Big government is where nations go to die

January 31, 2009

Mark Steyn riffs on the stimulus bill as a STD:

The more interviews Speaker Pelosi gives explaining how vital the STD industry is to restarting the U.S. economy, the more I find myself hearing "syphilis" every time she says "stimulus." In late September, America was showing the first signs of "primary stimulus" – a few billion lesions popping up on the rarely glimpsed naughty bits of the economy: the subprime mortgage racket, the leverage kings. Now, the condition has metastasized in a mere four months into the advanced stages of "tertiary stimulus," with trillions of hideous, ever more inflamed pustules sprouting in every nook and cranny as the central nervous system of the body politic crumbles into total insanity – until it seems entirely normal for the second in line of presidential succession to be on TV gibbering away about how vital the federalization of condom distribution is to economic recovery.

Read the whole thing. Why can’t we have people like Steyn in the Senate, instead of hacks like Harry Reid (D-Stinky Tourists) and Barbara Boxer (D-Moron)? Praying

(hat tip: Blue Crab Boulevard)

 

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Heckuva job, Nancy!

January 31, 2009

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, President Bush was roundly criticized for FEMA’s poor response and mocked when he defended FEMA head Michael Brown with the now infamous words, "Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job." Some of the criticism was surely justified, though I think a fair review shows the New Orleans and Louisiana state governments were far more incompetent.

Regardless, the inauguration of President Obama was supposed to bring a new age of competence to government. After all, Progressives are always more competent. Just ask them. Obama himself made Katrina and disaster response a featured part of his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. So, naturally, FEMA’s response to natural disasters should be far better under PBO and his new FEMA head, Nancy Ward, right?

Oh, yeah.

“In some parts of rural Kentucky, they’re getting water the old-fashioned way — with pails from a creek,” writes Associated Press reporter Bruce Schreiner. “There’s not room for one more sleeping bag on the shelter floor. The creative are flushing their toilets with melted snow.”

Schreiner continues:

  • Local officials were growing angry with what they said was a lack of help from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Grayson County, about 80 miles southwest of Louisville, Emergency Management Director Randell Smith said the 25 National Guardsmen who have responded have no chain saws to clear fallen trees.
  • “We’ve got people out in some areas we haven’t even visited yet,” Smith said. “We don’t even know that they’re alive.”
  • Smith said FEMA has been a no-show so far.

I imagine we’ll be hearing pretty soon about how this is more complicated than people think, too.

Funny how that works, ain’t it? Raised Eyebrow

(hat tip: Infidels Are Cool via Twitter)

 


Saturday morning satire

January 31, 2009

NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

Hee hee

 


Tax-cheat watch

January 31, 2009

Following up on this post, it looks like tax-dodger former Senator (and current Barack Obama appointee) Tom Daschle forgot to pay other taxes, beside those he owed for the loan of a car and driver. Fancy that. NewsBusters, quoting ABC’s Jake Tapper, reports the following:

Mr. Daschle also didn’t report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007.

The Senate Finance Committee Report also notes that during the vetting process, President Obama’s Transition Team "identified certain donations that did not qualify as charitable deductions because they were not paid to qualifying organizations. Daschle adjusted his contribution deductions on his amended returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to remove these amounts and add additional contributions." This adjustment meant a reduction in the amount he contributed to charitable foundations of $14,963 from 2005 through 2007.

With the unreported income from the use of a car service in the amounts of $73,031 in 2005, $89,129 in 2006 and $93,096 in 2007; the unreported consulting income of $83,333 in 2007; and the adjusted reductions in charitable contributions, Daschle adds a total of $353,552 in additional income and reduced donations, meaning an additional tax payment of $128,203, in addition to $11,964 in interest.

On January 2 of this year, Daschle filed amended tax returns to pay the $140,167 in unpaid taxes.

The Finance Committee staff still is reviewing whether travel and entertainment services provided Tom and Linda Daschle by EduCap, Inc., Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, Academy Achievement, and Loan to Learn should be reported as income. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Daschle made use of the jet belonging to EduCap, a non-profit student loan organization.

(Emphasis added.)

That Rangel rule is looking better and better all the time.

 


It’s going to be a long four years

January 31, 2009

President Obama’s national penury and debt peonage stimulus package contains, among other fatty, juicy pieces of pork, the following:

• $83 billion in welfare payments (the earned income credit for people who don’t pay income tax)
• $81 billion for Medicaid
• $66 billion on "education", more than the entire Department of Education required just ten years ago
• $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
• $20 billion for food stamps
• $8 billion on "renewable energy" projects, which have a low or negative return
• $7 billion for "modernizing federal buildings and facilities"
• $6 billion on urban transit systems, dominated by unions and which, almost universally, lose money
• $2.4 billion for "carbon-capture demonstration projects"
• $2 billion for child-care subsidies
• $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that’s run in the red for 40 years
• $650 million for "digital TV conversion coupons" (on top of billions already spent)
• $600 million on new cars for government (added to the $3 billion already spent each year)
• $400 million for "global-warming research"
• $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

So, at a time when we’re in a global war with mass-murdering jihadist Muslims and engaged on two major fronts (Iraq and Afghanistan), when we’re facing strategic challenges from Russia and China as well as possible regional security problems in Mexico and Venezuela, what does this trillion-dollar borrowing spree contain for our national security?

A ten-percent cut in defense spending. At wits end

Hey, I’m not saying there’s no waste or fat in defense spending. We all remember $640 toilet seats. But the Obama-Pelosi-Reid stimulus bill, which is supposed to cure the recession by spending our way out of it to create jobs, contains just twelve cents per dollar that’s spent on anything that could be arguably called "stimulating." Fully 88% of every dollar spent is wasted on a Democratic wish-list of pet projects. At $880 billion, just the waste in the Generational Theft Act of 2009 is 35% larger than the entire US defense budget, base and emergency spending combined. And, as Ed at Hot Air points out, this proposed cut will cost jobs.

Anyone else think this is nuts?  Silly

Of course, it’s not as if they didn’t tell us they were going to pay for the New New Deal by gutting defense spending. I think it’s safe to assume this is the first step in a return to the halcyon days of Jimmy Carter. Doh

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss:

barack obama capitol   Jimmy Carter

 

UPDATE: Not so fast.

 


Job requirement: tax cheat

January 31, 2009

What is it with Democrats and paying taxes? First, then-Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner was revealed to have failed to pay taxes on his income from the IMF, yet somehow remembered to claim reimbursement for those same taxes. This, by the way, is the man who now supervises the IRS.Raised Eyebrow

Now there’s another: HHS Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, former Democratic senator from South Dakota, forgot to pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned:

The Senate Finance committee will meet Monday to review the tax records of former Sen. Tom Daschle, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services who, according to sources, didn’t pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned.

A Democratic source told CNN that Daschle was loaned a car and driver by a wealthy friend and failed to disclose it on his income taxes, as he should have.

Daschle has since paid what he owed, the source said.

Oddly, Senator Daschle remembered to pay those taxes only after he had been nominated. Rolling Eyes

So, does it say somewhere in the Democratic version of Executive Branch job descriptions that employees must be tax dodgers? I’ve been a registered voter since 1976, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an administration have so many key appointees under an ethical cloud so early into its term.

I hate to think what the next four years will reveal. Waiting

LINKS: Ed Morrissey also notes the number of former lobbyists who have been granted appointed by the Obama Administration and had to be granted waivers from the president’s own executive order barring lobbyists from government jobs. Tigerhawk doubts this was accidental and points out that Daschle signed his tax forms under penalty of perjury. Yuval Levin wonders if Daschle will slide through on senatorial courtesy. Blue Crab Boulevard calls this representation without taxation.

 


Job requirement: tax cheat

January 30, 2009

What is it with Democrats and paying taxes? First, then-Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner was revealed to have failed to pay taxes on his income from the IMF, yet somehow remembered to claim reimbursement for those same taxes. This, by the way, is the man who now supervises the IRS.Raised Eyebrow

Now there's another: HHS Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, former Democratic senator from South Dakota, forgot to pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned:

The Senate Finance committee will meet Monday to review the tax records of former Sen. Tom Daschle, President Obama's nominee for secretary of health and human services who, according to sources, didn't pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned.

A Democratic source told CNN that Daschle was loaned a car and driver by a wealthy friend and failed to disclose it on his income taxes, as he should have.

Daschle has since paid what he owed, the source said.

Oddly, Senator Daschle remembered to pay those taxes only after he had been nominated. Rolling Eyes

So, does it say somewhere in the Democratic version of Executive Branch job descriptions that employees must be tax dodgers? I've been a registered voter since 1976, and I don't think I've ever seen an administration have so many key appointees under an ethical cloud so early into its term.

I hate to think what the next four years will reveal. Waiting

LINKS: Ed Morrissey also notes the number of former lobbyists who have been granted appointed by the Obama Administration and had to be granted waivers from the president's own executive order barring lobbyists from government jobs. Tigerhawk doubts this was accidental and points out that Daschle signed his tax forms under penalty of perjury. Yuval Levin wonders if Daschle will slide through on senatorial courtesy.