Corruption


A perfect example of how government programs get re-directed to the well-connected. From Politico:

San Francisco will get $19-a-person in community development block grants this year, while Allentown, with twice the poverty and less than half of the median income, will draw a per-capita allotment of $17.53….Community development block grants rely on outdated, 1970s formulas that have increasingly shuttled dollars to wealthy places like Newton, Mass., while other locales in need, such as Compton, Calif., go wanting.

As Chris Edwards notes, it gets worse:

The federal aid system generates no net value—it is simply a roundabout way of funding local activities. Taxpayers in San Francisco mail checks to the IRS to fund the CDBG program. Their money flows through the HUD bureaucracy, and then is dished out to bureaucracies in Harrisburg and Allentown, with some trickling down to local residents and businesses. Meanwhile, taxpayers in Allentown are also mailing checks to the IRS to fund the CDBG program. Their money flows through the HUD bureaucracy, and then is dished out to bureaucracies in Sacramento and San Francisco, with some trickling down to local residents and businesses.

The Finale:

“The federal aid system thrives not because it benefits the American people, but because it benefits governments and lobbyists.”

Here.

Another government program, another corrupt government program. Here.

The controversial “Obamaphone” program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report released Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified.

Here’s the deception that is typically used to distract from a government program’s corruption:

The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money.

“A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” said Mrs. McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri.

“We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue,” she said.

Lack of oversight, “phone companies cash a government check”. Please. So where is the government oversight and why are phone companies cashing a government check?

Its the nature of government programs, that’s why. Politicians and the rest of the political class pass laws and programs to get the recognition from their voters then go on their merry way to the next debacle. Then when a program is found to be corrupt, they blame “phone companies” or some other scapegoat.

Now, let me say, we need government — to carry out its constitutional functions, and to protect our rights and liberties — but with so much corruption and smothering by program after program, its difficult to acknowledge the need for government.

The country’s founders were right, as are today’s libertarians and classical liberals.

 

You’ve no doubt already heard about Illinois politicians have spent their state into a deep hole. Update:

House Republicans on Friday helped advance a Democratic-drafted $36.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on Saturday, but the deal stalled with negotiations continuing over a revenue package and an assortment of non-budgetary matters sought by Rauner.

They have literally proved that Keynesian pump-priming (government spending) to get their economy moving does not work.

The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are ‘utterly distraught’ and facing fresh heartbreak after losing their final appeal in the European Court of Human Rights. Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son – who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage – to the US to undergo a therapy trial. …the couple, from Bedfont, west London, raised almost £1.4million so they could take their son to America but a series of courts ruled in favour of the British doctors. …the ECHR rejected a last-ditch plea and their ‘final’ decision means the baby’s life support machine will be switched off. …It comes after a High Court judge in April ruled against a trip to America and in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors. …Specialists in the US have offered a therapy called nucleoside. …barrister Richard Gordon QC, who leads Charlie’s parents’ legal team, …said parents should be free to make decisions about their children’s treatment unless any proposal poses a risk of significant harm. …Charlie’s parents have raised nearly £1.4million to pay for therapy in America.

Gov’t services are run for the benefit of the gov’t employees, not to serve the customer, patient, client, as in a market economy.

But I suspect shoddy care is more common when healthcare providers get a salary from the government. Under such an arrangement, patients are a burden rather than a source of revenue.

The European Court of Human Rights should be renamed to the European Court for Bureaucratic Control.

Here.

Is, in a word, government.

All the passionate talk about the personalities and potential crimes of the presidential candidates has obscured debate about what the federal government actually does. Both Trump and Clinton promise to spend us to oblivion taking care of various collectivist groups: vets, seniors, farmers, military contractors, teachers, etc.

But that spending (and inevitable taxing) serves one overriding purpose: to make the people in Washington D.C. ever richer and more powerful. Its a bipartisan bonanza. Yes, the money will trickle down to those constituents I listed above. But the politicians, lobbyists, regulators, and other government employees take their cut first. All that money requires programs and administration. Who does that? Why the people who work in government. And what is the result?

Kevin Williamson explains. I tease you with this: “But Washington builds no iPhones. It doesn’t really build much of anything, and it doesn’t create any wealth — it just takes it.

Here.

Both parties, Democrats and Republicans, are getting closer to letting the FBI access your personal information without accountability. Getting a court order provides some oversight by a judge, depending on the integrity of the judge.

This is another bureaucracy on autopilot, leaving our elected officials unaccountable for its actions. The IRS comes to mind and both parties support this corruption.

All those partisan pundits cheering their side and booing the other have zero credibility and no principles.

Definitely time for a third party, and make it Libertarian.

Here.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have called for an investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) over the series of sexually explicit conversations and lewd photos he exchanged with a half-dozen women during the last several years.

Don’t buy it. Calling for a congressional investigation is a tactic to bury the story and exonerate, not roast, er, get to the bottom of, Weiner’s behavior. Here.

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