Where The Sewer For The Obama Administration’s Waste

It isn’t hard to guess where it starts, where the sewer line for transportation of the waste begins and stops for the biggest portion of the waste falling to the bottom of the scat pond, and why it continues year after year.

No idea for the answer?  Really? Then try the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services Department led by Secretary Katherine Sebilius. Read about it at the Brietbart piece found below and find examples of smaller waste and fraud at the Related Articles following the main story:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that in 2013 it improperly spent about $65 billion in taxpayer funds through waste, errors, and fraud, a figure that was primarily fueled by an estimated $60 billion in overpayments to Medicare and Medicaid.

According to the HHS FY 2013 financial report released in mid-December, last year HHS improperly spent a total of $65.3 billion under all its programs, an increase from the $64.8 billion misspent in 2012.

Erroneous payments by Medicare increased by almost 12 percent, from around $44.3 billion in 2012 to almost $49.9 billion in 2013. That means that last year, nearly $1 out of every $10 spent on Medicare beneficiaries was doled out by mistake. 

Conversely, Medicaid saw a substantial decrease in payment errors of about 25 percent, down from about $19.2 billion in 2012 to $14.4 billion in 2013.

HHS made an estimated $64.3 billion in erroneous payments last year under Medicare and Medicaid combined, an increase from the $63.5 billion in 2012. 

The majority of improper or mistaken payments in 2013 came in the form of overpayments. Improper payments were broken down by overpayments and underpayments in the HHS financial document.  

All in all, in 2013 HHS overpaid a total of $60.6 billion; that is more than 90 percent of the $65.3 billion in improperly spent taxpayer funds for last year. 

Of the $64.3 billion in improper payments just accounting for Medicare and Medicaid last year, $59.6 billion were overpayments, including $45.7 billion spent by Medicare and $13.9 billion by Medicaid.

To put it in perspective, the estimated $60 billion in Medicare and Medicaid overpayments made in 2013 are about three times the expected $20 billion in deficit reduction under the budget deal struck by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his Senate counterpart Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

Please click here for the remainder of the article and don’t forget the “Related Articles,” found below.

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Epoxied To Politics — Tea Party Sticking To Its Principles

Is this good news from bad messengers?

The Gadsden flag

The Gadsden flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following article comes from Brietbart’s Big Government.  Taken from the writings of a couple of progressive “misses,” the message seems to be good news for Tea Party sorts and regular conservatives, but perhaps not so much for liberals, progressives and main-stream or establishment Republicans.

Of course being progressives from Harvard, the originators of the supposition of a long-lived Tea Party movement had to insert their obligatory thoughts (opinions?) about radicalism and prejudice against minorities among the Tea Party members. We know by now that that old dog won’t hunt and never has.

Just below is the first part of the Brietbart piece followed by a link to the rest and links to related articles.

HARVARD PROF: TEA PARTY NOT GOING ANYWHERE, MORE LIKELY TO WIN

by TONY LEE 29 Dec 2013

A government and sociology professor at Harvard writes that the Tea Party is more likely than not to “win in the end” in an age when Americans are becoming more removed from Washington and distrusting the federal government and their elected officials.

“Tea Party forces will still win in the end,” Theda Skocpol writes, unless moderate Republicans can defeat them. Skocpol concedes that the Tea Party “will triumph just by hanging on long enough” as Americans are getting fed up by “our blatantly manipulated democracy and our permanently hobbled government.”

The article, “Why The Tea Party Isn’t Going Anywhere,” was first published in the journal Democracy, and later reprinted in The Atlantic.

Despite the fact that Democrats, the mainstream media, and the Republican establishment again were predicting the “demise of the Tea Party” immediately after the government shutdown ended, Skocpol doesn’t believe so.

“But we have heard all this before,” she writes. “The Tea Party’s hold on the GOP persists beyond each burial ceremony.”

Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson published a book in 2011 that “showed how bottom-up and top-down forces intersect to give the Tea Party both leverage over the Republican Party and the clout to push national politics sharply to the right.”

“At the grassroots, volunteer activists formed hundreds of local Tea Parties, meeting regularly to plot public protests against the Obama Administration and place steady pressure on GOP organizations and candidates at all levels,” they found. “At least half of all GOP voters sympathize with this Tea Party upsurge.”

Though Skokpol and Williamson have their typical biases and describe the Tea Party movement as a “radical” one that may not like minorities–without any evidence of that assertion–they acknowledge that “even though there is no one center of Tea Party authority—indeed, in some ways because there is no one organized center—the entire gaggle of grassroots” and outside groups that support the movement “wields money and primary votes to exert powerful pressure on Republican officeholders and candidates.”

You can finish this article by clicking here

Not Dead And Not Even Dying

Tea Party (TP) members have been active in some beneficial manner since the day they were founded.  MainScream media types have been screaming and drooling with pronouncements of the premature death of the TPs.  All of the attention paid by the progressives was for naught, or very close to it.

TPers and those who support us have quietly, for the most part, worked with resolution knowing there is no hill insurmountable and no set goal unworthy.  We are still here and will be in spite of whatever the big dogs from any direction might throw at us.  Yes, we are here to stay around … Not play around!

The entire story from Breitbart.com  starts just below:

4 Aug 2013 

The Daily Beast, a publication that ran stories at the beginning of 2012 about the demise of the Tea Party, has conceded the Tea Party is far from dead and has actually come “roaring back” after the 2012 elections.

David Freedlander wrote in the publication, which also recently harassed private citizens who donated to Sarah Palin’s political action committee, that the movement the mainstream media wrote off and the Republican establishment tried to get rid of is actually having a resurgence.

As evidence, he cites Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, who “once described his daily routine as going into the office, suing Barack Obama, and then calling it a day.” Freedlander notes Abbott has “sued the federal government 27 times in all” and a sign at his campaign announcement read, “Fast cars, firearms, and freedom–Endorsed by Greg Abbott.”

Freedlander mentions Republican Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and Tom Emmer, who is the frontrunner to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in Congress.

English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cucc...

English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He notes the popularity of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), much to the chagrin of  “Republican bigwigs decided that they would need to do something to prevent” the Tea Party and conservatives from “hijacking the primary process.”

As former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who moves Tea Party voters more than any other politician in primaries, has repeatedly said, the Tea Party, as Freedlander observes, is a movement “not without precedence on the American political landscape” from both sides.

English: Sarah Palin at the Americans for Pros...

English: Sarah Palin at the Americans for Prosperity-run Wisconsin 2011 Tax Day Tea Party Rally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click on the URL just below for the rest of the story:

The Best And The Rest Of The Story

Marita Noon: Piggies At The Trough

 

articleBig-wind boondoggle supported by big-spending Republicans

Marita Noon

PTC Pigs

Big-spending Republicans should be afraid following the upset victories by Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz in Texas on Tuesday, over the establishment candidate David Dewhurst, and Richard Mourdock, over six-term incumbent Richard Lugar, in Indiana on May 9. On Thursday, Washington Post editorial board member, Jonathan Capeheart said: “Folks might not like the Tea Party much. But that’s not stopping this loosely affiliated band of people fed up with government spending and deficits from sending like-minded souls to Congress.”

Bloomberg News said of the Cruz victory: “The Tea Party has no leader, no hierarchy and no national fundraising network, yet the insurgent political movement born of frustration at government spending has bolstered its clout–and its potential for aggravation–in the Republican Party with the nomination of U.S. Senate candidate and political newcomer Ted Cruz in Texas.”

The common thread in these quotes: “people fed up with government spending” and “born of frustration at government spending,” highlights the heart of the Tea Party movement–even though, is it just a “loosely affiliated band of people” with “no leader, no hierarchy and no national funding network.” The recent upsets reflect the grassroots’ growing dissatisfaction with the Republican Party’s failure to control spending.

Other than the August 14 senate race in Wisconsin where Mark Neumann and Eric Hovde are battling each other for the tea party backing in the race with establishment candidate, former governor Tommy Thompson, the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy may be the next line of battle between the Tea Party Republicans and establishment Republicans hesitant to curb their big-spending ways.

I have written several columns in opposition to the PTC extension, but if you are not familiar with it, David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation explains it this way: “The wholesale prices of electricity in the different U.S. markets average from less than three cents per kilowatt hour (kW-h) to about 4.5 cents per kW-h. The PTC provides a subsidy of 2.2 cents per kW-h to wind energy producers. So this PTC subsidy is equivalent to 50 percent to 70 percent of the wholesale price of electricity.” To which Phil Kerpen of American Commitment adds: “So taxpayers pick up more than half the cost for wind power–and even then many wind projects are struggling. It will never work, at any cost, because the concept of large-scale industrial wind power is based on bad science.”

When thinking about the PTC, it is important to realize that we, the taxpayers, have already been subsidizing the wind energy industry for more than 20 years and that the wind energy lobbyists, advocates, and manufacturers acknowledge that if the PTC is not extended, the industry cannot survive.

Surprisingly, the first shot in the spend/don’t spend battle over the extension of the PTC came from the “moderate” presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, when he came out on Monday with a statement regarding allowing the “longstanding tax credits that help finance wind energy projects” to expire, as scheduled, at the end of this year–a position in line with the Tea Party’s “frustration at government spending.”

According to Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, “He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits. Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.”

While this newly announced position splits Romney and Obama, it also splits the more conservative Republicans and the establishment Republicans–especially those from “wind states” such as Senator Charles Grassley (IA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (UT).

On Thursday, before leaving for a five-week vacation, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana moved a so-called tax extenders bill through the Senate Finance Committee–which would keep the PTC alive. According to the AP. “The $200 billion-plus package was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Thursday on a bipartisan 19-5 vote.” Regarding the inclusion of the PTC in the bill, AP said: “That provision was initially targeted for elimination, but garnered critical support from Republicans like Charles Grassley of Iowa.” (Apparently Grassley has decided that it’s a good strategy to publicly slap Romney’s face.)

On Wednesday, before the vote, many groups, including Energy Makes America Great Inc., urged people to call the Senate Finance Committee Members and tell them not to vote for a bill that extended the PTC.

One citizen frustrated with government spending contacted Senator Grassley’s office to voice her opposition to the PTC extension. The aide asked where she was from. She told him: “Western New York State, where they are dumping these giant wind installations throughout entire townships and rendering people’s homes worthless.” The aide replied, “Well, Senator Grassley is responsible for Iowans.” To which she said, “Excuse me? As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Grassley is responsible to ALL Americans! And we are damn sick and tired of the corporate welfare that’s going on to the likes of GE, BP, and Iberdrola via the PTC, while rendering many people’s most expensive life investment worthless.” She reports that the conversation continued for a bit, during which time the aide repeated that “Senator Grassley is responsible to Iowans.” Her email with this account included a link to Grassley’s Facebook page and concluded: “Let this guy have it!! The Tea Party needs to go after this Grassley!!!”

I posted the following on his Facebook page: “As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator, you are responsible to ALL Americans. If your office is not willing to listen to opinions from all Americans, please remove yourself from this important committee.” The post was promptly removed.

Senator Grassley is not a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He is an establishment Republican, so his vote to extend the PTC should not be shocking–just disappointing. However, Senator Jerry Moran (KS) is a Tea Party Caucus Member (TPCM). He is not on the Senate Finance Committee, so he couldn’t vote on Thursday’s bill, but my call to his office–and the offices of the other Senate TPCM–revealed that Moran is the only Senate TPCM who does support the extension of the PTC. My calls found that Senators DeMint, Lee, and Paul are each opposed to the extension.

I also called through the list of House TPCMs, as the House will vote on the PTC extension if it makes it through the Senate. Most politicos believe the extension will be addressed in the lame duck session so I wanted to get them on record regarding their philosophy on the PTC extension–which means more government boondoggle, less fiscal responsibility. Due to their summer recess, my research was inconclusive, but I did find that Representatives Coffman (CO), Farenthold (TX), Fleming (LA), Lamborn (CO), McClintock (CA), Pearce (NM), Stearns (FL), and Wilson (SC) were willing to be bold and oppose the PTC extension. Kline (MN) is not a TPCM, but has been strong in his opposition to the PTC extension. Coffman (CO) supports phasing it out, Franks (AZ) is probably “No,” and Smith (TX) is leaning toward “No.” The only House TPCMs who support this government spending are King (IA) and Bartlett (MD). The following said it depends on the exact bill and were unwilling to take a philosophical stand on the issue–and therefore should receive pressure: Akin (MO), Alexander (LA), Carter (TX), Cassidy (LA), Coble (NC). Every other House TPCM was undecided or unavailable.

After the Senators get back from recess, there will be a full Senate vote on the bill–which will likely go through several revisions before a vote.

Remember, back in June 2009, the Democratically-controlled House passed the cap and trade bill? It did not make it to a vote before the Democratically-controlled Senate members left for their summer break. That summer two things happened: the Tea Party and townhall meetings. The newly energized Tea Party types showed up at the “townhalls.” Senators got an earful. When they want back to DC in September, cap and trade was dead–a great victory

This summer, Tea Party types, once again, need to give their Senators an earful–especially the Republican Senators like Grassley (IA), Hatch (UT), Crapo (ID), Snowe (ME), Thune (SD), and Roberts (KS) who voted for the “extender bill” and TPCM Moran (KS) who will, if it makes it to a floor vote.

The “right” thinking Senators of both parties must know that we have to stop this excessive bleeding of fiscal spending while we still have a chance to stop the slide toward Spain–whose green energy policies have helped push them toward bankruptcy. If they don’t “know,” we, and their TPCM colleagues, can help them.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.