Money Well Spent (Yet Again And Again)

Yep!  More disgusting waste of the American taxpayer dollar……most Americans have their programs that they want to see cut for whatever misguided reason….but most never think about the waste of money through our so called foreign aid…..

The US and its allies are winding down their mission in Afghanistan and there will be a continuation (of course there will be) of massive foreign aid to help the country come to grips with situations on its own…….

In a piece written by Jason Ditz for Antiwar.com…………

A new Senate Foreign Relations Committee report lays out their “roadmap” for continuing to pour billions of dollars in aid into Afghanistan annually

The plan, which Senate Dems say was timed for release after President Karzai’s term in office ended and the troop deal extended, and will keep the $5-$8 billion average outflow of US “aid” into Afghanistan more or less intact.

With the vast majority of that aid being flat out squandered on things Afghans didn’t need or want, the committee’s plan seeks to make the future aid “condition-based” with some vague sustainability requirements.

Details of all the conditions are not yet clear, but indications are that they will mostly been centered on the administration signing off on the Afghan government dubious human rights record, something they’ve been only too willing to do in the past, and will undoubtedly do in the future to keep the gravy train flowing.

I understand the “need” to help Afghanistan….but my bigger question is how many American defense contractors will be feeding at the teat?

I mean we gave the country a TV station for live sports coverage without an audience……we are scrapping equipment worth billions for 60 cents a ton……just who will benefit the most from the foreign aid….Afghanistan or the Military-Industrial Complex?

If you have the answers then by all means…share with the rest of us.

Always Money Well Spent

There is a constant supply of news on just how badly the US spends its cash……there was the story of all those Nazis that are still drawing Social Security…..and then we had the story of many many government employees that were paid to stay at home for years in some cases…..and there is always a story about a $160 hammer and a $200 toilet seat…..but the Us spends money on programs that are designed to control oir stop some practices….like the opium production in Afghanistan……..

The latest report on the policy of controlling the production of poppies is not all that great…….

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is at record levels, according to a new report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. That’s despite more than a decade of American efforts to knock out the Afghan drug trade—at a cost of roughly $7.6 billion.

SIGAR’s data, which comes from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that Afghan opium cultivation nearly tripled between 1994 and 2013. More than 780 tons of heroin or morphine could be produced with the current crop, whose total value is estimated at nearly $3 billion, up from $2 billion in 2012.

In his report, John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, informs Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder, and USAID administrator Rajiv Shah that the levels of opium poppy production don’t exactly square with all the time, money, and effort that have gone into eradicating crop. “The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of [prior US government and coalition] efforts,” Sopko writes. “Given the severity of the opium problem and its potential to undermine U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, I strongly suggest that your departments consider the trends in opium cultivation and the effectiveness of past counternarcotics efforts when planning future initiatives.”

It is just amazing how our Congress has NO problem asking for cuts that would effect the poor but they seems to not care that more money is being pissed away in this worthless effort

Does anyone else think that our priorities should be making this country strong and a good place to live?  Somebody needs to walk into Congress and start shaking trees…..and shake hard enough to dislodge all the rotten fruit.

Thoughts?

 

GOP Needs New Material

The GOP has been pushing the whole tax cuts thing for decades…….kinda in the same vain as the whole trickle down theory, which as we all know is a worthless lie that has never been proven to be accurate….election after election GOP candidates premise tax cuts and the world will be a better place…..if they are allowed to cut taxes then all problems will be solved and the peasants can dance…..

The problem with their solution is that it does nothing but make states broke and poor people in more debt……but they continue to push the dream and we Americans buy it every time……

Let the truth be known…….take Kansas for instance…..the gov promised with more tax cuts the state would prosper…….it was total GOP bullshit!

In 2012, Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed a massive tax cut into law, arguing that it would boost the state’s economy. Eventually, he hoped to eliminate individual income taxes entirely. “Our place, Kansas, will show the path, the difficult path, for America to go in these troubled times,” he said.

Brownback’s tax cut proposal came as Kansas’s revenues were on an upswing. Spending cuts and a one-cent sales tax passed by Brownback’s Democratic predecessor had combined with economic growth to give Kansas a surplus. Now, Brownback argued, his tax cuts would lead to even more success. “I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas,” he said.

The governor proposed to cut income taxes on the state’s highest earners from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent, to simplify tax brackets, and to eliminate state income taxes on most small business income entirely. In a nod to fiscal responsibility, though, he proposed to end several tax deductions and exemptions, including the well-liked home mortgage interest deduction. This would help pay for the cuts.

Yet it’s now clear that the revenue shortfalls are much worse than expected. “State general fund revenue is down over $700 million from last year,” Duane Goossen, a former state budget director, told me. “That’s a bigger drop than the state had in the whole three years of the recession,” he said — and it’s a huge chunk of the state’s $6 billion budget. Goossen added that the Kansas’s surplus, which had been replenished since the recession, “is now being spent at an alarming, amazing rate.”

In other words the tax cuts did not create jobs or new business or new residents….what they did was bankrupt the state….in case you are interested it is the same with every state that has cut taxes to the bone……and it will get worse.

A noted economist, David Cay Johnston, has tracked the numbers since 2000……..

I calculated that enormous figure by comparing the average income Americans reported on their 2000 tax returns with what they reported each year for 2001 through 2012, adjusting for inflation and the growing population. Add up the income for 12 years and it turns out to be $6.6 trillion less than if we had maintained the prosperity of 2000 for a growing population.

Why use 2000 as a benchmark? Well, first off, it marks the end of one era and the start of another. More important, that very good year economically was when George W. Bush, running for president, said American prosperity would get even better if he was elected and his tax cuts — key aspects of which he kept secret until after the election — would ensure American prosperity.

The results: The prosperity of the prior decade was lost. Job growth fell far behind population growth. The median wage (half make more, half less) has been mired since 1998 at a bit more than $500 per week.

In 10 of the 12 years when the Bush tax cuts were in effect, the average income shown on tax returns was lower than in 2000. In the two upside years, average income rose modestly, up $504 for 2006 and $1,744 for 2007.

Total those 12 years and the net shortfall per taxpayer comes to $48,010.

Consider what $48,000 of additional income over those 12 years would have meant to you. It is the equivalent of $11 appearing in your wallet every morning from the start of 2001 through the end of 2012.

How much better off you would be if your income had been $48,000 higher over those 12 years? To be sure, you would have owed taxes on that money. If you were not in the top 1 percent, federal income tax would have taken on average about 10 percent of that, leaving you with $43,200. (The top 1 percent would have paid 23.5 percent in tax.) In addition, if the extra income was all in wages, then Social Security and Medicare taxes also would have taken a bite, leaving you with about $39,500.

So how much better off would you be right now if you had another $39,050? And remember that is just the extra after-tax income you would have enjoyed had the prosperity of 2000 been maintained, while then-Gov. Bush promised greater and more widespread prosperity.

I know economics can make your brain melt but the truth is that Americans are worse off because of all the tax cuts…..that is the average working stiff….the wealthy made out lioke bandits which in some sense is exactly what they are….BANDITS!

The GOP needs new material…..their bullshit about tax cuts is nothing but LIES on top of LIES!

Conservatosis

Saw this on Twitter and could not resist….I may not agree with a lot of what Obama has done…….but it is a damn sight better than we would have had with the alternatives…….

 

 

 

 

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Economics Lesson

for those that find economics mind numbing…..this little illustrations goes a long way in providing the information needed to understand the plans our parties make….to help the people…..

 

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Where Does The Money Go?

We have people yelling constantly about all those lazy people that are sucking our country dry…….few mention all the corporate welfare that is doing just what they accuse the poor of doing……and there is another fault in our system…….we cannot seem to account for all the money that is spent by the Defense Department…….there is probably more money being mis-spent, misplaced or stolen than anywhere else in the budget……..

i saw this piece and thought what a great job our bureaucrats are doing…..(that is sarcasm in case you missed it)………….

The Pentagon’s Chief Financial Officer, Undersecretary of Defense Robert Hale, today conceded that the Congressionally mandated auditing requirements are “more of a challenge than I expected.”

That’s putting it mildly. Congress required full financial accountings of Pentagon spending in the 1990s, and in 2010 ordered the Pentagon to be ready for a “full audit” by 2017. The halfway point to 2017 is here, and the Government Accountability Office says the Pentagon is well short of where it would need to be to meet those goals.

20 solid years of work by military financial managers hasn’t amounted to much in the grand scheme of things, and while Undersecretary Hale says he is determined to “eventually” get the military ready for an audit, eventually is starting to add up to an awfully long time.

Navy comptroller Susan Rabern says she is “cautiously optimistic” about meeting the goals sometime next year, but that the cultural shift in the US military’s “worldwide business operations” has been enormous, and getting old data on decades of unaccounted-for spending has been a formidable task.

The initial push to get the Pentagon’s financial house in order came from the notorious reports of $640 toilet seats and $435 hammers. Interest in reining in Pentagon spending slowed after 9/11, however, when budgets soared again to record highs, and interest in where hundreds of billions of dollars ended up was minimal, at best.

The GAO’s latest report warns that military reports to Congress remain “inconsistent and sometimes unreliable,” and that the Defense Department simply has no ability to produce a full accounting of all of its assets, let alone tracking whether payments they’re making to contractors are appropriate.

All those people that are screaming for the poor to be held accountable for the sin of being poor……have NO problem with the cash that disappears annually from the Defense Department…….I hate to admit it but it is looking more and more like racism than misinformation……..billions upon billions disappear yearly from the defense budget and yet school lunches and snap are the culprits of a dwindling revenue………

Something smells!