Postal Service Delivers Red Ink

The United States Postal Service is a bloated government agency that has many more employees than it needs and has more overhead than revenue it generates and that is because it is not generating revenue. The Postal Service announced that its lost $8.5 BILLION for the fiscal year. This is nothing new as the Postal Service has been losing money for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is amazing that they can get a letter from one side of the country to the other in a few days for under 50 cents. But the manner in which they do it consumes a lot of money and since this is a government agency there is no urgency to correct that problem.

The Postal Service indicated that it has saved money over the last two years by cutting 105,000 jobs. It cut that many and still has a huge number of employees and these employees earn good money and have great benefits. All of this has to be paid for and if the Postal Service is not making money then it comes from the taxpayer.

So why don’t we privatize the Postal Service? The Constitution says that Congress will establish post offices and postal roads. I think we are pretty much past needing postal roads (since all roads are probably postal roads) and I am sure that there is no restriction on making the post office a private entity. Seems that doing so would still meet the requirement of establishing post offices. A private company could run things for profit and take the bloat out of the system.

Since that will never happen there are other things they can do. They should cut down to 5 days of delivery and shut down the Post Offices on Saturday. The number of post offices should be reviewed and they should either eliminate or combine them. There are two post offices within a few miles of each other in my area. That is not necessary.

Then they need to cut more people from the workforce. There are way too many people for the number of items being delivered. The people in charge need to take a serious look at the number of postal employees and cut out those not needed. This might be an easier task if they first close the unnecessary offices.

The last thing they need to do is restructure the employee benefits. Postal workers pay only a fraction of what most other government employees pay each year for health insurance.

With an appropriate number of workers, restructured benefits and the elimination or combining of offices the Postal Service might be able to stop delivering red ink every fiscal year.

Cave Canem!
Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog

Gunline

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Why Government Can’t Run Health Care

The government is working on passing a health care takeover package that will cost upwards of $2.5 trillion over the actual first ten years of its life. They claim it will cost less than a trillion over ten years but they do that by counting ten from the passage and taxing people from the passage but only providing care four or five years after passage. They will get a four or five year head start on the money in order to pay for it. You cannot sustain a program where you have to tax for ten years to provide for five. The first ten years where actual health care is provided will cost at least 2.5 trillion dollars. They are using budget voodoo to fool the public.

The government claims it will save money by eliminating fraud in Medicare. If they could eliminate the fraud why have they not done it up to this point? How about they take a few years and eliminate the fraud and let us see the results before they try to get us on board with their health plan? The government has 98 billion dollars of fraud this year (and it is not over) with most of it being in Medicare.

Shouldn’t we expect them to have concern for this and to be addressing it with or without the reform they want?

Regardless of the costs, government cannot run the health care program because it will be a disaster. We already know that they cannot run Medicare and that it is rife with fraud. They have admitted that the fraud is there but they have done nothing to end it in the entire time it has existed. This is because government is wasteful and is not very good at oversight.

Case in point, Recovery.gov, the website that was designed solely to track the stimulus. It was supposed to be a transparent way for Americans to see how the money was being spent and how many jobs are being created. I know they claim to report jobs saved but that is a nonsensical item that cannot be tracked or quantified. There is no way to determine a “saved” job. I discount any saved job as a lie.

The government website is full of inaccuracies and probably lies. I say lies because all of the errors that have been caught were errors of over reporting. If there were mistakes one would expect that some of them would be under reporting. After the initial issues with the site the government spent 18 million dollars to revamp it. For 18 million dollars they should be able to buy a server farm with enough bandwidth to stream a concert to 1000 people and still have money left over to pay someone who knows how to be accurate when reporting. That seems like an awful lot of money for a website. Do they have the entire graduating class of MIT working on it?

The government could not get the website to work (which might mean they could not hide the lies well enough) so they spent 18 million to make it better. It still is not working because they are reporting jobs created in districts that do not exist. The reports of jobs created are being shot down time and again by the likes of ABC news and the entire project has done nothing to instill confidence in the government’s ability. One would think that with the kind of money they spent and the talent they can hire they would get it right.

But they did not. So they did what government always does when a plan fails. They threw more money at it and it still failed.

If the government is unable to spend 787 billion dollars on a stimulus and track that money as well as the jobs created then how are they going to run health care? The stimulus program has fraud that has been reported, fraud they acknowledge is inherent in a program of this size. The size pales in comparison to the health care takeover so how much ineptitude and fraud will that have? I know that Obama and his party claim they will end the fraud but they have failed to do so thus far with Medicare and they could not stop it in the stimulus. I have read they are considering another stimulus. Like with the website, they will throw more money at a failed program.

Imagine the amount of fraud that will accompany their health care reform. The reform will be much larger than Medicare and it has billions in fraud. The reform is much larger than the stimulus and it has billions in fraud. How many billions of dollars in fraud will result from their health care takeover plan?

Government is not able to run a simple website that it spent a whopping $18 million on and it is unable to stop the fraud in Medicare. It is also unable to track recovery money accurately or to prevent fraud in that program.

What moron believes that government will do better with health care?

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.

Those three words more accurately describe nearly all government programs. Why would any sane person put one sixth of our economy in their hands?

I encourage you to visit Recovery.Gov. You paid over 18 million for it, you own it, so you might as well use it.

But don’t believe anything you read there.

**I incorrectly stated that the website cost 18 Billion dollars when it was Million. Each occurrence was changed. Thanks to commenter Mike for pointing out the mistake.

Big Dog

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Here Is How Stimulus Money Was Wasted

The nearly trillion dollar stimulus that had to be passed immediately but that very little of has been spent (as a percentage) is being wasted and has done little in the way of providing jobs. Obama told us we needed to pass it NOW or unemployment would go above 8.5% and now it is nearly 10%. The purpose of the stimulus was to pay off special interest groups for supporting Democrats. Here are a few items that stimulus money was spent on. Please feel free to chime in and tell me how they stimulated the economy:

- $300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

- $30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

- $11 million for Microsoft to build a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway.

- $430,000 to repair a bridge in Iowa County, Wis., that carries 10 or fewer cars per day.

- $800,000 for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., serving about 20 passengers per day, to build a backup runway.

- $219,000 for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshmen women.

- $2.3 million for the U.S. Forest Service to rear large numbers of arthropods, including the Asian longhorned beetle, the nun moth and the woolly adelgid. Washington Examiner

Money for a helicopter to look for rabbit turds, money to study the sex lives of college women (I know a bunch of guys who would do that for free), money for the Murtha airport (a money pit), money to build a bridge between two Microsoft buildings and money to build a stadium for baseball teams.

What does any of this have to do with stimulus? In addition, why are we taxpayers building anything for Microsoft? Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the country. He gives away more money than anyone can imagine and we have to pay for a bridge for his buildings? Why are we paying for a baseball stadium? Can’t the wealthy team owners or the taxpayers of the state pay for it? Most of us will never go there to watch a ball game and we damn sure will not get any revenue the teams generate so why are we paying for their stadium?

Why are we using stimulus money to mess with arthropods?

This is the kind of waste and abuse that one expects and knows will happen when government is involved. This is the kind of waste we see in Medicare and it is the kind of waste we will see in the government takeover of health care.

We still have quite a bit of unspent stimulus money and we should put a halt to further spending.

None of these items can be defended. None of them created any jobs (not lasting ones) and none of this spending is what America had in mind.

The Democrats always talk about Republicans taking care of the rich. I fail to see how the Democrats are any different when they spend OUR money to build something for Bill Gates or baseball teams.

Vote all of them out of office in 2010.

This kind of spending is irresponsible and should not be tolerated.

Big Dog

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Obama And His Team Miss The Mark – Again

The Obama team of nincompoops has missed the mark since he took over the helm of state here in the good ole’ US of A. First we had to pass the stimulus right away or the world would end. We were told that with the stimulus unemployment would not go above 8% but that without it the rate would be above 9.5% and maybe higher. They passed the huge bill (one that contains very little to actually stimulate) and unemployment went up to the number it would ONLY reach if we did NOT pass the stimulus.

Now, before some liberal responds and tells me that unemployment is a lagging indicator let me say that I know this and I did not expect unemployment to lower with the stimulus. Obama and his team were the ones who claimed the stimulus would keep unemployment down so they are the ones with whom you have a beef.

I have said all along that we did not need the stimulus and that the recession would clear on its own as all recessions have done in the past. The major recession that turned into a depression took that path because of government interventions very much like what is taking place today. The interference of our government is the reason the rest of the world had a depression and we had a Great Depression.

Right now, countries that did not have huge stimulus packages are well on their way to recovery while we still linger in tough times. I have been told by several liberals that I communicate with that the recession is softening and that we are on our way to recovery. They tell me that this means the stimulus is working. First of all we were told the stimulus would jump start the economy. Then when that did not happen we were told it was not meant to jump start the economy and that it was actually designed to take affect next year. Now that things are “softening” the stimulus is suddenly the reason and is meant to work this soon.

Only about 10-15% of the stimulus money has been allocated so if the economy is getting better with only that relatively small infusion shouldn’t we cancel the other 85-90% that we were going to spend? If we are on our way to recovery without all the stimulus money then let’s save it so we can reduce our debt.

I think we are in for some serious trouble ahead because of the careless and unsound monetary policies of the Obama administration. While things are looking a little better (stress little) now there will be problems next year. Obama is already revising his estimates of unemployment for next year from his unrealistic 7.9% made in May to 10%.

U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion next year, both higher than previous Obama administration forecasts because of a recession that was deeper and longer than expected, White House budget chief Peter Orszag said.

~snip~

Administration and congressional budget officials expect the unemployment rate, which was 9.4 percent last month, to keep rising. White House officials said the rate likely will rise to 10 percent by the end of 2009, averaging 9.3 percent for the entire year. It will worsen to a 9.8 percent average in 2010 instead of the 7.9 percent estimate in May. Bloomberg

Joe Biden told us before that this is worse than anyone thought and now they are saying it again. It was made worse by the careless spending and haphazard approach to addressing it. They can blame this all on Bush (and he along with the Democratically controlled Congress certainly share in the blame) but it belongs to them. There were plenty of economists who said that the stimulus was the wrong way to go. Couple that with the huge number of items that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy (and everything to do with paying off political supporters) and you have a recipe for disaster.

The Obama team will be hit with a double dip recession. The recession we are recovering from will make a slow improvement into the beginning of next year. Then we will get hit with another recession which will drive us down again. This will be accompanied by inflation the likes of which have not been seen since the Carter administration.

Numbers are looking up a little but they are deceptive. Businesses posted “profits” last quarter but many cut workers from their workforce and pared down about as far as they could go. This time we have cash for clunkers which numbers wise was a success and will be a good thing for dealers (if they get paid). It will be a failure in the long run because of what it did. It allowed people who had functioning vehicles that were, in most instances, paid for to trade them in and get up to $4500 of TAXPAYER money to buy a new one. Now they have a new bill to contend with. If we have this double dip recession as I suspect (and as some economists are predicting) will these people fall in the same boat as those who bought houses they ended up being unable to afford?

The clunkers program probably took people who would have bought cars in a few months and enticed them to buy now. This means sales numbers will decrease in the coming months. The real issue is the program itself. Pay attention closely. This program was conceived only a short time ago and it is already over. In that period of time the paperwork required of dealers became a substantial burden, the computer network set up to accept the forms was inadequate and crashed a number of times. The deadline for submitting the paperwork has been extended a few times and dealers are not getting paid in a timely fashion.

Two things strike me about that. If dealers are kept waiting for six or eight weeks for reimbursement some of them will go bankrupt and be forced out of business. Also, if the government cannot effectively manage a 3 billion dollar program for a few weeks what makes anyone think it will be able to handle a health care system involving trillions of dollars. If a clunker took a mountain of paperwork and reimbursement is slow what will a doctor have to go through to get paid and what will a patient have to go through to get treated?

Keep this in mind when they tell you they can run health care. They could not run cash for clunkers without making it an administrative nightmare full of delays. Imagine how it will be when it is health care.

The Obama team has been inept at figuring out what the economy is doing and they continually admit they did not have a clue. Their fall back position is to blame the Bush administration (without mentioning the majority Democrat Congress in place when this happened) and say that they inherited a mess.

They got a mess but they made it really bad and now it ALL belongs to them. So they need to stop whining and start getting things right.

They can start by recalling the stimulus and not spending any more money and by also ending the overhaul of health care.

Let’s face it folks, the last think we need to hear after Obamacare passes is “we underestimated how much this would cost and we were really wrong about rationing/wait times/death panels…”

By then it will be too late…

Big Dog

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Here We Go Again

While everyone is involved with the debate on healthcare, and rightly so, there are other problems that the socialists are trying to ram through, like the Cap and Tax problem that they are foisting on a public that, while most are environmentally aware, are unaware that their economic future is extremely dependent on whether this bill is passed in its current form or not by the Senate when they come back from recess (makes them sound like the children they seem to be, doesn’t it?). It should be noted that not everyone is thrilled with the content of this badly constructed bill.

Local energy workers are expected to crowd into a downtown Houston theater today to protest climate change legislation that the U.S. Senate will take up in the coming weeks.

The Energy Citizens rally, promoted by some major energy companies and business organizations as well as the Greater Houston Partnership, will be the first of several such events planned in 19 states in the coming weeks.

Organizers of the event, billed as a dialogue on energy and the environment, told the Chronicle on Monday that legislation the U.S. House passed last spring will destroy millions of U.S. jobs and raise costs without reducing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.

“It’s a dangerous piece of legislation,” said James Hackett, chairman and CEO of Anadarko Energy, which is busing employees to the event.

Hackett said he supports reducing greenhouse emissions and developing alternative sources of fuel.

“But I do think there’s a virtual reality that’s being portrayed to most American citizens about how quickly we get there and how we get there,” Hackett said.

chron.com

These workers, who actually do work in the energy industry, not just “play one on TV”, are concerned about the future of our energy industry if this bill is passed, as there is so much that is omitted in this bill.

The climate change bill the House passed earlier this year sets a steadily decreasing cap on emissions from factories, power plants and other industrial sources and lets companies trade any excess emissions allowances. The price of those emissions allowances would most likely be passed on to consumers.

The measure also would set up a system for creating extra allowances, called offsets, through other projects that reduce emissions, and would include incentives for renewable energy sources and home and business energy efficiency.

But opponents say the bill won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it doesn’t secure promises from developing nations, like China and India, to put controls on their growing emissions.

It also makes no mention of encouraging nuclear power generation, which some rally organizers believe will be key to meeting the country’s electricity needs without creating more greenhouse gases, and doesn’t discuss a role for natural gas, which typically has lower carbon emissions than other fossil fuels.

Opponents also say the cost of the legislation is ill-timed in a weak economy.

chron.com

Yeah, nuclear power would and should be on the plan, but some environmental whackos won’t be satisfied until we are living off of granola, sitting in our tents, and pondering our navel. Lovely.

When you consider that China and India’s air becomes ours in two to three days, as the jetstream transfers and mixes air above us, any plan that doesn’t have them on board is useless, and just cripples our economy, and makes no sense. It’s the economic version of slitting our own throat.

A study released by the National Association of Manufacturers last week says the law would cost 1.8 million to 2.4 million jobs by 2030 and would cost each U.S. household up to $1,248 a year by 2030.

Other estimates of annual household costs have differed — $83 per year according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; $88-$140 according to the Environmental Protection Agency; and $175 a year projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

chron.com

Now, I am all in favor of a plan that makes sense, and I am aware of how wasteful people can be, but if we take water out of the ocean on the West coast, and put it back in on the East coast, we have accomplished nothing. 

That is basically what this bill does.

One of the scheduled speakers at today’s event, National Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Harry Alford, said his organization has been on the record against such a bill since 1996 when it opposed the Kyoto Treaty that led to the emissions trading system now operating in Europe.

chron.com

You know you have lost the argument when the President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce is not on your side in this debate. Mr. Alford knows what everyone else besides our lawmakers know- this is a bad bill, and should not be passed.

If it is, our economy will suffer- that’s guaranteed- and all for naught, as nothing will have been accomplished in a positive manner. We the people will suffer, the rest of the world, (you know, the ones who can see the future of energy) will have their nuclear reactors, or their hydroelectric dams, and they will definitely have our manufacturing jobs.

We will have a lot of over- paid, out of work, disgruntled union workers who will be sitting around wondering how things could change so badly for them. It’s simple, really-

They, and the other liberals, will have figured out too late that their leader “Changed” the playing field on them also.

All to gain control.

Blake

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