Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Archive for the ‘Bureaucratic ineptitude’ Category

Stimulating the Washington DOT

Posted by Liberty on March 8, 2009

Where’s that federal “stimulus” money going?

Great post from Sound Politics…just in case you’re curious how stimulus money is going to be spent in Washington State.  I especially like the part about how stimulus money is being used to fund projects that Washingtonians have already been funding with our gigantic gas tax.  So…technically, we’re paying twice.

Advertisements

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No worries…we’ll just import all our food from third world countries

Posted by Liberty on March 7, 2009

From Powerline Forum this morning:

EPA Seeks Farming Shutdown

“Under rules imposed in 2006, rural areas would be kept to the same standards as urban areas for what the Environmental Protection Agency calls ‘coarse particulate matter’ in the air.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council had petitioned the government to provide an exemption to farmers. They argued that evidence of harm caused by dust in rural areas hasn’t been determined.

But the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that the EPA had already provided the evidence necessary to determine farm dust ‘likely is not safe.'”

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Environlunacy, Judicial malpractice, Liberalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stimulating the destruction of health care as we know it.

Posted by Liberty on February 10, 2009

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey

The Senate is poised to pass Obama’s massive “socialize America” stimulus plan.  Thanks to human jellyfish pseudo Republicans like Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, news blips everywhere will praise the bill’s passing as “bipartisan.”  The unfortunate thing is that there is policy buried in this stimulus that will change the course of our society as we know it. 

Most people don’t even have a clue–they’ve bought the Obama bill of goods that the stimulus will build roads and schools.  Obama has done this country a major disservice by doing his best to shut down discussion on this bill.  If there had been a more honest, open debate, perhaps more people would know about the back-door transition to socialized medicine that’s been included under the guise of improving our economy.  Here I reference a piece that was published yesterday on Bloomberg.com.  Betsy McCaughey has done the work that the celebutard pre-occupied main stream media has refused to do.  Debate rages about Jessica Simpson’s weight gain, Alex Rodriguez’s steriod use and whether or not some R&B artist beat up his girlfriend when it should be focused on the fraud being perpetrated upon us all.  The numbers included in the quotes I’ve pulled from Ms. McCaughey’s article are the page numbers in the  H.R. 1 EH, pdf version.

“The bill’s health rules will affect ‘every individual in the United States’ (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and ‘guide’ your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what [Tom] Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and ‘learn to operate less like solo practitioners.’”

I don’t know about you but I trust my doctor.  That’s why I go to her instead of down to the DMV when I need medical care.  If you’re wondering what exactly it means to have the federal government “guide” your doctor’s decisions, read on.

 

“Hospitals and doctors that are not ‘meaningful users’ of the new system will face penalties.  ‘Meaningful user’ isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose ‘more stringent measures of meaningful use over time’ (511, 518, 540-541).

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the ‘tough’ decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept ‘hopeless diagnoses’ and ‘forgo experimental treatments,’ and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.”

Is this what you want?  To accept a “hopeless diagnosis” like a European?  To just give up?  What about hope?  Isn’t hope the very thing we’re supposed to have now that Obama has been elected?

“Daschle says health-care reform ‘will not be pain free.’ Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.”

Quick, can somebody tell me who the AARP endorsed in the 2008 Presidential election?

The hypocrisy here is simply appalling.  These same “compassionate” liberals that don’t believe in killing terrorists and think that every child should start the day with taxpayer-funded Lucky Charms are implementing policy that will deny medical treatments for the elderly.  How long is it going to be before the doctor approaches the family gathered around dear old aunt Mary’s bedside and says, “The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research says there’s nothing more we can do.  I think it’s time to put her down.”

“If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. ‘If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,’ he said. ‘The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.'”

Arrogance!  Unbelievable arrogance!  Not only does Daschle think that he is above paying taxes, he believes you should not have a say on the implementation of socialized medicine.  Don’t comfort yourself for a second by thinking that at least Daschle has withdrawn his nomination.  That isn’t going to slow this plan down in the least.  The Senate is scheduled to vote today.  You can still call them.

Update, 11:22 am

The bill passed.  Our only hope for stopping this is in the conference committee now.  I thought of two things since I originally posted this morning.  Liberals whipped themselves into a hysteria over the Bush administration’s wire taps on suspected terrorists.  Civil libertarians were absolutely crazed over it.  Do you think they’ll have a problem with a federal bureaucracy over-seeing our health care? 

Also, what about the “my body, my choicer’s?”  They want choice when it comes to killing babies and under Obama’s plan, that’s one option that will probably always be there.  But what will your choices be when the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research dictates your treatment for diabetes, arthritis, kidney stones or any other condition to your doctor?  Why is it important for you to have the choice to kill babies but not to choose what course of treatment is best for cancer, MS or neo-natal care?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Bureaucratic ineptitude, Celebutards, Constitutional Rights, Health care, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Obama, Slavish media bias, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Socialized medicine, Stupid legislation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Here’s a thought? How about capping salaries & benefits for bureaucrats?

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

Executive pay cap could have unintended consequences

“By limiting annual pay to $500,000 and dishing out additional pay in restricted stock that can’t be cashed in until the government bailout money is paid back, a host of unintended consequences may result, ranging from a brain drain of top talent to a potentially less-generous approach to paying employees at other financial firms.”

Obama Lays Out Limits on Executive Pay

“The plan, which represents the most aggressive assault on executive pay by federal officials, includes salary caps of $500,000 for top executives at firms that accept ‘extraordinary assistance’ from the government.

It also restricts severance packages, known as ‘golden parachutes,’ for dismissed executives and requires the disclosure of policies on so-called luxury spending on things such as holiday parties, corporate jets and office renovations.”

The President has spoken.  He has waved his magic wand and limited how much money an executive can earn.  I would say, this is a good example why businesses should not accept government money.  [Although, some of those banks were strong-armed into accepting bail-out money just as strong-armed into making loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.]  A government with the power to give also has the power to take away.

So, here’s what I think.  What’s good for Wall Street ought to be good for all of those bureaucrats in D.C. and beyond.  How about some salary and benefit caps for people working for the government?

Oh, and by the way:

Obama’s Perks: Private Jet, Chef Tax-Free

“America’s CEOs are coming under fire these days not just for their hefty salaries but also for their use of private jets, limos with drivers and free trips to posh resorts.

But they aren’t alone in living this lavish lifestyle — the president of United States gets all these perks and more.

And unlike some of his Cabinet appointments, he doesn’t have to pay taxes on these benefits.

It might be a bit of a stretch to compare today’s corporate titans with the commander in chief, but some Wall Street bloggers clearly upset with President Obama’s attempts to rein in executive pay are doing just that.”

Interesting perspective coming from ABC news!

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Bureaucratic ineptitude, Innate hypocrisy, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Obama, Social engineering, Socialist economics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Once again, Queen Christine needs your help

Posted by Liberty on February 5, 2009

The Governor apparently either really cares what the public thinks about the budget or wants you to think that she really cares what the public thinks about the budget.

Go to:

http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/budget/default.asp

There’s a budget calculator where you can adjust levels of state government spending to get rid of the budget gap.  This brings me to one thing that needs to be made clear about Washington’s budget problem.  According to the Governor’s budget calculator webpage, under the current budget, the projected revenue for the 2009-2011 budget cycle is $31,573 million.  The proposed spending is $35,274 million.  We aren’t in debt yet but if we continue spending as proposed, we will be.  The spending is the problem!

The Governor’s proposed budget has spending dropped down to $32,079 million and she adds in $122 million from “Other Fund Transfers and Budget Driven Revenue.”  [Not really sure where that came from?!]  She also includes $609 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.  Note that the Rainy Day Fund starts out at $709 million and she wants to use almost all of that in this 2009-2011 budget cycle.  If the economic downturn is prolonged and if the State of Washington does not gain a better understanding of what functions actually are the legitimate responsibility of state government, we could get into serious trouble.  Can you say, California?

Do you understand what I’m saying here, though?  Much has been made of Washington’s Budget crisis and I’ve posted several times about it before, too.  The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t have to have a budget crisis.  It is not a foregone conclusion.  All that the Governor and the Legislature have to do is cut spending.  There is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse hidden in that budget.  Will anyone tackle that?  There is a lot of spending for things that are not really the responsibility of state government.  Are we going to see some of it reversed?  With Democrats in control, it isn’t likely.  Instead, they’ll make visible, painful cuts to essential services.  And then, they’ll use those cuts to sell the public on a tax hike.

Unfortunately, I think that the Governor’s budget calculator page is designed to make you more sympathetic towards Queen Christine.  It lets you play with the numbers but ultimately, I think you’re supposed to walk away with a new appreciation for how tough it is for the Governor to make everyone happy.  The budget calculator doesn’t let you adjust specific programs–only general areas like “student achievement,” public safety,” “human services for vulnerable children & adults,” and “health of Washingtonians.”  Like her earlier request for your e-mailed budget suggestions, I think this budget calculator is just a public relations stunt.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter. ”

Posted by Liberty on February 2, 2009

Michelle Malkin has brought this salient quote to the public forefront today.  The question is, does Tom Daschle regret these words?

“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter. ”

Or, are tax laws advocated by uber-libs like Daschle only for us little people?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Bureaucratic ineptitude, Crime and Punishment, Innate hypocrisy, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Obama, Socialist economics, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A good point from Carpe Diem–why target these sectors for “stimulus?”

Posted by Liberty on January 30, 2009

$646,214 Per Government Job

“House Democrats propose to spend $550 billion of their two-year, $825 billion ‘stimulus bill’ (the rest of it being tax cuts). Most of the spending is unlikely to be timely or temporary. Strangely, most of it is targeted toward sectors of the economy where unemployment is the lowest.

The December unemployment rate was only 2.3% for government workers and 3.8% in education and health. Unemployment rates in manufacturing and construction, by contrast, were 8.3% and 15.2% respectively. Yet 39% of the $550 billion in the bill would go to state and local governments. Another 17.3% would go to health and education — sectors where relatively secure government jobs are also prevalent.”

As a Conservative, I have no illusions about what this stimulus bill is composed of and why it is being implemented.  But I have to wonder why the average person doesn’t grasp what a sham it is.  I guess because they don’t talk about this kind of thing on American Idol.

Professor Perry’s post has a graph illustrating unemployment by market sector and also a link to the original article by Alan Reynolds at the Cato Institute.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Just plain dishonest, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mr. Gaffe: the pot calling the kettle black

Posted by Liberty on January 21, 2009

Biden Takes Shot at Roberts for Flubbing Presidential Oath

Biden to man in wheelchair: 

“Stand up, Chuck!  Let ’em see you.  Oh, God love you!  What am I talking about?”

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

A good start but not nearly enough…

Posted by Liberty on January 16, 2009

Washington cut 186 state employees in December

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tunnel vision

Posted by Liberty on January 14, 2009

Tolls and taxes would help to pay for tunnel

So Queen Christine…oops, I mean Governor Gregoire has finally made a decision about replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  This was supposedly an urgent problem a couple of years ago when she and the state legislature raised our gas tax–just in case you’re not paying attention, it’s one of the highest in the entire country.  Even though they now collect $0.375 on every gallon of gas purchased statewide, the Governor and assorted other politicians are wondering how in the world they’re going to pay for the tunnel.  [Incidentally, the tunnel is the most expensive option for replacing the viaduct.] 

The entire state of Washington has been paying ridiculously high gas taxes for quite some time now.  People in Eastern Washington are paying a disproportionate share of these taxes that go for primarily West side projects.  The gas tax package was passed and a subsequent repeal initiative failed because these politicians fomented hysteria over “crumbling” infrastructure like the viaduct, the 520 bridge and rock slide-prone mountain passes.  So where did all this money go?  Down the rat-hole of state government, that’s where.  And guess what?  It wasn’t enough!

“A new package of tolls and taxes would pay for part of the $4.2 billion tunnel destined to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.”

What can you do but laugh? 

“In addition, King County has asked legislators for authority to levy a 1 percent vehicle license fee to help raise its $190 million share of the project that will come in the form of additional transit service to substitute for reduction in the number of lanes and help commuters during construction. The tunnel would have four lanes; the viaduct now has six.”

Two things.  First, why should vehicles be taxed more to pay for transit?  Maybe the people riding the transit should pay the actual cost of hauling their bus-riding butts around!  Second, the tunnel is the most expensive option to replace the viaduct and it will represent a net loss of capacity–four lanes as opposed to six.  These people are criminally incompetent and yet, they keep getting elected!  And, in the future, when the city is bigger and there is more traffic, how easy is it to expand the tunnel to accommodate more cars?  Hey, maybe it’s a moot point–maybe cars will be illegal by then.  Or perhaps they’ll be just too darn expensive to license and fill with gas.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spending or slashing–which is it?

Posted by Liberty on January 10, 2009

State Budget: Legislature has unique opportunity

In the editorial section on the [doomed] Seattle P-I’s web page today, this headline caught my eye.  We do have a new session of the Washington State legislature beginning January 12.  With a huge budget gap looming, the potential for new taxes is something we need to be on the lookout for.  The economy undoubtedly has some role in the budget crisis but the main problem is spending.  Of the Governor’s budget, House Minority leader Richard DeBolt said that it was a good start but that the problem lies with spending, not revenue. 

Rather than facing the spending problem, however, Democrats are doubling down on the policies that have brought Washington to a $6+ billion deficit.

“At a briefing last week, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said legislators need to look for more alternatives to the governor’s budget. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, even added spending ideas, talking about new transportation partnerships and health care. ‘We’re serious about keeping the state’s promise to have health care coverage for every child by 2010,’ he said. On top of that, Democrats will propose an economic stimulus package this week.”

Of course, the P-I editorial board supports quite a bit of the Democrat spending agenda–especially the bit about health care coverage for children.  How could anyone say no to the children, after all?  [How about opening up competition in the health insurance market so more parents could afford to take responsibility for insuring their children themselves?!]  At the end of the article, they do mention the idea of trimming the scope of the state government.  I think this is where the real solution to the budget crisis is at but unfortunately, the P-I treats the issue more as a symbolic measure than a concrete one.

“The state budget picture is going to grow worse (we can only imagine what December’s sales tax figures will look like) and the Legislature is not going to succeed if the discussion centers on cutting budgets. There should be an emphasis on strategy before numbers. Can state agencies and programs be combined? Are there more programs that can be eliminated entirely? (For example, commissions and boards don’t add big numbers to the budget, but they are symbolic about the many branches of government. Trimming them would a clear way to signal a leaner government.)”

I think the P-I may be headed in the right direction here but let’s get past the symbolism and more to the substance, shall we?  By all means, dump the boards and commissions, along with all of the time, manpower and money that they waste.  And continue cutting from there!

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How not to fix the economy

Posted by Liberty on December 23, 2008

States set to impose bevy of new taxes

“Governors want to levy higher taxes next year on clothes, soft drinks, gasoline, auto licenses and other items that likely will hit low- and middle-income families struggling to make ends meet in a deepening recession the hardest.

Officials say they are required by law to balance budgets and that tax increases are necessary as state governments face sharply declining tax revenues, but fiscal analysts say raising these taxes during an economic downturn will only worsen local economies and prolong the recession.”

 

“But spending critics said that not enough attention was being paid by the national news media to the plight of taxpayers, whose incomes were being stretched even further by rising sales taxes and fees, and higher property taxes.

‘Most reporters are covering the state budgets and thinking ‘Oh, the poor states,’ and no one is looking at this from the perspective of the taxpayers who are the ones whose wallets are going to be on the line,’ said political strategist Trent Duffy.”

 

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Seattle’s eco-friendly snow strategy…the city’s latest colossal failure

Posted by Liberty on December 23, 2008

Seattle refuses to use salt; roads “snow packed” by design

“To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making ‘great progress’ in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out ‘plowed streets’ in Seattle actually means ‘snow-packed,’ as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

‘We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,’ said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. ‘It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.'”

Seattle is fore-going the use of salt and de-icing chemicals over concerns of run-off.  In a city of hills, they are deliberately transforming streets into ice rinks.  Smart.

“The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

‘If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,’ Wiggins said. ‘We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.'”

Typical.  Let’s risk human life instead.

“By ruling out salt and some of the chemicals routinely used by snowbound cities, Seattle has embraced a less-effective strategy for clearing roads, namely sand sprinkled on top of snowpack along major arterials, and a chemical de-icer that is effective when temperatures are below 32 degrees.

Seattle also equips its plows with rubber blades. That minimizes the damage to roads and manhole covers, but it doesn’t scrape off the ice, Wiggins said.”

Update 10:11 am:

In the article, the strategy is described as plowing  “the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains.”  Rush pointed out something ironic when he discussed this story.  Liberals want to force us into tiny, gas-sipping, hybrid, alternative, green [insert politically correct buzzword here] vehicles.  Where are the Smartcars and Prius’s today in Seattle?!  Libs want to get rid of the popular, functional SUV’s and trucks [that Americans want and need] so that we may all comply with their environmental agenda .  Meanwhile, Seattle, a bastion of liberal insanity, is paralyzed by snow and their own incompetence.

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »