Is it really necessary to say that government bureaucrats are incompetent, and there are just thousands and thousands of them. This fact is proven every day all over the country and all over the world.

The latest report shows just one tiny multi-billion unaccounted for entry for reconstruction expenses in Iraq. there are countless examples all over. I noticed a local major road that was just rebuilt in my area that was resurfaced last year, and this year it was torn up, (the new road that was just resurfaced last year) was torn up and a sign was put up stating that this is a project using the "stimulus" funds...HAPPY DAYS, needless money spent on a project that was not needed, while adjoining roads are full of potholes.

From: Federal News Radio

The Defense Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Development Fund for Iraq monies in received for reconstruction in Iraq. This according to a study published today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

"This situation occurred because most DoD organizations receiving DFI (Development Fund for Iraq) funds did not establish the required Department of the Treasury accounts and no DoD organization was designated as the executive agent for managing the use of DFI funds," the report states.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) finds that only one Defense organization actually set up the accounts required by the Treasury.

"The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss," SIGIR says.

The study recommends that the Secretary of Defense create new accounting and reporting procedures to avoid such mistakes in the future. It also recommends designating an executive agent to oversee progress, establishing measurable milestones, and determining whether any DoD organizations are still holding DFI funds.

So, let me see; nobody was in charge of watching these billions while they were dispensed? Were the checks just written to "CASH" and cashed at the local QUICK MART for cash? It is hard to believe that there was no oversight of all these BILLIONS!

That picture of the water well, probably represents what was described as a $1 billion water reclamation project that nobody ever checked out!!!!

For more reports and publications from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, see

I have not seen this story run on ANY national media....I guess just nobody cares????


We can all remember how the administration forced GM and Chrysler to close a significant portion of its dealer network so as to be able to "save" those companies.

Only the government's convoluted and misunderstood logic could be used to explain how closing dealerships, which cost GM and Chrysler nothing, would save those companies.

Both GM and Chrysler were arm twisted to close forever dealerships which often were in business faithfully representing those auto brands for 30, 40 and even 70 years!!!

The sheer stupidity of telling the manufacturers that having less representation and providing less service to the buyers of those vehicles will somehow help them, is just nonsense, and proved to be so.

In a nearby suburb, this insanity played out strangely as a local long established Chrysler dealership was canceled by Chrysler and a Cadillac dealership was canceled by GM.

Immediately after this happened, the Chrysler dealership was awarded to the former Cadillac dealership, so it took off the Cadillac sign, and put on the Chrysler sign,...these dealers were one block apart! The result, about 50 lost jobs.

These dealer networks took decades and often more to build up, as local businessmen invested usually their life savings, and often their family's and investor's savings to get them started, paying the franchise fees, and acquiring buildings to meet the manufacturer's guidelines.

Each such dealer would then be an outlet for NEW cars of that manufacturer, often being forced though arm twisting by the manufacturer to stock and take in as much inventory as he could handle, due to a threat next year of not getting his "allocation" of new vehicles, especially if they were "hot" vehicles, big sellers.

Often the manufacturers would come up with models that sold badly, looked out of style or were strange colors, yet the dealer network would deliver, stocking the hard to sell cars which the manufacturer could report as SOLD!

The manufacturers then further forced the dealers to accept so called floor plan financing, which provided for the vehicles to be financed by a subsidiary of the manufacturer, and charged ongoing interest on the inventory that was on the dealer's "floor", making more profits for the manufacturer.

You may recall how it was usually this financing arm of the manufacturer which provided most of the profitability of the manufacturer, and not the actual autos, and thus the reason it was crammed down the throats of the dealer network!

Think about it, the manufacturer starts to make its money on the cars, while they are sitting on the dealers' lots, even before they are actually sold to a consumer, yet they are booked and shown as a sale for the manufacturer.

Now a report has discovered that these mandated closings, in effect, had no real benefit and instead caused the losses of jobs in the industry that the government was attempting to save.

I do not know about you, but I will only support the manufacturers who did not shaft their dealer networks, who did not take any taxpayer money to bail out its union pension plans, and who survived as businesses should; on their own ingenuity and with a strong competitive spirit, not taking my tax money!!!

Neither GM or Chrysler will get my money, and over the years I have had all types of GM products, as well as several Chryslers, which I stopped buying eventually as their quality became atrocious.

The Treasury Department failed to consider the economic fallout when it told General Motors and Chrysler to quickly shutter many dealerships as part of government-led bankruptcies, a federal watchdog found ( are we surprised by this revelation, or just knew deep down in our heart of hearts that another fiasco would follow a government intervention in private business?).

The report released by the special inspector general for the government's bailout program raised questions about whether the Obama administration's auto task force considered the job losses from the closings while pressuring the companies to reduce costs. That would be very strange since 95% of the "Obamans" appointed to office by president Obama, never worked in a business or private industry. They never met a payroll, never had to learn the tough conditions that exist in running a business.

Treasury didn't show why the cuts were "either necessary for the sake of the companies' economic survival or prudent for the sake of the nation's economic recovery," said the audit by Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $787 billion stimulus program known as TARP.

"Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses," investigators said.

Those decisions resulted in "potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions' broader economic impact," the report said.

Obama administration officials said they strongly disagreed with the findings and said the audit focused solely on one element of a painful restructuring. Without the shared sacrifices of workers, dealers, retirees, suppliers and creditors, they said, the companies may not have rebounded. What stupidity is this?

Herbert M. Allison Jr., Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, said the administration's actions "not only avoided a potentially catastrophic collapse and brought needed stability to the entire auto industry, but they also saved hundreds of thousands of American jobs and gave GM and Chrysler a chance to re-emerge as viable, competitive American businesses."

The audit also found that General Motors "did not consistently follow its stated criteria" for reducing its dealer network and noted that Chrysler failed to offer an appeals process.

The report, sought by lawmakers critical of the dealership closings, was seized upon by Republicans who have questioned the administration's dealings with private industry during the economic downturn.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the audit "should serve as a wake-up call as to the implications of politically orchestrated bailouts and how putting decisions about private enterprise in the hands of political appointees and bureaucrats can lead to costly and unintended consequences."

GM's initial plan submitted to the government in February 2009 called for the gradual reduction of 1,650 of its 5,750 dealers by the end of 2014. Chrysler pointed to plans to trim its network from 3,181 dealers to about 2,000 dealers by 2014.

After Treasury rejected those earlier plans, the two companies released accelerated efforts to cut their dealership ranks. Chrysler said it would quickly close 789 dealers by June 2009 and GM said it would slash its dealer ranks by 1,454 by October 2010.

Following a fierce lobbying campaign by car dealers, Congress approved legislation last year requiring arbitration for closed dealers. GM said it would reinstate more than 660 dealers it had threatened with closure, reducing the number of dealers planning to appeal. Chrysler also agreed to restore about 80 franchises.

In a statement, GM said the events described by the report "have since been overtaken by a new GM and a stronger dealer network to match. More than a year since bankruptcy, GM is showing substantial progress." Chrysler did not immediately comment on the report, ( apparently caught by surprise that it had to make a comment).



The largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect in SIX MONTHS. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired. The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Read more:


The irresponsible destruction of the financial health of America has started and is continuing unabated, and here's why. For thousands of years, businesses, organizations, governments and even individuals have relied on a basic tool to make sure they do not spend or borrow more than they can service - it is called a budget. Yet, for the first time since 1974, when the current rules were put into effect, the U.S. House of Representatives does not intend to pass a budget resolution. The main purpose of the budget resolution is to set discretionary spending caps for the coming fiscal year.

Without a budget resolution, members of Congress are, in essence, able to spend as much money as they wish, subject only to the limitation of getting half plus one of the other members to go along with the spending proposal. The budget procedure was put in place to make sure members of Congress would not spend money as irresponsibly as many teenagers might if they were given unlimited credit cards. If teenagers were in charge of the federal budget, we might end up with a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. Ah, but we are going to have a $1.5 trillion deficit this year - and who's in charge?

In the face of the unprecedented congressional spending binge, President Obama has been asking Congress to spend even more. Not content with actively promoting the eventual bankruptcy of the United States, Mr. Obama is urging foreign leaders also to increase their government spending - which is truly bizarre. Look at the facts. All of the major European countries have been increasing government spending and deficits at unsustainable rates. The talk for the past couple of months has been about which countries would follow Greece in going over the financial cliff. Responsible economists, financial leaders and, most important, the markets have been telling European leaders they must cut government spending. Over the past couple of weeks, a number of those leaders have responsibly and courageously come forth with real spending-reduction programs. Britain's new government, despite being a coalition government, has proposed a 25 percent cut in most government departments. Can you imagine the howls from Congress and the U.S. news media if a U.S. president proposed even a 5 percent cut, though a far larger one is needed?

Mr. Obama increasingly appears to be living in a fiscal fantasyland. In his letter to the Group of 20 on June 18, the president wrote: "My administration will cut the budget deficit we inherited in half by FY 2013 and work to reduce our fiscal deficit to 3 percent of [gross domestic product] by FY 2015...." The president already has put forward two budgets, including projections for the next decade, but they contain no specifics for reaching such a goal. Without laying out which programs he proposes to reduce, the words are nothing more than hollow rhetoric. (Please see accompanying graph.)

The president still seems to believe in the imaginary world of spending multipliers - whereby each dollar of additional spending results in something in the order of $1.40 in additional output. Proponents of such ideas normally refer to themselves as Keynesians (followers of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946). A careful reading of Keynes will show that his prescriptive "spending stimulus" ideas were much more limited than what many of his followers now advocate.

The Keynesians and socialists have run hundreds of experiments around the world for the past 70 years, inducing governments to try to spend themselves into prosperity. It doesn't work. In the 1970s, Keynesian prescriptions led to "stagflation" in the U.S. and many other countries. It was only when Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and eventually many other leaders (using the ideas of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman) reversed course by cutting tax rates and curtailing spending growth that their economies began to grow rapidly without inflation.

Mr. Obama seems to have never learned these lessons, and some of his advisers, who once understood what works and what doesn't, seem to have forgotten. By nature, people like to spend other people's money, and too many in Congress loved what was billed as Keynesian economic theory because it gave them a rationale to be irresponsible spenders.

If you are confused about whom to believe, just think for a minute. If increasing government spending really could lead to increased prosperity, why limit government spending at all? From your own observations, do governments spend your money as wisely as you do? And do government workers on average work harder, and are they more productive than workers you observe in the private sector? Finally, where does government get all of that extra money to spend? If it's from taxes, does that not mean taxpayers will have less incentive to work, save and invest? If it is from borrowing more money, does that not mean everyone will have to pay more taxes in the future and hence will be worse off? And, if the government just prints the additional money, won't it be worth less, and won't workers and savers be worse off?

Responsible people, whether they are national leaders or average citizens, understand that both in their personal and public lives they cannot spend themselves into prosperity.

By: Richard W. Rahn, who is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.