Mass misconduct at the EPA… Work fraud for years at a time, pornography

8 May 2014

The Office of Inspector General’s Cases of Employee Misconduct at the Environmental Protection Agency

On December 18, 2013, Mr. Beale was sentenced to 32 months in prison for defrauding the EPA of approximately $900,000 in undeserved pay and bonuses. Our investigation found, among other things, that Mr. Beale received his salary while missing more than 2.5 years of work at the EPA… Our investigation indicated that the senior executive approved, or authorized the approval of, fraudulent time – and – attendance records and travel vouchers for Mr. Beale from 2000 through 2010.


… another EPA manager who allowed an employee to stay at home and not report for duty for several years. … It is estimated that the manager’s approval of fraudulent time-and-attendance records cost the government more than $500,000.


One such investigation involves a career EPA employee who allegedly stored pornographic materials on an EPA network server shared by colleagues. When an OIG special agent arrived at this employee’s work space to conduct an interview, the special agent witnessed the employee actively viewing pornography on his government-issued computer. Subsequently, the employee confessed to spending, on average, between two and six hours per day viewing pornography while at work. The OIG ’s investigation determined that the employee downloaded and viewed more than 7,000 pornographic files during duty hours.


…a GS-15 Step 10 EPA employee who has not been physically able to complete any work for at least the last year; however, this employee continues to draw a full salary and receive the benefits of an active employee. This employee suffers from a debilitating disease and has been allowed to remain on telework status for several years without providing any substantive work product.

These are just a few examples given at the testimony.

You wonder why we are so far in debt. Bad spending policy… major mismanagement of resources.

By the way – a GS-15 Step 10 employee makes over $150K annually.


Detroit – Possibly the First Majority Chinese City?

8 May 2014

Will Detroit Be The First Major Chinese City In The United States? – Economic Collapse Blog

Chinese homebuyers and Chinese businesses are starting to flood into the Motor City, and the governor of Michigan is greatly encouraging this. In fact, he has formally asked the Obama administration for 50,000 special federal immigration visas to encourage even more immigration from China and elsewhere.

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Chinese immigrants could save Detroit: governor – Want China Times

What Snyder plans is to allow Chinese people to buy houses in Detroit. He believes that the state government does not have to spend a penny to save the city because of the new immigration plan, which will benefit the city significantly.

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Chinese Creating New Auto Niche Within Detroit – CNBC

Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.


Last year, the biggest carmaker in China, Shanghai Automotive Industries, opened new offices in suburban Detroit without any publicity, which is almost unheard-of in an industry that thrives on media coverage.


In addition to Chinese companies locating in Detroit, a cottage industry of lawyers, accountants and corporate advisers has grown up to assist them. Their numbers are small now, but the impact of the Chinese on the local economy is slowly expanding.

Should be interesting where this leads. Not surprising that another culture would fill that void. It is interesting that Americans chose not to rebuild Detroit… maybe lack of resources, or lack of desire, who knows.


Missouri House/Senate Overturns Governor Veto – Historic Tax Cuts Approved

8 May 2014

Missouri House Overrides Gov. Nixon’s Veto, Enacts Historic Tax Cuts

Today – following the lead of the State Senate – the Missouri House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Tim Jones has overridden Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 509. For the first time in nearly 100 years, Missouri taxpayers will be given broad-based tax relief.

This vote to override the governor’s veto will provide $620 million in tax relief for hard working Missourians. The legislation includes a reduction of the top income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent and a 25 percent exemption from income taxes for small businesses.

Nice job, Missouri.

Good to see the system work when even the top dog can have his say overturned.


This is how the media steers the narrative

6 May 2014

Morning Plum: The GOP’s real position on immigration, laid bare – Wash. Post

Sentence 1.

Republicans face a very simple dilemma on immigration: Either they embrace reform, or they are inescapably the party of maximum deportations.

GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte had an interview with a reporter at Univision.

Ramos repeatedly pressed Goodlatte to explain why it is that House Republicans refuse to act on immigration reform. Goodlatte repeatedly claimed the problem is that Republicans can’t trust Obama to enforce the law, as evidenced by the fact that deportations from the interior have dropped. Goodlatte explicitly said the problem is that only people convicted of serious crimes are getting deported from the interior.

Ramos then pressed Goodlatte on whether this means Republicans want to see more deportations from the interior. Goodlatte — who as chair of the House Judiciary Committee is a key player on immigration — refused to answer directly:

JORGE RAMOS: So your point is that you want more people to be deported?

BG: My point is that I want the President to enforce the law, and that way Congress will feel the pressure to reach a resolution to deal with the people who are lawfully here, who have been law abiding citizens.

The Senator answers the question directly. The law should be enforced. He is not focused on immigrants… he is focused on the law. The newspaper tells it differently.

This is how Republicans have boxed themselves in on this issue: They’ve defined “enforcing the law” as maximizing deportations from the interior, no matter who gets removed.

It’s not Republicans boxing themselves in - it’s the Washington Post misrepresenting the Senator’s answer. I want the laws to be adhered to in this country. I am not anti-immigrant – but follow the law. That’s all.


Obama Wants Tolls on Interstates

5 May 2014

White House Wants to Lift Ban on Interstate Tolls – NY Times

A transportation proposal sent to Congress by the Obama administration on Tuesday would remove a prohibition on tolls for existing Interstate highways, clearing the way for states to raise revenue on roads that drivers currently use at no cost.


Some Northeastern states, like Delaware and New Jersey, were allowed to keep tolls on existing highways that became a part of the national system. Other states were allowed to charge tolls on highways that were added to existing Interstates, but that revenue can be used only for repair and maintenance of those roads.

The proposal comes as Congress prepares to rewrite the existing surface transportation bill. A Congressional Budget Office study found that the Highway Trust Fund, which helps pays for Interstate repairs and is financed by a gasoline tax, will run out of money in August.

My questions is why is this Highway Trust Fund running out of money. Is spending ever addressed with these people (except when using it as leverage against political opponents)?

The government wants us to drive less and use less fuel, right? Now the fund that comes from gas taxes is running out of money. People who bought electric cars to save gas money may have to pay for it with tolls. And then, there’s are possible privacy issue with tracking drivers.


Putting the Pieces Together in Destroying Private Health Insurance

13 Jan 2014

I will be putting a couple of article together for this post to see if we can read what may happen down the road with ObamaCare and insurance companies.

Robert Laszewski — a prominent consultant to health insurance companies – wrote this blog post last week.

Will There Be an Obamacare Death Spiral in 2015? No – Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review

Obamacare contains a $25 billion federal risk fund set up to benefit health insurance companies selling coverage on the state and federal health insurance exchanges as well as in the small group (less than 50 workers) market. The fund lasts only three years: 2014, 2015, and 2016.


Of the $25 billion, $20 billion is earmarked for the Reinsurance Program and $5 billion goes to the U.S. treasury.


The statute very specifically limits funds collected to $25 billion over the three years––$12 billion in 2014. The source of these funds is the Obamacare $63 annual “Belly Button Tax” assessed on almost all people covered under a health insurance plan.

So this tells me that health insurance companies will operate risk free for three years under current law. The tax payers are insuring the health insurance companies from loss of revenue due to ObamaCare. Seems ironic – we are insuring the insurers.

Let me quote from the another article from linked here.

Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare - Weekly Standard

In other words, insurance purchased through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges isn’t even full-fledged private insurance; rather, it’s a sort of private-public hybrid. Private insurance companies pay for costs below $45,000, then taxpayers generously pick up the tab—a tab that their president hasn’t ever bothered to tell them he has opened up on their behalf—for four-fifths of the next $200,000-plus worth of costs. In this way, and so many others, Obamacare takes a major step toward the government monopoly over American medicine (“single payer”) that liberals drool about in their sleep.

While the previous post makes it seem as though ObamaCare provides insurance for the insurers, it is actually insuring people indirectly through these health insurance companies – FOR THREE YEARS.

Let me put it this way. Years ago we had gas company mergers. One of them was Exxon buying Mobil. So although Mobil gas stations and products still existed for a time after Exxon bought them – they were really Exxon. The same thing is occurring with health insurance. The government, using tax payer money, is buying health insurance companies on a three year buy out program.

What happens after three years? The fine schedule for not having health insurance will have changed. Right now it’s cheaper to pay the fine than to have insurance. Human nature says, if money is short, I will pay the fine. In 2016, it will be cheaper to have insurance than to pay the fine. But the government, after 2016, will no longer prop up the health insurance companies – and they will have to adjust their rates higher to stay afloat. The government will be in a position to totally undercut the rates from health insurance companies.

So to answer the blog title from the first link… the death spiral occurs not in 2015, but in 2017 when the government stops propping up these companies.  ObamaCare is a devious plan to wipe out health insurance companies in 2017 and takeover the health care system. This is not the design of the American government.


Obama Pressure Republicans to Increase Unemployment Benefiits

7 Jan 2014

Obama pressures Republicans to extend unemployment benefits – Washington Examiner

President Obama on Tuesday called on Republicans to extend unemployment benefits to 1.3 million Americans for three months, looking to build momentum for the federal aid after the measure cleared a major hurdle in the Senate.

“We’ve got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay, and we need the House of Representatives to be able to vote for this as well,” Obama said from the East Room of the White House, surrounded by Americans who lost unemployment benefits in late December.


The Obama administration estimates that failing to extend unemployment beyond 26 weeks would cost the economy roughly 240,000 jobs. But some Republicans counter that extending such benefits would keep Americans perpetually unemployed and limit their motivation to return to the workforce.

So here we are again with another government finance crisis. To have crisis after crisis that are only solved with temporary “fixes” is insanity from a problem solving perspective. From a political perspective, it does give the President and Democrats more opportunities to make Republicans look heartless. The latter is obviously the goal here.

There is a problem with the last paragraph quoted above – it’s not true. The logic behind that statement implies that if we put money in the hands of the unemployed, they will spend it and therefore businesses will have income to keep jobs. Here’s the problem. The money that the unemployed receive is recycled money – it comes from taxes paid from people who are working. In other words, we are simply shifting around money at this point from those who are working to those who are not working. So yes, unemployed people can buy more, but people who are employed and pay taxes will buy less. There is no net benefit.

At some point, we need to add in the ability to produce more money – but right now, there are numerous regulations that hinder manufacturing and production. But if we want to shift money around, I suggest shifting money away from the federal government towards the private sector. We are much better at using money than the federal government.


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