During the October 22 presidential debate, moderator Kristin Welker of NBC News raised the issue of Obamacare, and how many people would lose their health care if the law were to be overturned. It seems to have escaped notice that Obamacare also caused many to lose the health plan they liked. Consider the experience of this writer.
Politicians and bureaucrats waste millions of dollars on crazy stupid things every year. But can you tell the difference between an actual federal budget line item and something that just sounds like a crazy stupid thing on which an American politician would spend money?
Let’s test your skills. I’ve listed eight simple descriptions of things or groups that may or may not have been funded in recent years by U.S. taxpayers. Which of these items do you think are real, and which do you think are fake?
- Cricket Lessons in Punjab, India
- Comic Book Superheroes To Fight Extremism
- High School Counselors in China
- Hookers for Jesus
- Peace Drums for Arab and Jewish Youth
- Personalized Mobile Cooking App for K-8 STEM Education
- Sex Education for Commercial Sex Workers in Ethiopia
- Story Time at the Laundromat
I’ve written a lot about federal spending waste, and I’m pretty sure I’m not duplicating anything I might have covered before. I won’t guarantee that, however, because there are so many more examples.
If you’re game, in the comments section below submit your list of which things you think are real and which one you think can’t possibly be true. I’ll provide the answers to the challenge in the comments on Friday, October 30, 2020. Just in time to potentially scare you before Halloween!
This game is only for fun, and there are no prizes to win. If you think about it, if any one of these items is real, all of us have lost.
Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, is preparing a new electoral fraud for December 6, when he will hold a parliamentary election that will hand him control of the National Assembly. To make matters worse, part of the opposition is facilitating this outcome. Henrique Capriles, the candidate who ran against Maduro in the last presidential election, is complicit in the fraud the government is organizing—he has broken ranks with 27 other parties and announced that his political organization will participate.
Social Security, not exactly a hot-button issue this election season, has made an eleventh-hour appearance. Some voters are charging that Sen. Joe Biden twice voted to tax Social Security. Voters might wonder if this is true, and what it means.
COVID-19 has taught us that the government is bad at spending money. It might be different if it could target money where it’s needed most. But federal bureaucrats lack that ability. Because they do, billions have gone to waste. That waste has left millions of needy Americans in the lurch.
Let’s start with the latest scandals for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This government-backed loan program aimed to help small businesses with emergency loans. But there was a problem with this program from the start. Federal bureaucrats don’t know any small business owners. So they offloaded the operation of the program to banks.
Pundits and Democratic strategists considered advising Democratic senators to boycott the confirmation hearings as a means of protesting the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court. I never thought for a second a boycott would happen and it did not. Hams at heart, the senators could not turn down an opportunity to grandstand and make campaign speeches on national television.
Confirmations hearings have little or no purpose other than to offer free media time for politicians and to indulge hopes that the nominee will stumble and say something silly. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) admitted as much in her remarks: “Let me tell you a political secret: I doubt that it will be a brilliant cross-examination that’s going to change this judge’s trajectory this week.” In other words, Barrett is qualified for the position, the chance of her tripping is unlikely (she didn’t), and the hearings won’t reveal much of value (they didn’t).
The U.S. Treasury Department has just released the final statement for its 2020 fiscal year. I knew going in it was going to be bad because of the impact of COVID-19. Having now seen it, all I can say is that how bad it is, is a thing to behold. It is the most unbalanced statement the Treasury has issued in 229 year history.
You don’t have to take my word for it. The proof is in a picture from the statement itself. Meet the COVID-19 Leviathan of Federal Spending and Borrowing:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 3121 which “establishes a nine-member task force to inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations.” Gov. Newsom has apparently forgotten that California was not part of the Confederacy and that the United States abolished slavery more than 150 years ago, two decades before Cuba freed slaves in 1886. So reparations would punish those who had nothing to do with slavery and reward those who were never slaves.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to get rid of Donald Trump. She apparently does not have faith in the voters. Instead, she is proposing legislation to create a commission under the 25th Amendment so Congress can remove the Trump from office. She claims that since his coronavirus treatment, Trump is in an altered state of mind and unable to perform his duties. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads as follows:
“The fragility of world systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom,” proclaims Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti, (Brothers All) a new encyclical that manages to sidestep a few realities.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations), F. A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom) and Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom) did not say that everything can be resolved by market freedom. These economists only contended that voluntary economic exchange performs better than a command economy in which a political elite makes the economic decisions.