What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

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What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:19 pm

I thought this would be an appropriate thread to discuss the excesses of government. We can lambast both parties!

Here, I'll start:

http://blogs.reuters.com/gregg-easterbr ... dp-growth/

Boston’s Big Dig, mostly funded by the federal taxpayer though benefits went exclusively to Massachusetts, was supposed to take 10 years at a cost of $6.2 billion in today’s dollars. Instead it took 21 years and cost $22 billion.

*Seattle wants a 1.7 mile highway tunnel, a kind of Little Dig, that would mainly be paid for by federal taxpayers though the benefits would go exclusively to Washington State. The tunnel is priced at $2 billion, more than a billion dollars per mile. A billion dollars per mile is $16,000 per inch.

*San Francisco wants a new 1.7 mile subway line that would mainly be paid for by federal taxpayers, though the benefits would go exclusively to California. The line is priced at $1.6 billion, just shy of a billion dollars a mile.

*The Washington, D.C. metro is building a mainly federally funded extension from its current Virginia terminus to Dulles Airport. The next leg of the project was just priced at $3.1 billion for 11.5 miles – that’s $270 million per mile, not for subway but for above-ground rail on the median of a highway the public already owns. The price is so extreme that even Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, representing an administration that loves to spend borrowed money, says the price must be cut.

*My home county, Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., wants $1.9 billion for a 16-mile trolley line which would be mainly funded by federal taxpayers though the benefits would go exclusively to Maryland. That’s $121 million per mile for simple above-ground construction of trolley line.

*The federal government just gave contracts to renovate the Reflecting Pool that fronts the Lincoln Monument. The renovation is expected to take 18 months — longer than it took to build the pool in the first place, 90 years ago when machinery was much less efficient.

*Baltimore wants the federal government to fund a new light-rail line for the city. Set aside why taxpayers in Nebraska or Wisconsin should pay for a system solely for the convenience of Marylanders. In line is projected to cost $2.2 billion for 14.5 miles, about $2,400 per inch, entirely for above-ground work. Construction is projected to require nine years. That’s a pace of 1.6 miles per year. At that pace the First Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869 using far less machinery than available today, would have taken more than a thousand years to build.

*On the George Washington Parkway that runs along the Potomac River in the nation’s capital, there is a Depression-era humpback bridge that needed replacement. In January 2008, federally funded contractors began work on this small, low, four-lane, short bridge (80 yards) that crosses a shallow channel. Almost four years later, the job still is not finished. In the 1950s, the three-mile long, 140-foot high, seven-lane Tappan Zee Bridge, spanning the Hudson River at a deep point, took less time to construct. At the pace of the humpback bridge project, the Tappan Zee Bridge would have taken two centuries to build.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/lin ... story.html

After 20 months and about $34 million of work, the new Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is being refilled again for good.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:30 pm

Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:35 pm

Symmetry wrote:Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

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I didn't purposefully leave his name off the OP.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:36 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

Link


I didn't purposefully leave his name off the OP.


I believe you, but maybe don't post stuff from noted anti-semites in the future.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Frigidus on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:42 pm

"The Republican/Democratic Party" is too clunky a term for the glorified one party system we've currently got running things. We need something with more punch.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Symmetry wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

Link


I didn't purposefully leave his name off the OP.


I believe you, but maybe don't post stuff from noted anti-semites in the future.


It does not appear that he's an anti-semite, but that's not relevant to this thread. I was unaware that he had written the above-referenced from Wiki, so I suppose there's an argument that he is. But he makes some salient points about government spending. He also writes an excellent football (American) weekly blog and I own one of his books (I have not read it) on how technology makes us less happy. So ill probably still post stuff from him if it is a salient point about government spending. If you'd like to create a thread discussing whether this man is an anti-semite or whether we should be quoting from people who are anti-semites (or anti-whatever), go ahead. But I request you keep it out of this thread wherein we will talk about how shitty the Republicans and Democrats are.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:49 pm

http://washingtonexaminer.com/governmen ... cle/133250

You may have read recently about the Social Security Administration's big boondoggle in Arizona. The administration, whose solvency is in dire condition, spent about $770,000 in early July to send, put up, and dazzle 675 of its managers with a multimedia presentation at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. The three-day conference included private dance recitals, paid motivational speakers, and an optional, non-government-funded casino trip, according to an investigation by a local Phoenix television station.


Some government conferences are put on by private groups. In fact, the annual conference of the group Blacks in Government (BIG), is going on in Baltimore all this week. For years, BIG's conference has been officially certified by several federal agencies as a training activity, for which employees receive pay, free time off, and cash for travel, hotels and training costs.

For last August's BIG conference, the Department of Justice alone spent $288,000 to send 162 employees, according to agency information compiled by Republicans on the Senate Federal Financial Management Subcommittee. (DOJ was frugal -- in 2006, the State Department had spent $280,000 to send just 65 employees to BIG's conference.)

The 2008 event took place in New Orleans, and the keynote speaker was the recently indicted (and since convicted) Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. Some of the 2008 workshops taught bureaucrats to navigate the bureaucracy, and are at least sort of related to training for government work -- for example, "How to Win" when suing the government through an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint, or "How to Succeed (get Promoted) in Government." Many were self-help workshops on personal finance, maintaining one's credit rating, and "Starting Your Own Business Using Government Money/Buying Investment Properties."

Last year's BIG conference also included a "Healthy Soul Food Cooking" live demonstration and a workshop on "Dancing Your Way Through Stress."


The Justice Department spent $311 million on conferences between 2000 and 2006. A group of 18 major federal agencies that includes Justice spent a combined $2 billion on conferences during the same period. Department of Defense was the biggest spender at $515 million, but others in the group include the Agriculture Department ($91 million), the Environmental Protection Agency ($104 million), the State Department ($164 million), and the Department of Health and Human Services (at least $349 million).
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:50 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

Link


I didn't purposefully leave his name off the OP.


I believe you, but maybe don't post stuff from noted anti-semites in the future.


It does not appear that he's an anti-semite, but that's not relevant to this thread. I was unaware that he had written the above-referenced from Wiki, so I suppose there's an argument that he is. But he makes some salient points about government spending. He also writes an excellent football (American) weekly blog and I own one of his books (I have not read it) on how technology makes us less happy. So ill probably still post stuff from him if it is a salient point about government spending. If you'd like to create a thread discussing whether this man is an anti-semite or whether we should be quoting from people who are anti-semites (or anti-whatever), go ahead. But I request you keep it out of this thread wherein we will talk about how shitty the Republicans and Democrats are.


Did you not quote the guy sympathetically in your OP?

I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby saxitoxin on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:51 pm

Symmetry wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Gregg Easterbrook?

Easterbrook also had a blog[21] at The New Republic Online, until mid-2004. In October 2003, in a column critical of what he considered to be the senseless violence in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, Easterbrook wrote the following:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.

This caused an uproar and accusations that Easterbrook and The New Republic were anti-semitic. Easterbrook wrote that he "mangled" his own ideas by his choice of words and wrote the following to explain his thought process and to apologize:[22]

Twenty minutes after I pressed "send," the entire world had read it. When I reread my own words and beheld how I'd written things that could be misunderstood, I felt awful. To anyone who was offended I offer my apology, because offense was not my intent. But it was 20 minutes later, and already the whole world had seen it... My attempt to connect my perfectly justified horror at an ugly and corrupting movie to the religious faith and ethnic identity of certain executives was hopelessly clumsy...accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize.


No wonder you left his name off the OP.

Link


I didn't purposefully leave his name off the OP.


I believe you, but maybe don't post stuff from noted anti-semites in the future.


It does not appear that he's an anti-semite, but that's not relevant to this thread. I was unaware that he had written the above-referenced from Wiki, so I suppose there's an argument that he is. But he makes some salient points about government spending. He also writes an excellent football (American) weekly blog and I own one of his books (I have not read it) on how technology makes us less happy. So ill probably still post stuff from him if it is a salient point about government spending. If you'd like to create a thread discussing whether this man is an anti-semite or whether we should be quoting from people who are anti-semites (or anti-whatever), go ahead. But I request you keep it out of this thread wherein we will talk about how shitty the Republicans and Democrats are.


Did you not quote the guy sympathetically in your OP?

I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.


You might have a point if TGD were posting links to Stormfront. TGD posted a link to an article paid-and-hosted by Reuters.

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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:52 pm

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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:53 pm

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/feature ... ent-waste/

Look at one of the most enduring legacies of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty”: the Appalachian Regional Commission. It was billed as help for an impoverished region. During the past three decades, this bureaucracy you’ve probably never heard of has spent $6.2 billion, yet the region remains impoverished.

Where did the money go? Two-thirds was spent building 26 highways connecting well-to-do urban centers. The money went to construction workers whose wages are definitely above-average. Despite revolutionary talk in Washington, the Appalachian Regional Commission goes on and on.


Or take the plight of the family farmer. I know you’ve been regaled about wasteful spending on agricultural subsidies, so I’ll just cite a single intriguing example: 1.6 million farm subsidy checks for $1.3 billion, mailed to urban zip codes during the past decade. New York City “farmers” pocketed $7 million during the past decade, Washington, D.C., “farmers” $10 million, Los Angeles “farmers” $10.7 million, Minneapolis “farmers” $48 million, Miami “farmers” $54.5 million, and Phoenix “farmers” $71.5 million. Among those on the take, to the tune of $1.3 million: 47 “farmers” in Beverly Hills, California—one of America’s wealthiest cities.


A lot of government spending is justified as necessary for national security. For instance, maritime subsidies supposedly help maintain a fleet for an emergency. Laws require government agencies to use U.S.-flag vessels which are U.S.-built, U.S.-owned, and U.S.-crewed, costing two to four times the world market price of comparable vessels available elsewhere. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agency for International Development give away surplus grain, they must use U.S.-flag vessels for at least 75 percent of shipments, adding $233 million to the taxpayer burden. The U.S.-flag requirement adds $1.75 billion to the defense budget. Subsidy per maritime job: over $100,000.

The defense budget is larded with waste not because it’s run by bad guys but because it’s big, and bureaucrats are, as always, spending other people’s money. The Pentagon has an “operational support airlift” consisting of some 500 airplanes and 100 helicopters for flying military brass and civilian bureaucrats on 1,800 trips a month—costing taxpayers $380 million a year. Many of the destinations are served by commercial airlines.

Last year, the Pentagon announced it would spend $5.1 million to build a new 18-hole golf course at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland, which already has two. Golf Digest reported there are 19 military golf courses around Washington, D.C. Why a new golf course? One Pentagon official was quoted as saying “a lot of golf gets played out there. On Saturday mornings, people are standing on top of each other.”
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Symmetry wrote:Did you not quote the guy sympathetically in your OP?

I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.


You could take solace that he's not an anti-semite (and actually worships at a joint Christian-Jewish religious center).

You could stop grandstanding.

You could stop derailing and trolling my thread and trying to bait me.

But you won't do those things so I'll just have to ignore you until you come up with something constructive to contribute. I don't appreciate being labelled as sympathetic to anti-semitism so, I'll ask you again to please stop derailing my thread. Thanks in advance.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:59 pm

Frigidus wrote:"The Republican/Democratic Party" is too clunky a term for the glorified one party system we've currently got running things. We need something with more punch.


RDP? I'm not creative enough to come up with a good name. Saxi has one but I can't remember what it is and it seems clunky.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:08 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Did you not quote the guy sympathetically in your OP?

I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.


You could take solace that he's not an anti-semite (and actually worships at a joint Christian-Jewish religious center).

You could stop grandstanding.

You could stop derailing and trolling my thread and trying to bait me.

But you won't do those things so I'll just have to ignore you until you come up with something constructive to contribute. I don't appreciate being labelled as sympathetic to anti-semitism so, I'll ask you again to please stop derailing my thread. Thanks in advance.


I'll leave you and your anti-semite alone. I've shown that he has an irrational problem with Jewish people, I'll leave it up to you to defend him and his arguments.

People do get offended when a noted anti-semite is used as a source.

After all, there's no justification for this kind of bigotry:

Gregg Eatserbrook wrote:Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby AndyDufresne on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:10 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Frigidus wrote:"The Republican/Democratic Party" is too clunky a term for the glorified one party system we've currently got running things. We need something with more punch.


RDP? I'm not creative enough to come up with a good name. Saxi has one but I can't remember what it is and it seems clunky.


Repocratic Party? Sounds like they are involved in confiscation of goods...tax payer goods?!?!


--Andy
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:11 pm

This is a biased site, but I like a lot of the things on the list.

http://www.heritage.org/research/report ... ment-waste

Here are my favorites (my thoughts in quotes):

(3) Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties. (Perhaps sell of these properties?)
(7) Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. (Self-explanatory)
(9) Federal agencies are delinquent on nearly 20 percent of employee travel charge cards, costing taxpayers hundres of millions of dollars annually. (If I am delinquent in reporting my transactions to my boss more than three times, I'm fired).
(10) The SEC spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, DC headquarters ($3.9 million for rearranging???)
(12) Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farmers, which report average household incomes of $200,000 (hey... crony capitalism)
(14) A GAO audit found that 95 Pentagon weapons systems suffered from a combined $295 billion in cost overruns (It cost you too much to build it? That's okay, we'll pay you anyway).
(15) The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades. (If I try to upgrade my flight and charge the firm... fired).
(19) The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes. (See #3)
(25) Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737. (I should become a painter).
(29) The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable. (I think they actually got the refunds and used the cash to keep Area 51 in order).
(34) Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to $50,000 apiece. (And here is a beautiful painting of the Assistant Director of Transportation).
(42) Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use. (More Area 51 cash).
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:12 pm

AndyDufresne wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Frigidus wrote:"The Republican/Democratic Party" is too clunky a term for the glorified one party system we've currently got running things. We need something with more punch.


RDP? I'm not creative enough to come up with a good name. Saxi has one but I can't remember what it is and it seems clunky.


Repocratic Party? Sounds like they are involved in confiscation of goods...tax payer goods?!?!


--Andy


Outstanding Andy.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:21 pm

thegreekdog wrote:and I own one of his books (I have not read it) on how technology makes us less happy.


I've not read his book (I don't believe I've ever heard of him), but I agree with him on this.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:24 pm

Symmetry wrote:I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.


This sounds rather like Night Strike talking about how anything on NPR is fouled by the fact that they're a bunch of hippy, tree-hugging liberals.

Or me talking about how anything on Fox News is fouled by the fact that they're all sulfur-spewing demon-spawn. Which it is, of course.

Debate the source's information, not the source.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:25 am

Here is a good website about the Recovery Act and where the monies are going...

http://www.recovery.gov

I found some interesting questions and answers on the website as well. Keep in mind this is a government website.

"Over the past year, the Recovery Board has received its share of gratuitous criticism (TGD: is there any other kind?) from some journalists and internet grouches. As the brickabts and internet grouches. As the brickbats flew, we've listened patiently. Time now to bury the most publicized urban legends about the Board and the Recovery Program."

Myth: The Recovery Board wasted $18 million to redesign Recovery.gov.

Recovery.gov is not just a pretty face and not nearly that expensive. In July 2009, after careful vetting, the Recovery Board and the General Services Administration selected a Maryland company, Smartronix, Inc., to develop our state-of-the art website. The project included redesign and construction of the website; installation of hardware and software infrastructure; hosting and operation for the website; enhanced content management; and contract labor support. To date, we have paid Smartronix $6.8 million. If we exercise all options in the contract, the bill could total $18 million by January 2014.


Yes, because $6.8 million is very reasonable.

Myth: Why is the Recovery program spending $250,000 per job?

How about $150,000 per job? Or, let’s say $500,000? Never mind that however you cut it, these cost estimates don’t actually begin to tell the whole story. Essentially, critics are dividing the number of estimated jobs by the amount of money spent in a Recovery project. So, if a highway construction project cost $10 million and created 100 jobs, the cost per job must be $100,000, or so the critics say. In a struggling economy, this kind of analysis no doubt angers many Americans. But any second year economics major could tell you how absurd this analysis is. What about the benefits of that highway project to motorists? What about the indirect jobs, the subcontractors and the suppliers that benefit? Like most other things in life, simple analysis doesn’t get the job done (no pun intended).


I wonder if Player wrote this.

Another good opinion piece:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503983_162- ... 03983.html

Some choice quotes:

But when it came to presenting that data, Recovery.gov, the government's official site for stimulus information, highlighted one number in particular, posting it on the site's main page in large font: "JOBS CREATED/SAVED AS REPORTED BY FEDERAL CONTRACT RECIPIENTS: 30,383." To make extra certain of getting viewers' attention, the number itself appears in bright green.


Let's start with the 30,000 jobs themselves. The federal contracts in question represented $16 billion in stimulus spending. Assuming the number of created or saved jobs reported by each contract recipient was accurate—which, as we've reported before, is still an open question—that breaks down to $533,000 for each job. That's more than five times the projection of the president's own Council of Economic Advisers , which estimated in May that every $92,136 in government spending would create one job for one year.


So, if the $16 billion in federal stimulus contracts generated 30,383 direct jobs, how many indirect jobs were created or saved? We asked the White House, which told us they believe that for each direct job created or saved, there is one indirect job. Assuming that's right, that $16 billion created or saved some 60,000 jobs — which still clocks in at $267,000 per person.


I've spent some time looking for data showing how much money is made by the recipients' corporate officers, but so far no dice.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:46 am

Okay, I found some stuff on the award recipients from Recovery.gov

Largest Awards (Contracts)

- Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (South Carolina) - 3 contracts totaling $1,372,651,957

Its top 5 officers make a total of $1,957,95.
It has three parent companies: Fluor Corporation (one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and project management companies), Newport News Nuclear Inc. (a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries providing nuclear operations and program management), and Honeywell International Inc. (a diversified technology and manufacturing company).
Fluor Corporation's six top executives made total compensation in 2009 of $22,437,065.
Honeywell International's six top executives made total compensation in 2009 of $36,713,286.

- CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (Washington) - 3 contracts totalling $1,188,495,168

Its top 5 officers make a total of $3,143,142

- Balfour Beatty/McCarthy A Joint Venture (Texas) - $539,032,415

It was not required to put the top 5 officers' compensations.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby comic boy on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:03 am

In a perfect world such wasteful spending would be eradicated but inefficiency and coruption suggests this is unlikely, but does it matter ? Given that the wasted money tends to flow largely in the direction of big corporations, and by extention to already wealthy individuals, a status quo is achieved providing those that benefit most then provide balance by contributing back via increased taxation.
It seems to me that a problem only occurs if this balance is not achieved , ie that the beneficiaries do not contribute back , an interesting conundrum for those who argue against high taxation for wealthy corporations and individuals.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:11 am

comic boy wrote:In a perfect world such wasteful spending would be eradicated but inefficiency and coruption suggests this is unlikely, but does it matter ? Given that the wasted money tends to flow largely in the direction of big corporations, and by extention to already wealthy individuals, a status quo is achieved providing those that benefit most then provide balance by contributing back via increased taxation.
It seems to me that a problem only occurs if this balance is not achieved , ie that the beneficiaries do not contribute back , an interesting conundrum for those who argue against high taxation for wealthy corporations and individuals.


I've actually thought about that. That's a great theory, but will not work in practice for a few reasons, all of such reasons can be also attributed to why there is wasteful spending in the first place.

First, high wealth individuals generally have political capital invested in numerous politicians which allows them to indirectly control such politicians. Alternatively, such individuals can directly or indirectly support politicians through political action committees.

Second, large corporations generally have more politicla capital invested in numerous politicians, etc.

Third, raising tax rates will not solve any problems. Instead, companies will do the following: pay employees less, increase prices on products, or lobby the government (as per usual) to provide for more deductions, exemptions, and credits.

The root cause of these problems is the power that companies, unions, and high wealth individuals have over politicians. That root cause is also the problem of the crony capitalism and government waste we see in places like the Recovery Act. So if we eliminate the root cause (by curtailing lobbying and political contributions and crony capitalism generally), we will eliminate both the problems associated with raising tax revenue on the rich and the problems associated with government waste.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby comic boy on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:05 pm

I certainly wouldn't disagree with your analysis , the level of lobbying and consequent payback in US politics is astounding. I really think that a good first step would be to cap election spending so that no candidate starts with a financial advantage , I honestly can't see any good argument against doing so.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:30 pm

comic boy wrote:I certainly wouldn't disagree with your analysis , the level of lobbying and consequent payback in US politics is astounding. I really think that a good first step would be to cap election spending so that no candidate starts with a financial advantage , I honestly can't see any good argument against doing so.


The question becomes how we will do that. From my perspective, there do not seem to be a whole lot of people who care enough to get to the root cause of the problem. Even the websites I quote from or link to see this as a Republican vs. Democrat issue and not as a citizen vs. Repocrat issue.
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