Spending while Rome burns

Billions in inefficiently allocated funds are clogging government coffers

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The very foundations of Western European society are clinking and clattering and rattling under their feet and our noses. The American economy is shaky at best, on the precipice of disaster at the least.

Across this great land, ordinary citizens not otherwise given to flights of paranoia are hoarding basic necessities, diving into worlds of increased self-reliance and, when they can stomach it, imagining the worst and what it might require of both them and civil society.

If they are overreacting, surely our leaders in Washington are guilty of underreacting.

When they should be fortifying this country’s financial picture; when they should be slashing government spending and fueling the private sector to create jobs; when they should be sitting down together to work through our collective problems – they’re doing none of that.

We’d say they’re fiddling while Rome burns, and they are. But it’s worse than that. They’re accelerating the country’s drive toward the cliff – with continued profligate spending, with mud-wrestling on television for political gain, and with abject, wanton and active neglect of this country’s condition.

If they were parents, they’d have their children taken away and be yanked off to jail for criminal endangerment.

There’s no way of getting around it: This is the worst collection of leaders in American history.

There are some exceptions, of course – such as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is, sadly, self-limiting his stay in Washington out of a respect for the principle of a citizen legislature our Founders thought they had established. But before leaving, Coburn intends to keep pointing out the flames licking at Rome’s infrastructure.

Most recently, Coburn exposed the fact that billions of dollars are lying around in federal government coffers that may never be spent, for projects that aren’t going anywhere – or which are over: There’s still $2.7 million in an account earmarked for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics!

Then there’s pure waste. Coburn notes the government is spending more than $200 million a year on foreign promotion of U.S. companies and industries that are already quite profitable on their own.

“Mr. Coburn’s top example,” writes The Washington Times, “is Blue Diamond Growers, a California cooperative of almond farms that he said reported $3.3 billion in sales over the past five years, yet has received $28.2 million in promotion subsidies since 1999.”

Another part of the program funds a reality show in India; another promotes livestock semen and another Sunkist, which Coburn says has $1 billion in sales.

Other programs are even more wasteful.

The point is, no one’s minding the store – and our leaders can’t agree on what day it is, much less how to solve our problems.

Did you know the U.S. Senate hasn’t even passed a rudimentary federal budget in three years?

Problems in Europe will either drag us down too or present us with opportunities to capture capital fleeing the continent.

The neglect and reckless selfishness of our rulers in Washington makes it more likely that we’ll suffer the same fate as our friends in Europe.

Comments (52)

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ultrarnr
875
Points
ultrarnr 06/18/12 - 11:15 pm
4
9

Austerity

Unpublished

So you are promoting government austerity as a solution? Just look at what austerity has done for those Eurpoean countries that have tried it. Do you want unemployment rates such as theirs? If you want to look at waste look at the defense department. The F35 is just one example of a trillion dollar waste of money.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 06/19/12 - 01:56 am
7
1

told you so...

I've been extolling the virtues of Senator Coburn's economic vision on these boards for months... glad to see the board finally gave him some credit for his 'guts'. Charlie Rose's website has some very good interviews with the good Senator, worth a view. By the way, the good Senator see's BOTH cutting expenditures AND new revenue as the answer.

ultrarnr
875
Points
ultrarnr 06/19/12 - 02:05 am
3
5

Ethics Violation

Unpublished

Don't forget Senator Coburn's Senate ethics violation. Maybe that is why he is resigning.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/19/12 - 04:48 am
1
7
Riverman1
70930
Points
Riverman1 06/19/12 - 05:10 am
8
1

Is there anyone on the planet

Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't know the Wash. Times is owned by the Korean minister? Just saying.

But I'm curious, what European country has tried austerity?

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/19/12 - 05:23 am
2
7

Maybe they can use quotes

Maybe they can use quotes from Mormon, Scientology, Raëlism, and Nuwaubian publications if they want to give other cults' views on politics.

carcraft
20800
Points
carcraft 06/19/12 - 05:52 am
6
2

Estonia and several other

Estonia and several other Baltic countries have tried austarity and it has worked. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmitchell/2012/06/07/estonia-and-auster... If you look Estonia and austerity you will find several links.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/19/12 - 06:06 am
7
3

Techfan,please tell us how

Techfan,please tell us how the private sector is "just fine".

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/19/12 - 06:18 am
3
7

Defense budgets 2011 for

Defense budgets 2011 for Baltic countries:
Latvia- 1.2% GDP
Lithuania- 0.89% GDP
Estonia- 1.9% GDP
US- 4.7% GDP (DoD Budget. Real defense spending around 9% GDP)

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 06/19/12 - 06:20 am
3
7

Look up private sector job

Look up private sector job growth vs public sector job growth since Obama came into office.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/19/12 - 06:23 am
7
3

Techfan,I would like for you

Techfan,I would like for you to verfy that the U.S. Private sector is "just fine".

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/19/12 - 06:29 am
7
4

Can't seem to parrot hussein

Can't seem to parrot hussein on THIS issue? You'll lose your collective salvation!

InChristLove
21910
Points
InChristLove 06/19/12 - 06:48 am
7
4

http://www.google.com/hostedn

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hG7s_W3sX9BaPEyLiNjcUS...

Techfan, maybe you'd be interested in reading some fact checks in this article. When you do the math correctly, we have lost private-sector jobs. Overall, the economy has lost 1.37 million jobs — 784,000 in the private sector — since Obama was inaugurated.

ultrarnr
875
Points
ultrarnr 06/19/12 - 07:31 am
3
6

Austerity

Unpublished

Look at England and Spain to see how austerity works. Do we want that here?

southernguy08
415
Points
southernguy08 06/19/12 - 07:32 am
0
0

OBAMA'S PROGRAMS

Unpublished

"The shovel ready projects in the stimulus bill weren't as shovel ready as we expected." President Barack Obama. Mr. President, the term "shovel ready" more describes the main component in your "administration." Yeah, I'm laughing!

seenitB4
73169
Points
seenitB4 06/19/12 - 07:40 am
5
1

MAD

I don't care what party you are in...doesn't this irk you???

Most recently, Coburn exposed the fact that billions of dollars are lying around in federal government coffers that may never be spent, for projects that aren’t going anywhere – or which are over: There’s still $2.7 million in an account earmarked for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics!

Then there’s pure waste. Coburn notes the government is spending more than $200 million a year on foreign promotion of U.S. companies and industries that are already quite profitable on their own.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/19/12 - 07:57 am
7
2

Techfan...why can't you

Unpublished

Techfan...why can't you refute what is said in these letters. Just mock and attack the source.

As for austerity....if Europe would actually implement austerity instead of just talking about it and getting bailouts (none have actually implemented it) they would be doing better.

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/19/12 - 07:57 am
5
1

Please list the specific

Unpublished

Please list the specific austerity measures that Spain and England have implemented.

carcraft
20800
Points
carcraft 06/19/12 - 07:58 am
7
1

Techfan- Maybe we do need to

Techfan- Maybe we do need to cut the military budget, pull all our troops back home and secure our boarders and stop the illegal influx into the US so NO President will ever have the heart breaking choice of properly enforcing laws and meeting the constitutional requirements of the office of president or just flaunting the constitution and the laws of America like Obama wants to. It now appears that we will have a million more people competing against US citizens for the limited jobs available, college classroom space, education dollars, etc…

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/19/12 - 07:58 am
6
2

I wonder how long it will be

Unpublished

I wonder how long it will be before someone blames it all on Bush.

carcraft
20800
Points
carcraft 06/19/12 - 08:04 am
6
2

Techfan- When you discuss

Techfan- When you discuss employment you are ignoring UNDER EMPLOYMENT. 33% underemployment amoung youth up 30%. Yes the private sector is doing just fine..LOL jst google "One in Three Young U.S. Workers Are Underemployed"

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 06/19/12 - 08:06 am
8
0

It is a crying shame that the

It is a crying shame that the almond industry has profits, and still gets subsidies!!

I wonder how the oil and farm industry is doing...

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/19/12 - 08:12 am
5
1

I have no problem cutting

Unpublished

I have no problem cutting subsidies......as long as it is done universally.

nofanofobama
6168
Points
nofanofobama 06/19/12 - 08:42 am
6
1

for all those who promote

for all those who promote more govt. spending...how much debt is too much??? defense is basically one of the only constitutional duties of ther federal govt..now we have a far reaching govt that actually sets up roger clemens to lie and then proceed to spend over 300 million to prosecute him for lying to congress..the list of this goes on and on ...where does the fed. govt have this jurisdiction and why if they did ..would it matter??? states rights as the founding faters envisioned it is our only chance to get out of this debt cycle and an encroaching fed govt into every aspect of our lives..

itsanotherday1
34921
Points
itsanotherday1 06/19/12 - 08:58 am
6
1

Looks like the usual suspects

Looks like the usual suspects refuse to debate the assertions of the editorial, and attack the messengers instead.

It is really pointless to compare how austerity impacts European economies considering their governments are different than ours. You have to compare apples to apples. I would think it is logical for the unemployment to be high in places where socialist style government provides most of the employment.

Riverman1
70930
Points
Riverman1 06/19/12 - 09:25 am
5
0

It's enabling when you deny

It's enabling when you deny government spending is the problem. Somebody call Dr. Phil.

Bizkit
22126
Points
Bizkit 06/19/12 - 09:57 am
4
1

Well let's just hope the Dems

Well let's just hope the Dems will support Obama and his plans of austerity which he believes can also increase growth. http://www.economist.com/node/18956566?story_id=18956566
http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20120520-42649.html
So since Obumba supports austerity, I guess we are all in agreement and support austerity??? But I guess the progressives will continue to spout against their president's wishes. Weird disconnect.

carcraft
20800
Points
carcraft 06/19/12 - 10:02 am
6
0

Farm subsidies can get weird,

Farm subsidies can get weird, for example milk subsidies exist because cows produce less milk in hot climates so farmers producing milk in the south needed incentives to produce milk and the technology did not exist to ship milk in the 1940's. Well we still have the same subsidies despite all the changes in milk production and distribution

Southern Leslie
2206
Points
Southern Leslie 06/19/12 - 10:06 am
5
0

Carcraft......that's just

Unpublished

Carcraft......that's just further evidence that once a government program is started, it is nearly impossible to stop it.

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