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  • Morning Bell: The Bloated Government of America

    The General Services Administration blew through $820,000 in taxpayers’ money in a lavish ”team building” trip to Las Vegas, and President Barack Obama is “apoplectic” at the news, according to the president’s campaign advisor, David Axelrod. Obama, he says, has devoted his efforts to saving “tens of billions of dollars” in cutting waste, fraud and inefficiency in government. Yet under President Obama’s leadership, government spending keeps growing irresponsibly, and neither he nor his allies in Congress are doing anything about it.

    The latest example came last week when Democratic leadership in the Senate again passed the buck on enacting a budget — on April 29, it will have been three years since the Senate last passed a budget resolution. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND),whose job it is to shepherd a budget through the Senate, said of his decision: “This is the wrong time to vote in committee. This is the wrong time to vote on the floor. I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election.” Conrad also said that offering a budget would be futile and “would do little to move us closer to a bipartisan agreement that can actually be adopted.”

    In other words, budgeting is hard work that he’d rather not do, especially in an election year. Of course, 2011 was not an election year, and yet the Senate failed to pass a budget then, too.

    The money that isn’t being budgeted belongs to the American people, and their representatives in the Senate have decided once again that it’s easier to keep on spending without restraint than it is to be responsible to their constituents back home. It’s that very attitude that has led to a government so big and so out of control that scandals like the one in the GSA are able to occur.

    The hundreds of thousands of dollars blown in the GSA’s Vegas trip, though, is chump change compared to the hundreds of millions wasted in President Obama’s green jobs stimulus efforts. We all know the story of the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra and the $520 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee that went down the drain. But the latest example of wanton waste is Ecotality — a company that manufactures charging stations for the president’s much-favored electric vehicles. Ecotality received more than $115 million to install those charging stations, yet as Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports, the company is far behind schedule. Now it’s under investigation for insider trading and is facing serious financial difficulties. Even so, the DOE decided to grant the company $26 million in additional funding.

    But it’s not just about waste in one government agency. Taxpayer dollars are wasted day in and day out in Washington, as Heritage’s Emily Goff explains:

    Washington also misuses taxpayer dollars in less blatant ways. Take the 47 federal job training programs the federal government runs, for example. Or the 15 agencies involved in food safety and inspection. Congress ought to identify areas of program duplication and fragmentation and then consolidate or eliminate unnecessary ones.

    Want another example of big government run wild? Take a look at Washington’s spending on welfare programs. It’s the fastest growing part of government spending, and it’s creating a culture of entitlement and dependency in which the American people are expecting to receive support from the state. In fiscal year 2011, total welfare costs equaled $927 billion ($717 billion from the federal government and $210 billion from states). Heritage’s Rachel Sheffield writes that “since the War on Poverty began in the 1960s, the government has spent $19.8 trillion (inflation-adjusted) to fund a growing list of welfare programs.” President Obama wants that spending to grow, and under his plan taxpayers will pay roughly $12.7 trillion on welfare in the next decade.

    Welfare spending and unending waste aren’t the only drivers of Washington’s trillion-dollar deficits. The three major entitlement programs–Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security–make up the vast majority of federal spending and will consume all tax revenues by 2049. Yet even though that threat looms large on the horizon, the Senate continues to refuse to pass a budget, President Obama stands by, and the spending continues unchecked. Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, commentator Bill Kristol correctly said, “If you want big government, this is big government.” And if anyone should be “apoplectic,” it’s the American people.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: The Bloated Government of America

    1. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      Where is the outrage?!!!!

    2. Frank says:

      Let's face it folks, our government is totally corrupt and politicians don't care about upholding the Constitution or doing the right things to benefit the nation. Everything has boiled down to short term gain: how to make as much money in as short a time & to hell with America in general… how to get re-elected… how to get as much power & influence as possible regardless again for the long term effects on the nation as a whole. The entire system is non-sustainable & is collapsing before our very eyes and practically nobody really cares or gives any sense of urgency to fix the problems. Communist China is now more free market capitalist for the average Chinese citizen than is the USA and the Communist Chinese government is less corrupt & more responsive to the overall welfare of the nation than is the USA government which is full of corrupt politicians & crony capitalists. Want a good job with a bright future? Learn Chinese & move to some place in Asia & watch the USA & Western Europe collapse economically while you get rich in the East. Several of my economic advisors have learned Chinese & moved to Asia & they advise others in America to do the same thing.

      • Ron Hert says:

        Hello Frank,
        Sorry that you are giving up on this nation, but it's not just about economics, but also freedom. Republic type of Freedom in the past has proven a better situation for both personal freedom and economic freedom. It's just that at the sake of the people-the government has decided to represent their own interests and have forsaken the "sacred trust", as George Washington stated about public service. There is a need to go back to being morally just and religious based principles. If we can elect someone that has the right background and voting history, we then have a chance of getting our priorities in order-vote for Paul. He will free us from federal debt by auditing the reserve, lowering taxes, and making honesty a major
        guide for serving the general public. This time maybe the medical pill will not look good or taste good going down, but it will do the job that the US public took it to do-vote Ron Paul.

    3. toledofan says:

      The democrats, in general, are a despicable lot and they should bear the lions share of the responsibility for all that is wrong today in Washington. Developing a budget is a fundamental responsibility of the Senate and they have refused to do their job, maybe we should ask that they give back their salaries for failing to do their jobs.

    4. Mary......WI says:

      Could a taxpayer revoltuion be in the future? The government just purchased thousands upon thousands of rounds of various gun ammo from manufaturers…….are they expecting something big to take place and want to be sure the taxpayer is kept in check? Obama is bringing America to her knees! Pray Republicans win back the presidency in 2012……and you might want to consider stocking up on your own ammo.

    5. ThomNJ says:

      "$820,000 in taxpayers' money in a lavish "team building" trip to Las Vegas, and President Barack Obama is "apoplectic" at the news" – yeah, he is apoplectic all right, he is apoplectic that they spent the money and he didn't. He probably feels left out, or perhaps he was saving that for one of michelle's trips.

    6. My only reaction to this less than surprising news is an old saying, "The fish always rots from the head."

    7. Dr. Real says:

      The only reason that obama is mad about the GSA spending is that money should have been put towards green energy payouts (sorry, investment in our renewal energy future).

    8. bentonmarder says:

      Don't forget the Defence Department. During the period immediately after the conquest of Iraq, we were seeing 'night letters' out of Baghdad telling of the enormous waste and theft of money, goods, services related to the occupation. All this was done by our people. Not a nickel of all this got into the hands of any Iraqi. I need not discuss the thousand-dollar toilet seats of lore and legend. The rot runs clean across every level og governance.—including Congress, our native criminal class..

    9. Ken Jarvis says:

      The HF and The WSJ – More than once Every day –
      Post something Positive about Romney.
      Do me a favor,
      if you ever see in the WSJ, or hear on Fox anything positive about Obama –
      let me know – I’ll put it in my book. Thanks
      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    10. tnk50 says:

      I wonder if the welfare figures include the salaries of the "Welfare Senate". They get paid for sitting around taking taxpayers dollars for doing nothing. Sounds "FAIR" to me. As "FAIR" as Obama raising taxes on 57 percent that already pay ALL the taxes that get paid, so he can curry votes from his freeloading 43 percent masses, that will be grateful to sit on their butts and get paid to freeload off the same the working classes that paid for them to sit on their butts.

    11. KC-NM says:

      The more I see from the liberal rich media and from information such as this article about the government, the only recourse is a mild conservative approach. At this time, too many are getting the expected handouts from government and most are not doing anything in return to pay back these donations. November is going to come down to who can have the most damaging media and advertisements and who can bring the larger population of uninformed and generally not greatly intelligent Americans. We are in dire times if Obama is re-elected and if we do not clean up the Congress. It is time for change, complaining will not win November, but action will. It is time for real caring Americans to wake up and make the change in 2012.

    12. Michael Healey says:

      When I was in the US Army dental corps, there was a saying that when it came to money appropriated to you, you either "use it or lose it" If you could spend it, you would get the same amount next year. If you did not, your next year's budget would be cut. This attitude seems to be pervasive with the trillions of "stimulus" money spent on government projects. As some ponder the "advantages" of converting to socialism, the words of my great aunt Ann Paxter (member OSS and CIA) remind one that in socialism there is no room for ambition or greed. In fact, the greedy are the first ones to go to work for the government, so they can get more than their fair share. Socialist societies, therefore, by their very nature are self corrupting!

    13. Joe says:

      Generation Y was looking for hope and change. Well, this is it. Loaded with school debt and still living at home with a Y unemployment rate pushing 14%. It will be interesting to see what they do in November 2012.

    14. Bobbie says:

      anything outside the three entitlements listed, remove immediately or asap. Along with the corruption and fraud in those three areas. The government is taking on all of what Americans have been and should be expected to do for themselves and then lays in the word "compromise" when the government won't take on the responsibilities in a fiduciary and productive manner to begin with! Laying great burden on some!

      Here's compromise: All funding going to unconstitutional areas, eliminate. If people who benefit from all this overreach defying the constitution, put the cost on them. Don't compromise with the unconstitutional "wrong" of the President! CORRECT!

    15. Gloria Wedemeyer says:

      The President and most of Congress need to go. Especially the Senate for not passing a budget in 3 years. What would the stock holders do if a company was run by this. And I am so sick of them passing the buck. All we hear now is we need to wait until after the election. Well, then there is always some election and send them to Washington to just keep putting things off. About the only thing that happened since O took office is passing Obamacare and the stimulus. What have either of them done to help the economy. Absolutely nothing so over 3 years just wasted. Now I am getting a kick out of so many people not running for re-election speaking against Obamacare. It is a shame when people worry more about their own jobs than the country. Need to have term limits on everyone in Washington. The President should get a l term deal for 6 years and then we don't have to worry about him spending his last year or so in office compaigning instead of leading.

    16. tom murphy says:

      With Sen. Conrad bucking for a beautiful, overpaid job as a lobbyist, do you expect him to do the right thing?

    17. Joe Ihle says:

      Well put, but you are preaching to the choir. How do you get (and sell) this messaage to the non believers?

    18. DBECK says:

      The lack of budget is negligence. Is Negligence a Felony??. Are these "representatives of the people" subject to IMPEACHMENT ???

    19. Thomas Mulshine says:

      Most large corporations try to control number of employees to keep their work force efficient. Not our Gov.. Washington keeps growing in size. The bigger it gets the lower the working efficiency. Think of the commune attitude. In a commune when something needs to be done it is easy to let someone else do it. The result is failure in the long run. A small force with a must do attitude can accomplish much. A much smaller government is what is needed. Maybe 50% smaller. That would result in priorities being set and eliminating unnecessary activity. Think of how much better off we would all be.

    20. Joseph McKennan says:

      I submitted a request to the congresspersons from where I live and heard from one a bit later but the other two are deeply committed to ramming socialism down my throat. I have no reason to expect that the other will perform any differently. I am from Maryland and have already informed Sen. Cardin that I will vote for somebody else so he will probably disregard my apprehension over government spending.

      Aside from this the only thing I can do is let the Heritage foundation work for me and continue to do what I can afford to help its cause.

    21. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      We're all Greeks now.

    22. toledofan says:

      So where are the comments for this, I sent in one several hours ago?

    23. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Bloated Government of America

    24. Ripper says:

      A note to all of you corrupt politicians! In case you didn’t know, you can’t buy or lie your way into Heaven. Your short time on earth to betray your fellow man will get you an eternity in Hell. Hope it’s been worth it.

    25. DMJ says:

      We need to rein in the Fed. Govt. to do only those things that the Constitution gives them the power or duty to do. So many people I have talked to either don't know what those limits are and/or think that if the Fed. Govt. doesn't do it, no one will.

    26. LFMORGAN says:

      who will survive the melt-down that i clearly underway—possibly no one in the long run—what can you do? Insist that Congress grossly tighten the spending until surplus can be put into the treasury to build a new education system in America that is suitable to modern times—where each state must support education equally in its area of influence to federally approved high standards else it cannot be declared a state of the UNION–else let each state that cannot meet education standards withdraw form union AND GET ZERO FUNDING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNTIL IT HAS MANAGED TO MEET THE REQUIRED STANDARDS —FAILING LOCAL GOVERNMENT MUST BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN SO THAT CITIZENS CAN RALLY TO FIND LOCAL SOLUTIONS THAT EITHER BRINGS THEM BACK INTO LINE —ELSE allows the THE STATE to die of its own incompetence. More responsible citizens will then leave inpoverished areas to let them die a natural death—such are to be walled out of the larger Union until they can come up to meet minimum standards of self support -which must be caused to happen quickly

    27. Ripper says:

      You bunch of useless, corrupt politicians. If you would have just let the auto industry go bankrupt it would be in better hands today. Some things need to be played out without Government intervene. You people on Capitol Hill have no clue on how to run a business. You are all failures to your fellow man.

    28. Ron W. Smithj says:

      Time to be fair, Mike Brownfield, and include the unnecessary spending on bad wars, foolish interventions, foreign aid designed explicitily to gain the cooperation of other countries, nation building and all else that costs us so much the result of our role as SuperPower on call. More than 700 military installations large and small around the world, possible in flush times and wasteful in lean ones, need reconsideration as does the foreign ploicy behind them. Our $16,000,000,000,000 national debt can easily be traced to the extravagance of a nation long into power and too little into common sense.

      Calling out our spending on programs vital domestically and neglecting money blown on international adventurism is a form of dirty pool, Mike Brownstein. It really is.

      • Gavin Volaire says:

        If you search this page for the word "war" you will discover this comment is only the second time it is used. The first was in the article in the phrase "war on poverty." In an article titled "The Bloated Government of America" the author didn't mention the cost of endless wars, nation building or playing world cop a single time?

        Calling this dirty pool is being kind.

      • Bobbie says:

        what the heck are you guys talking about!? the defense of this country is suppose to be the sole duty of the government. Why hasn't the President ended the wars that you call "endless?" Government spending "domestically" is overreach diminishing FREEDOM and encouraging limited thinking!! Bloated is where the government shouldn't be and that's in our personal domestic livelihoods! Dirty pool is what you're swimming in!

    29. marfdrat says:

      I think the president was "apoplectic" (if you mean angry and irrational) when he took office, so no change there. Accordingly, no change in policy or behavior is expected.

    30. Pingback: El hinchado gobierno de Estados Unidos | Heritage Libertad

    31. David Bess says:

      BIll is right with one exception, we got the government that 56% of us wanted and it's going to get bigger and oh so much more powerful. It has bought your freedoms and liberties for entitlements. The cost was cheap but will eventually become so expensive that you will long for the the old ways where the people were the government not just pawns to be used at the government's whim.
      We have agreed to give up personal choice, oportunity and freedom for a pittance of a hand out that will eventually disapear.
      It will only take four more years for the socialist plan to become complete and all encompassing if we the real Americans don't put a stop to it. WE have to insure that we get a responsible government and a budget is part of the responsibility.

    32. Charles S. Wertalik says:

      ICLEI, part of Agenda 21, is chump change compared with the latest proposals by UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. He wants "wealthy" nations to share TRILLIONS of dollars with "poor" nations to ensure "sustainable development." Sounds like something Obama would heartily endorse!

    33. Susan K Shumway says:

      What in the world can we do as just ordinary folks who are trying to scrape by now!! The Senate will not pass the bills that the House has passed, the Senate will not produce a budget because Democrats are just worried about their power not about the American people, We are just the poor smucks who keep sending in our tax dollars so Michelle Obama can take another extravagant vacation. I am so sick of the wasteful and arrogant spending that Washington keeps perpetuating. I am terrified every night I go to bed about what is going to happen to us all…….

    34. haroldson says:

      why not just line em up an deduct the tab from their pay checks till the bill is paid back, That might stop this stuff from happening Time these people get the word , we the people are tired of carrying these leeches on our backs, Fire the lot of them and start over fresh.

    35. Ed Bartolini says:

      Found that I had swallowed indigestible Solyndra and insoluble green energy bars; GSA camp-outs in Vegas; hard-to-swallow Obamacare and a bunch of other anvil-sized hunks of government dross. Tried Alka-Seltzer but didn’t help. Then I found ‘VOTEMOUT’, a pill I can take in November and be rid of my Government Bloat for good. Suggest the same for you.

    36. Glen says:

      We all know that spending is out of control. Someone in Washington SHOULD see this and try their very best to control it. The Democrats in D.C. must see whats going on but are too stuborne to stand up against Obama. This not the change the Americans expected when they voted this administration in.

    37. Dennis Brewer says:

      The Federal Government should have a higher unemployment rate then the rest of the country.

      Other than Homeland Security and the military there should have been a 5% cut across the board.

      Tea Party candidates are the only ones who will shut down these wasteful, bloated bureaucrats.

    38. Dennis Brewer says:

      The Federal Government should have a higher unemployment rate then the rest of the country.

      There should have been a 5% cut across the board except for homeland and military.

      Tea Party candidates are the only ones that will shutdown these wasteful bureaucrats.

    39. okiejim says:

      We are apopletic! How do we get the message to congress? It seems like we have done everything but go to Washington and physically kick them out of the House and Senate. They don't listen to the people anymore. All that concerns them is their re-election. November 2012 and 2014 must result in clean sweeps of both houses or this country is doomed as we knew and loved it.

    40. Stirling says:

      The government is making a great case to disband the federal level, and return to states handling their own affairs.. Since each are in themselves a soverign entity, why not tell the Feds to pound sand, we dont want their BS anymore. It was the intention if the Feds got "King Like" to give the people the ability to close it down. Texas at one point wanted to succeed from the Union, think of how many people would move there now if they did.. You would just have to make sure progressives didn't muck things up at the state level (since they are doing it at the federal level currently).

    41. Carl says:

      How can you call Social Security,Medicaid, Medicare entitlements when we pay 50% out of our paychecks and my employer pays the other 50%. That is not entitlement. That is our money being wasted by our elected officials

      • Bobbie says:

        entitlements are earned and by you paying in, makes you entitled. The problem is the corrupt control in government high paying hands that refuses to stand to reason and haven't the quality to stand accountable. The government distorts the word entitled so all the government has to do is deem those the government wants to deem "entitled" who haven't earned the entitlement. Money should be in the hands of the earner so we can make the decisions and when need be, hold accountable with reprimand, those who are. why give government any part of our earnings while the government refuses accountability but helps themselves to high pay they don't earn and aren't entitled to?

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