Monday, February 16, 2009
As Broke As We Wanna Be
I swore I was getting out of politics. I swore that I would let the chips fall where they may, because other than voting every two years, I can do little to influence the idiocy that emanates from Washington.
And I’m not trying to convince anybody with occasional posts in this blog about politics and not sports.
This is my therapy. And maybe you’ll take a little comfort knowing that you are hardly the only one pissed off enough to start shopping for torches and pitchforks.
If you think I’m full of shit, fine. You can email me if makes you feel better. Or you can leave this blog and never come back. Again, I’m not trying to convince you. I’m just trying to add my one small voice to a howling wilderness of powerless Americans who are sick to their stomachs right now.
Most of the time, I’m going to be doin’ the sports thing. But when an $800,000 million generational theft occurs, I can’t sit by quietly. I must scream like everybody else at a Congress who claims we must RUSH RUSH RUSH to SPEND SPEND SPEND all this money.
Except hundreds of billions won’t even be spent until 2010 or later. This, is “stimulus?”
Except almost none of the people voting on the bill, had enough time to actually read all 1,000 pages of it first.
So ….. Obama is ready to make it rain with a stroke of his pen.
Are you already feeling “stimulated?” I know every firm which has government contracts is feeling that way.
For them, it’s party time!
Here was a fun little article from Saturday’s Washington Post about what happens when all that money rains down from politicians with little oversight.
Design and engineering companies helping to build the nation's highways ran up millions of dollars in inappropriate charges at the expense of taxpayers, including bills for parties, luxury car leases and hefty paychecks for executives, according to auditors.
Among the "unallowable expenses" singled out:
$355,767 to pay the personal income taxes of executives.
$301,667 to lease 45 automobiles, including Mercedes, BMW and other luxury brands.
$247,685 for dinners, tickets to sporting events, theme-holiday parties.
$60,000 paid to a consultant with only a verbal agreement.
$35,352 charged by two firms for "image-enhancing items such as golf shirts."
The Transportation Department audit, which took four years, examined bills from a sampling of 41 design and engineering firms picked from 3,580 firms that had active contracts with state departments of transportation. Auditors looked at data from 2003 because it was the most current year available when the review began.
One firm alone charged $950,000 in unallowable costs, included a political contribution, spa resort bills and alcohol.
"Inadequate oversight enabled these costs to evade detection," said Oberstar, chairman of the committee on transportation and infrastructure.
Well, no shit. “Inadequate oversight.” Who would have guessed?
I mean, there’s only $50 billion flying out of Uncle Sam’s truck of money here, another $35 billion flying out there. I’m shocked that we can’t keep close tabs on it all.
I have worked at medium to small sized companies my whole career. I’ve yet to work for one that really kept a good track of expenses, equipment, or costs.
And these companies don’t get their money from the federal fire hose!
"As we move toward implementing the stimulus package, this report shows the need for all levels of government to work together to ensure that taxpayer monies are spent only for their intended purposes and in accordance with laws," said DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III.
Right. You do that. It’s a fucking free for all, people. Let’s not kid ourselves. Tax day is April 15th for everyone who is obligated to feed this pig. Don’t be late.