"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, August 1, 2011

"The Best We Could Get" is Most Likely True Unfortunately

This compromise bill is far from perfect but the Republican Leadership had very little bargaining power with the fact the last vote had just enough votes to pass.  There are no taxes which is simply amazing and shows Obama and the Democrats caved on tax increases.  Speaker Boehner has said all along that for every dollar in debt ceiling rise it had to be offset by more than that in cuts and he got that in the bill when his chances back in the spring were rated nil.

Must admit there are a lot of conservatives who want immediate cuts who don't understand government contracting where a lot of the waste comes or even civil service.  Cuts are programmed over a period of years so not to impact an agency's ability to operate.  You cannot go into an office and cut 50% without an impact on what they do in most instances.  First they go by attrition on cut jobs, then offer early outs before ever laying off anyone.  That takes time.  There is also a penalty if you cancel a contract immediately unless the contractor is at fault.  It is foolish to think you can take all those cuts at once and why their making fun of Dr. Coburn's 10-year plan for cuts makes them look foolish.  There are things can be cut immediately like duplication of services but others who are going to take time.  Common sense is missing from a lot of the discussion.

One area that I think Republicans and Democrats need to both give a little bit is Defense which has become a sacred cow along with social security/medicare/medicaid.  Both need looked at for where there is waste.   The fraud in social security/medicare/medicaid is huge and the first thing you need to look at finding the fraud.  If I were the head of the social security, I would make every last recipient verify they were still alive.  Know that sounds strange but the number of dead people drawing checks is legendary.  How many claims do doctors pad the bill?  The list goes on and on and is a program that needs a complete audit from top to bottom.  Go after the people committing the fraud.  The savings in that alone would be huge.

Having been around defense for most of my adult life the waste in the defense department is true and anyone who says they cannot take a cut is not facing reality.  In fact under Obama the defense department has added civil service ending years of cuts.  They have taken programs that were doing well in private industry bringing them in-house to add more civil service and build an empire.

You never cut what our men and women in the military need to do their job -- that is a #1 priority but there are so many programs in the Defense Department that have nothing to do with supporting our military that Dr. Coburn is correct they need a huge audit -- think the American people are going to be livid at the waste in the DoD that has been going on for years and years.  It seems every General of Senior Executive Service person has their own pet project which shall not be touched which wastes tons of money.

As this site has already pointed out, Automatic Test Systems at Warner Robins is wasting millions of dollars on their better mousetrap which is worse.  F-16 finally got a waiver not to use that better mousetrap and upgrade what they have.  Dr. Coburn has all the details on how VDATS is worthless but been pushed in order to grow civil service at Robins AFB.  Canceling VDATS would save millions and provide our weapons systems with a better product.

Canceling all but the Air Force version of the F-35 would save billions and billions of dollars as it is still too heavy to land on a carrier plus the Navy wanted more of the F-18 Super Hornets.  The AF version is the one foreign military sales wants.  Sole source contracting should go out the window.

Bring back the law that you cannot leave the military and go to work for a defense contractor right away and I would extend that to senior civilians.  Also they should be banned from having anything to do with a contractor who deals with the weapon systems where their spouse works.  Know of one instance where the spouse of a contractor was on source selection for a weapon system upgrade when her husband was the head of a local contractor office bidding on the contract.  There is a whole list of items that could be cut from Defense -- Dr. Coburn is correct that defense cuts should not be off the table.

There you have several programs in defense that could be cut and there are tons more.  Anyone saying cuts in defense should be a sacred cow,  might cause you to look at their portfolio and see what contractors they are invested with or who they are connected with.  In Defense, it is smart cuts not cuts across the board that you need.  There may be as much waste in DoD as any agency.

The Democrats are screaming louder than those Republicans who want no debt ceiling rise and don't care if we go in default.  They probably won't read this bill either.  The Democrats are out screaming everyone as they think Obama threw them under the bus with no new taxes.  If the volume of the rhetoric is any indication, the Republicans got the best of this crappy deal.

Will it pass and calm the markets and the bond rating people?  We will know more tonight.

‘The Best We Could Get’July 31, 2011 10:49 P.M. By Andrew Stiles 
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told GOP members on a conference call Sunday evening that he had reached a deal with congressional leaders and the White House, but that it wouldn’t happen “unless we have membership on board.” It remains to be seen how many House Republicans will end up supporting the final package, but members on the call told National Review Online they thought it would ultimately pass with bipartisan support. “I’m not sure I’m going to support it but I think it will probably pass,” said freshman Rep. Dennis Ross (R., Fla.). Members described the tone of the call as overwhelmingly positive, with many praising Boehner’s efforts in the negotiations. Despite his concerns about the final deal, Ross said “leadership has done a very good job of getting it to this point,” and described a sense of relief among members, many of whom may not love the deal, but are nonetheless happy to be moving on to the next fight. 
According to sources, Boehner said the deal was “the best that we could get.” In particular, he thanked the 87 freshman members for their input, without which “we wouldn’t have gotten this far.” Ross concurred. “I think the freshman class has been very valuable to this process,” he said. “Without them, without us, I don’t believe we’d be where we are today.” 
Freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R., Ind.) told NRO that with “the most liberal president we’ve ever had” occupying the White House, the Tea Party and the conservative movement have done all right for themselves. “I think the Tea Party needs to take credit for changing the dialogue in Washington to be about cutting spending,” he said. “But whether I vote for this plan or not, it’s not enough. This isn’t the end of the fight.” 
Stutzman said he is still reviewing the details of the plan, and is skeptical as to which elements may have finally convinced President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to sign on. “I’m definitely open-minded about it,” he said. “But I approach Washington very skeptically, and try to avoid getting the wool pulled over my eyes.” 
Boehner told members he would like to vote on the plan as early as Monday night, and apologized for the short notice. Leaders will meet with the entire conference Monday to further discuss the details of the plan.   
Source:  National Review

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