armored Personnel Carriers:
police departments are arming themselves with military assets often reserved for war zones. One California resident observed as much when officials in Carlsbad—a city with one of the state’s lowest crime rates—expressed interest in using DHS funds to buy a BearCat: “What we’re really talking about here is a tank, and if we’re at the point where every small community needs a tank for protection, we’re in a lot more trouble as a state than I thought.”….
Fargo, a town which “has averaged fewer than 2 homicides per year since 2005” bought a “new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating [gun] turret” using homeland security funds. Fargo Police Lieutenant Ross Renner acknowledges that Fargo “[does not] have every-day threats here when it comes to terrorism.”
…and “Drones: Patrolling the Skies Like Never Before”:
In Texas, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department successfully acquired a $300,000 Vanguard’s ShadowHawk drone fully paid with UASI dollars. Vanguard, located near Montgomery County, approached the sheriff’s department about procuring one of its unmanned systems, according to Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel. In fact, Vanguard helped the Sheriff’s department write “a winning grant proposal that allowed the entire cost of acquisition, training, insurance, and maintenance for a period two years to be absorbed in an Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant.”
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