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  • Morning Bell: The Governing Class and Us

    In a speech yesterday in Elyria, Ohio — a small town just outside Cleveland sitting at the forks of the Black River — President Barack Obama delivered a politically charged speech in which he hearkened back to the country’s roots, saying that his opponents “don’t seem to remember how America was built.” In his view, taxpayers want their money spent in ways that will help further “the larger project we call America.” In other words, more spending and bigger government paid for with higher taxes.

    In a city quite unlike Elyria, thousands of miles west, sprawling forth from the desert just east of Death Valley, officials from this federal government provided the latest example of what happens when the president’s philosophy succeeds — when layer upon layer of government grows so big that it begins to serve the interests of a ruling class, rather than the people from whom it derives its power. Two years ago in Las Vegas, the General Services Administration (GSA) — a little-known federal agency that helps manage other federal agencies — blew through $820,000 in taxpayer funds for a lavish, booze-fueled conference for 300 employees, complete with magic shows, margaritas, and a self-produced rap video making fun of the spending. (It’s worth mentioning that in 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) asked White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for help in encouraging government meetings to be held in Nevada.)

    That’s just the giant tip of the iceberg for this wasteful behemoth, as reports have emerged of other taxpayer-financed “business trips,” including junkets to Hawaii, South Pacific islands, California’s Napa Valley and Palm Springs. A hotline has been set up for employee tips on wrongdoing, and this week the House is conducting hearings on the GSA’s gross abuse of taxpayer funds.

    Sadly, government waste, fraud and abuse isn’t limited to just one agency. Look no further than the Department of Energy (DOE) whose inspector general said yesterday that he’s overseeing 250 to 300 open criminal investigations into the “entire spectrum of DOE activities,” including 100 reviews involving more than $35 billion in stimulus dollars, according to Politico. In addition, it was reported that the investigators are looking into the “use of thousands of outside contractors, federal money being diverted for personal use, false data in grant and loan applications, conflicts of interest and incomplete and inferior work from DOE weatherization grant winners.” To date, those investigations have led to eight criminal prosecutions and the recovery of $2.3 million.

    How commonplace is this waste? Given the sheer size and scope of the government — which is set to spend $3.8 trillion this year — it’s impossible to say. But just as pernicious as the countless billions that have been squandered is the cancerous attitude that has taken hold in Washington and that is metastasizing across the land. It’s one of thoughtless entitlement in which individuals who live off the bureaucratic beast reflexively take and spend more all while doing less, giving no consideration to those who fuel their appetites.

    Of course, that mindset is not exclusive to the federal level, and examples abound of government employees taking from the public coffers. Just this week in our nation’s capital, 90 city employees were suspended for receiving unemployment benefits while still holding city jobs, and 40 former city workers cashed unemployment checks that they weren’t entitled to. All told, the city paid out some $800,000 in illegitimate benefits. But it’s not just about outright theft. It’s also about out-of-whack expectations that one is entitled to receive without doing. In Michigan, for example, a public school teacher is advising her students not to become teachers because under a new state law, she won’t be able to retire at age 47 as she hoped.

    Contrary to what those on the left might believe, this swollen government is not what was intended.

    Flowing from the  Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Constitution, the federal government was designed on the principle that the ultimate authority of a legitimate government depends on the consent of a free people. As Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III writes in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, “Nature does not single out who is to govern and who is to be governed; there is no divine right of kings. Nor are rights a matter of legal privilege or the benevolence of some ruling class.” Yet in this government, a privileged few are acting outside those bounds with the expectation that they have the right to do as they please, unfettered by any obligation to the people.

    Under the Obama Administration, the situation has gotten worse. The president turns to bigger government and higher taxes as a solution to every problem. On health care, unemployment, education and energy, Obama has reflexively pursued a policy of more is more — more spending paid for with more taxes. This week served up another prime example when the president called for increased regulations and $52 million in spending to combat high gas prices — even though he admitted that the measures wouldn’t have any immediate impact on the price at the pump.

    As the people lose control over this unrestrained government, those with the most cash are the ones with a voice. In an interview last week with The New York Times, former Democratic congressman Patrick Kennedy revealed that access to the Obama White House is a “quid pro quo” based on how much money one contributes to the president’s campaign. That news, though, likely is not a shock to an American people who have come to expect the worst, not the best, from Washington. However, that is not how America was built, it’s not the government we must have, nor is it the one that the Founders envisioned.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    50 Responses to Morning Bell: The Governing Class and Us

    1. kim4ut@aol.com says:

      In the next 4 years there will be hundreds of stories of Stimulus money waste fraud & abuse –Anyone want to bet ?

    2. toledofan says:

      This guy is delusional saying that his opponents “don’t seem to remember how America was built.” Are you kidding me and nobody takes him on and holds his feet to the fire? This is just wrong and it's clear to me he has no understanding of America from the 1500's through the signing of the Declaration of Independance and the American Revolution. It's too bad that we have gone from hope and change to shame and blame in such a short period of time.

    3. Joseph McKennan says:

      So what's new. This administration is worse than most. There is a saying that "crime increases when evil men rule". I wonder how mahy Columbian prostitutes know intimate details of Obama's government.

    4. Allan T. Templin says:

      There is nothing amazing about this as it has been a common practice between both parties. The entire congress is rift with abuse and entitlement mentality. Why else would all our government officials have such lavish benefits without being part and parcel to the system that creates this type of abuse? Have you ever heard of any movement from either side saying that they should give up their entitlements or even consider living with the same benefits their constituents live with every day? It is a sad, sad state of affairs for all who support these scoundrels.

    5. Frank says:

      Big government, Statist, Obama will twist history & Truth any way he can to get the once great USA further down the road to European-style socialism regardless of how bad a failure socialism has been as compared to how successful American capitalism has been in the past. Over the last 100 years, successful American capitalism has been turned into failing "crony capitalism" wherein big business & big unions donate megabucks to corrupt politicians to keep them perpetually re-elected and then get contracts, tax breaks, etc from their "bought" politicians. The GOP is as guilty as the Democrats in this anti-American scam that is bankrupting the nation. That's why we need to either reform the GOP into a true, conservative, small government, Constitution-loving major Party or let it go the way of the Whigs & make room for a new major Party. That's also why I can't see any true conservative voting for left of center, crony capitalist, big government, Statist, Romney! Wake up America, Romney is really no better than Obama. Our corrupt 2 Party system is killing our nation. Those who turn a blind eye to what is going on deserves as much of the blame as the corrupt politicians that are doing the damage & taking away our freedoms.

      Bottom line:
      Obama- BAD!
      Romney- BAD!

      Only moral option:
      Neither Obama nor Romney. Vote for best small government, Constitution-loving candidate for president. Vote for a true conservative to bring us back once again to our roots!
      Don't be guilty of turning a blind eye to the collapse of our nation or condoning its continued corruptness & decline.

    6. Jon Lake says:

      There is also is no such thing as whistle blower protection act. Once a whistleblower comes forward to lodge a complaint, their career is over and they will likely have false charges filed agains them. Evidence agains them is falsified and or greatly exaggerated. I once mentioned the terms fraud waste and abuse and my supervisor told me never to say that again. From there on, my career stagnated.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        TRUE, True , True, my mother worked for Navy Dep. during and after WWII, she reported some illegal goings on and later was forced to change agencies.

    7. Charles Ivie says:

      Because government is self policing there is no mechanism, other than the ballot box, to control and manage its excesses. There are no incentives for politicians or bureaucrats to be competent or even honest other than the fear of loosing an election at some point in the future. Big government is based on the false premise that a relatively small group can manage the affairs of a much larger one. If there were assurances that the small group would remain capable of the task there might be some chance of success but it is the nature of power, political and otherwise, to expand.
      One of the reasons that the political system is so heavily populated by rogues, scoundrels, and brigands is that the political life is very attractive to such folks. Bad people gravitate to politics because it provides them with a platform that gives then power over others.
      We are on a path to a new aristocracy. There is a cadre of self-styled intellectual elites that truly believe that they and they alone hold the key to the future of civilization. These people form the congregation of a new secular religion and are as intractable as any other group of religious fanatics. Their current messiah is Barak Obama and their commandments are the principles of progressivism. They are as dangerous as any ideologically motivated terrorist organization and as difficult to fight.

    8. Dr. Real says:

      According to the old addage – give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.

    9. Phyllis Poole says:

      This is communism and the mafia entwined!! They will not give up without a fight. Will it come to bloodshed? Be prepared for it might! We have never known much bloodshed on our land through protecting our nation. This came slowly by people hearing and believing naively. We have not listened to those who have been through it. They have told us it is coming. We have been kept busy through diversions. Are we letting the diversions still keep us busy?? Our only weapon: Ask for help ASK OUR CREATOR If you truly are a christian -belief in God and Christ then you will heed and ask. God won't help if we don't ask. How to ask? just like you would anyone else. Here's an example:
      PLEASE GOD ENLIGHTEN US, SAVE US FROM OURSELVES!

    10. Alan says:

      30 some years when I worked with the Forest Service the bosses routinely used the warehouse to store all manner of personal items payed for I suspect by the taxpayers. Pick any agency and these stories will be repeated.

    11. Instead of the IRS coming after this country's citizens over compliance to Obamacare put them to good use and sick them on all the fraud and cheats in government and the recovery of lost tax dollars. Then tell all government agencies that we the people want to cut all government salaries by 10 percent or each individual agency's budget by 10 percent take your pick. And do the same next year.

    12. The only candidate for President in 2012 who understands and follows the US Constitution is Ron Paul. Why aren't organizations like Heritage Foundation endorsing him for President? He is the most consistent, persistent, and honest man in the country and he will immediately, upon assuming office, begin to unravel the past 100 years of abuse the united States have taken from Washington, DC. The Constitution was created to restrain the federal government and Ron Paul is the the man to enforce it. PLEASE endorse him for president.

    13. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Every day we should be amazed and shocked at what Obama is doing to this nation. Do the people not realize every policy Obama imposes is designed to end our American way of life? Almost every word from his mouth is a lie or distortion to get his agenda passed. Ask most any Cuban that fled Castro. They too didn't realize he was a communist. They thought he was a patriot and freedom fighter. By the time they woke up to the fact, it was too late. He started by "nationalizing" just a few industries. Then, before anyone could stop him, he took over every business, including all small private business. It's time for all Americans to wake up and realize just who and what is Obama before, unlike Cubans, we all have no place to run.

    14. bentonmarder says:

      Are government funds used to pay for the 'party girls' and /or the 'rent-boys' that surely gain temporary employment at these 'conferences'? I might ask the same about the fiasco at Cartagena—.

    15. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "However, that is not how America was built, it's not the government we must have, nor is it the one that the Founders envisioned."

      Unfortunately that growth and attitude toward private sector workers that pay the bill has grown like a cancer long before President Obama's tenure and will grow exponentially if he is not defeated in November. His second term will result in more government, higher taxes, less freedom, and confiscation of private property to establish the new socialist, if not communist, order. The groundwork has already been accomplished pursuant to the provisions of the 2,700 page Obama Care Bill. Government access to your bank and IRA accounts is but one of the many onerous provisions of the bill passed by the congress and senate "in order to find out what it says".

    16. EVERYTHING has gotten worse under the Obummer administraton! I honestly thought he was going to be a great president. BUT, he is great only unto himself and his ambition to control the citizens of this country! I thought I hated Bush, but, the angst I feell for Obama is something I cannot put into words – he fooled and betrayed us! That is the horror of it all!

    17. MIchelle says:

      why exactly does she get to retire at age 47 and teh rest of us have to work until we are 68, 69 70 and older?

    18. allen says:

      Can and will Harry Reid be brought up to the Oversight Committee?

    19. Disgusted says:

      This profligate spending flows from the top.

      Nancy Pelosi was famous for supplying the Speakers Aircraft with very expensive wine and lavish gourmet food. Pelosi insisted that the plane used by the previous speaker wasn't big enough. Pelosi was awarded a huge jet that would burn volumes of fuel every weekend to deliver her and her family and friends to her California home. She used that same jumbo jet to provide luxurious travel to take her, along with family and friends, on a vacation to Copenhagen.

      Michelle Obama uses taxpayer money to take her children, extended family, and a huge entourage on vacations to South Africa, Spain and other exotic spots. Even an Obama daughter was allowed to take a gaggle of friends on a junket to Mexico, protected by dozens of secret service and transported by taxpayer-paid planes. The Obama family takes frequent vacations to Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard, Florida, and elsewhere, all on the taxpayers dime. On a recent trip to Martha's Vineyard, Michelle Obama commandeered her own airplane to take the girls and fly separately from the President because his departure schedule didn't suit her. The taxpayers got to pay fuel for two planes instead of one.

      So, given the extravagancy of our leaders, why would we not expect bureaucrats to follow their lead?

    20. TonyM says:

      Has anyone asked what exactly do the 2.65 million people employed by the Federal Government actually do? The Chairman of IBM last year offered to build, at IBM's expense, a system for Medicare that would increase efficiency, cut waste, fraud, and abuse by billions of dollars through the implementation of sophisticated computer systems. Obama turned him down. I suspect that a sophisticated computer system would obviate the need for thousands of paper pushers in that program. Has anybody in the Administration explained why this offer was turned down? The Federal Government has become the employer of last resort. There is always another piece of paper to push.

      • saveamerica says:

        Obama doesn't work without inefficiency, waste, fraud and abuse. He's the innovator of the governing classless. Federal workers get paid! No work attached! THAT would be discrimination. Why should everyone else work to earn their pay to pay government classless to work? All petty people need is a government title but to be held accountable isn't apart of the job anymore. We're not being led by democrats with morals and ethics who have any amount of human dignity! We're slaves to America's democratic government! The governing classless are the biggest dependents with the most money! Most of them shouldn't have ever been allowed to cross the border!

        Government run by Obama's greed puts the world in dangerous need just to move the global government in. Frail cowards can't run America but they sure can steal money and spend it with no reason!

    21. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      That includes Obama, Biden, and Congress. The professional politicians in Washington, (people like Reid, Pelosi, and former California Congressman Duke Cunningham), go to Congress, (the House and Senate), poor,
      and end up leaving rich. Cut Congress' pay and the professionals home. We don't need them. They're not what
      the Founding Fathers intended.

    22. PatriotAR15 says:

      It is unfortunate that the Congress and Senate have lost their will to live. They repeatedly allow this administration to run amok buy their refusal to stop the blatant disregard of the Constitution. There are very few of our elected officials who have the balls to stand up for what is right, and they are vilified by the administration and their own party leaders. It is way past time that "we the people" clean house and restore, not only the checks and balances inherent in our system, but the limited government that our founders envisioned. The progressives running the show are nothing more or less than communists – using a different name. Any one who has read the "Communist Manifesto" and compares it to what is going on in this country should…notice I said SHOULD – see that what Marx and Engles thought was a right and proper way to govern, is the exact way that we are being led today. There is nothing right or proper about it. The taking away of freedom, property rights, and all the rest is an insidious attempt to destroy the only nation on earth that was founded on RIGHT principles.

    23. Tucano Fulano says:

      As with cancer of the brain Corruption Starts at the Top.

      • Mike Farrey says:

        re; As with cancer of the brain Corruption Starts at the Top". Yes the top 1 % that you clowns are all looking out for you while shoot yourself in the foot because you are either too lazy to examine all of the facts or you have to have someone else do your thinking for you. What is wrong with having millionaires and billionaires pay at the same rate that the middle class does? They haven’t been for years and that is one of the reasons why our economy is struggling. Why is it ok to borrow trillions of dollars a year from the Chinese to continue the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy? Why is it not ok to cut the defense budget and create a universal healthcare system to help bring jobs back to the US and give small business a break and let them compete with the bigger business that monopolize Washington with hoards of lobbyist? Wake up and see the big picture.

    24. Joe Corley says:

      I thought the DOE, that is supposedly investigating financial waste, was formed under Jimmy Carter in the 70's only purpose was to find a way to make America energy independent?? This entire Department is a total failure and waste of the tax payer's dollars! America is more dependent than ever on foreign energy sources. Why is this not being looked into? A department started over 40 years ago, still doing nothing and wasting over a 100 Billion dollars a year, just in salaries alone!! WE THE PEOPLE need answers from the very ROOT of the problem!

    25. F.D O'Toole says:

      Being a member of the ruling class leads to a disconnect with the hoi polloi. Patriarchs like Harry Reid slip from time to time and let their real views of the people show. Yesterday, the good senator was arguing for further subsidies of the bankrupt postal service, justifying more Federal spending with a defense of the importance of junk mail. Especially to older Americans. You know, those that are doing nothing, earning nothing, unproductive, rusting away, etc., just sitting there waiting for the postman.

      "And when talking about seniors, seniors love getting junk mail. It's sometimes
      their only way of communicating or feeling like they're part of the real world."

    26. Charles Ivie says:

      Because government is self policing there is no mechanism, other than the ballot box, to control and manage its excesses. There are no incentives for politicians or bureaucrats to be competent or even honest other than the fear of loosing an election at some point in the future. Big government is based on the false premise that a relatively small group can manage the affairs of a much larger one. If there were assurances that the small group would remain capable of the task there might be some chance of success but it is the nature of power, political and otherwise, to expand.

    27. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I've lived in Washngton most of my 80 years, my grandfathr was USA (Jag) mother and step father worked for Navy, acousin was a congressman, greatgrandfather a Okla. state sen. so politics has always been a point of conversatin in my home. do know where I come from and know only to well howthis country revolved s my ancestors were part of it. Two ancestors signed the DEc. Of Independence, anotherr sgned the Bill of Rights, a gr.grandfather harbored Washington's troops the night before TRenton, another fought with John Paul Jones, one was a Judge in Colonial America and numerous ones fought for Independence and again more fought on both sides of the Civil War. Gadfather fought in Spanish Amer WAr, served on the Mex. border during border dispute, and served during WWI, my brother in law and 2 of his first cousins died in Europe and all left small children.

    28. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Part 2: Oh yes I know my history and I know the Constitution and Bill of Rights, thanks to a great Civic's teacher I had in High School (thanks Mr Mishue) We ned to be alert to voter fraud, stand up for voter ID, vote in local and Federal elections to make sure we get rid of this trend toward Communism and protect what out forefathers fought and died for.

    29. Rex says:

      "Let then eat cake!"

    30. Ben C. says:

      Darn! I live in Michigan and had I gone into teaching I could have retired twenty years ago! Boy, did I mess up. Hunger Games is real – ask those in N.Korea prison camps. Hunger Games is real – watch Obama slowly but surely control energy. Will rationing be in our future? The trends are in place. Tryanny doesn't happen overnight but the hand writing is on the wall. The fat lady is singing.

    31. Bobbie says:

      oh bama will continue to spew government control is behind everything good about America because he's been a dependent of government (foreign and domestic) all his long legged life! He won't give anyone credit for their rightful works that built the freedom of this country! He and his huge brew around the world are dangerously jealous and not men enough to hold their own so they empower a whimper to insist government had everything to do with freedom! PATHETIC!

      When are real American men and women with real intelligence, going to stand up for Americans' freedom! these falsehoods that appear to be men and women who take the democratic name, are nothing but cowards with thievingly high pay! Abusing and disrespecting everything about their positions and abusing and disrespecting every true American alive! Time to take them out!! REMOVE!

    32. Mike S says:

      First Obama says "America has never worked as founded; oh but then, the next thing we know, Obama says that his opponents, us Constitutionally Conservative Americans, (quote) "don't seem to remember how America was built". Indeed he is making it unaffordably, unsustainably, painfully evident and obvious that, in his egomaniacal Statist view, the taxpayers actually want, and want to pay more taxes for, more of his government growing liberty decreasing, unsustainable taxing and spending agenda…which is imposing unconscionable debt and loss of freedoms on both current and subsequent generations…along with more of his even contradicting himself as he pushes it.
      Indeed, unfortunately, while Obama, his accomplices, and supporters are at it with their Statist government elitist "entitlement mentality", they are also proving true something even Alexist De Tocqueville said which is "The American Republic will work, until people realize they can vote themselves largesse from the public funds".

    33. grafton says:

      we most likely bought hookers for the secret service to.

    34. The federal government was intended to have limited power, however enough to protect the independence of the individual. The Obama administration's policies have diminished individual liberty to an all time low with unconsciounable debt, deficts, Leviathan laws, mandates, dictates, executive orders, irresponsible energy policy, bureaucraacy, and threats of higher and higher taxation. The Fundamental Transformation of America Obama promised is apparent, the transfer of power from the individual to central planners in DC. The only thing that can stop this usurpation of liberty is another Independence Day on Nov 6, 2012.

    35. Carol, AZ says:

      "We have to spread around the wealth" is the mantra we've heard from slick Willie from day one.
      This incantation repeated over and over continues to rally millions of us into activism, to defeat the brute.

    36. mikeH says:

      Under Communism a new ruling class was established. Not the captains of industry, but a ruling class of those who make the rules and have access to government money. This ruling class lived quite well while the working class lived in misery. This is what Obama, and his cronies, has planned for the US. The GSA thing is but a small example.

    37. Marge Billings says:

      Amen to all of the above!!!

    38. re; As with cancer of the brain Corruption Starts at the Top". Yes the top 1 % that you clowns are all looking out for you while shoot yourself in the foot because you are either too lazy to examine all of the facts or you have to have someone else do your thinking for you. What is wrong with having millionaires and billionaires pay at the same rate that the middle class does? They haven’t been for years and that is one of the reasons why our economy is struggling. Why is it ok to borrow trillions of dollars a year from the Chinese to continue the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy? Why is it not ok to cut the defense budget and create a universal healthcare system to help bring jobs back to the US and give small business a break and let them compete with the bigger business that monopolize Washington with hoards of lobbyist? Wake up and see the big picture.

      • Bobbie says:

        Wake up and see the big picture? It wasn't government intervention that did the job for people to gain wealth why should government take it?? Why should my children lose the opportunity to gain wealth using their own abilities because you trust government control over self governing? What do you think you're going to get from "government control" besides a false sense of security? Have more faith in your fellow American!

    39. Mike S says:

      One moment Obama says (quote) "America has never worked", and then, another moment, Obama says that his opponents (quote) "don't seem to remember how America was built". Thus in both those cases and others Obama is making it unaffordably, unsustainably, painfully evident and obvious that, in his Statist view, the taxpayers actually want more unconscionable vote-buying, government growing, liberty decreasing, unsustainable taxing, spending, abuse, and waste imposed on both current and subsequent generations of taxpayers (i.e. multi-generational theft)…along with more of his misleading claims and so evidently hoping as much as he can that we don’t remember.
      Indeed, unfortunately, while Obama and his accomplices are at it with their Statist government elitist "entitlement mentality", a quote is being proven true which is "The American Republic will work, until people realize they can get themselves largesse from the public funds".

    40. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      "There is no professional criminal class in America. Congress is the professional ruling class in America." Mark
      Twain.

    41. 2D Okie says:

      Welcome to the road to Serfdom. Noone that's responsible is the least bit interested in doing their job. They're too busy linig their pockets, rather, filling their offshore accounts!!!

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