Federal Waste Proves Obama Needs More Power

On Tuesday the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) delivered a report on redundant federal programs to Congress. This is the second year GAO produced a detailed report, as required by an amendment to the January 2010 debt ceiling increase from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Duplicate programs cost taxpayers “tens of billions of dollars annually,” but the bar for efficiency was low:

Last year’s report identified 81 areas to make government more efficient. Congress and the Obama administration have implemented just four of those. There’s been some progress on 60 items, and no progress on 17.

This is better than I expected, since President Obama’s crowning achievement with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress was the sleek, sophisticated “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Obama’s idea of protection and affordability is shown here in a chart you may recognize:

A White House analysis claims 76% of Executive issues identified last year have been “addressed in some way,” while only 39% of recommend Congressional actions had been taken. Because it fits into the template Obama for America has been cranking out for weeks, the president will happily treat GAO’s report as mortar for the “Do-Nothing Congress” pillar of his campaign.

Barack Obama’s solution is for everyone to listen more carefully to Barack Obama and give him more power:

Two things that Congress can do right now to reduce duplication and waste are to pass the proposals in the President’s FY 2013 Budget and to pass the Reforming and Consolidating Government Act the Administration sent to the Hill earlier this year which will set up an expedited process to review government consolidation proposals.

To save yourself the agony of dissecting Obama’s FY13 budget, refer to the Obamacare chart above. Obama loves reminding us he inherited a mess: why didn’t he clean it up while he had a stranglehold in Congress?

Lest you forget Obama’s other first-year priority, review Sen. Coburn’s 2009 report on “stimulus” waste and his 2010 follow-up research on Obama’s approach to smarter, shinier federal government.

Tuesday’s GAO report itself refutes the Obama for America narrative:

And the government has at least 15 major financial literacy programs – including three new ones established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Can you think of a group less suited to financial literacy education than the U.S. government? In addition to the redundant programs Obama created by signing Dodd-Frank, illegally-appointed CFPB Czar Richard Cordray is making up new bureaucracy as we speak!

House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) responded differently to the GAO report, saying, “the enemy isn’t the Democrats, the enemy isn’t the Republicans – it’s the bureaucracy.

Which is worse: a self-serving bureaucracy that’s grown far beyond the bounds of sustainability? Or a Congress that promises generalities, defers specifics to unelected bureaucrats, and refuses to accept responsibility?

Whether you’re most concerned about the big pre-Obama entitlement programs, Obama’s adventures in collectivism, or the tendency of mundane bureaucracy to go all Little Shop of Horrors, this gets to the heart of it:

“Members of Congress don’t get the headlines for fixing something,” said Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste. “They get headlines for creating something.”

Stop Promising and Start Paying would fit on a bumper sticker, but wouldn’t win a lot of votes. So here we are, with a federal government that’s created $15,400,000,000,000 in debt… and counting.

Obama’s Ohio Attack Dogs

I’m relieved Obama for America is pushing every class warfare chip to the middle of the table. If Americans get a better look at Progressivism’s ugly mug and still vote Democrat in November, the country deserves to go bankrupt!

To simplify mockery of their candidate for those of us with apolitical day jobs, Obama for America has assembled “Truth Teams” – Attack Watch in more sheepish clothing – in a handful of swing states. At the Ohio Truth Team announcement, it was suggested that crashing GOP events may be on the Obama cheerleaders’ agenda.

It's ruff defending a failed Progressive!

It's ruff defending a failed president!

Leveraging deranged protestors for the Progressive brand of populism is nothing new for Ohio Democrats, so The Columbus Dispatch tried to confirm the insinuation:

“We’ll do it in an appropriate, mindful way, recognizing the importance of the conversation,” said Ohio Democratic chairman Chris Redfern, also a truth team member. “The truth team, we envision, will be more of a rapid response, taking a message directly at locations where those individuals who align with super PACs or organizations in support” of GOP presidential hopefuls are present.

Emphasis mine. Given his history, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is a hilarious addition to an Obama group allegedly aiming for mature conversations. In the waning days of the 2010 campaign:

[…] the camera was rolling as Redfern leveled the expletive at critics in the Tea Party, who, in his words, believe health care is a privilege, not a right.

“If your kids are going to graduate from college, now he or she gets health care, your heath care, while he or she looks for a new job,” Redfern said. “It’s in the very base terms we win these arguments. Every time one of these (expletive deleted) says, excuse my language…”

The deleted expletive rhymed with “truckers,” and unless you count his perfunctory “excuse my language” as he remembered a news crew was in the union hall Chris Redfern never apologized. Instead, the Ohio Democratic Party used his rage-filled outburst as a fundraising opportunity:

In the e-mail, Redfern then asks for a $10 donation to his “swear jar” to “help the Ohio Democratic Party and its candidates get our message out and stick it to our opponents.”

He wrote, “I have been amazed by the outpouring of support the Ohio Democratic Party has received after I spoke out forcefully and unapologetically on behalf of working families.”

What a mindful, appropriate brush for Chris Redfern to paint his political opponents with! Now that the Super Obama Truth Squad has recruited the hateful creep who called the enemies of Obama’s totalitarian health insurance plan F-ers at a 2010 union event, they’re armed to the teeth with truth!

Tell us, Ohio Obama Truth Ninjas: How many of the 2.2 million Ohioans who voted to block Obamacare’s key mandate last November are F-ers? If it’s true that Ohio voters who oppose your preferred statist policies are F-ers, what is it we’re guilty of effing?

For more from Ohio, follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart. Apologies to Cheddar the Bulldog, whose owner submitted an un-doctored version of the above photo to Wikimedia Commons with a public domain license.

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Senators Forcing You to Fund Planned Parenthood

Based on the fact that you’re reading this online, I assume you’ve seen the online outcry over Komen for the Cure cutting off grants to Planned Parenthood. In the words of CBS News:

Many suspect the cutoff is linked to the abortion debate. Komen has been under fire by anti-abortion activists, after its connection to the pro-choice organization was publicized.

I’ve ruined the trademark CBS subtlety by marking in bold the network’s refusal to frame the debate as “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice,” or “pro-abortion” vs. “anti-abortion.” Pro-lifers should be glad the reporter didn’t label Live Action and its allies “anti-choice,” I guess!

Unyielding sympathy for Planned Parenthood isn’t limited to fossilized media outlets and your NPR-loving Facebook friends. Many of the senators and representatives up for reelection this fall support abortion so strongly, they’ve voted repeatedly to make you pay for it.

The following Senate incumbents’ races are rated Toss Up or Lean D by The Cook Political Report.

Vulnerable Planned Parenthood Enablers - U.S. Senate

All five of these incumbent Democrat senators are rated 100% by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Among the extreme pro-abortion votes earning Bill Nelson (FL), Claire McCaskill (MO), Sherrod Brown (OH), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Jon Tester (MT) their perfect Planned Parenthood scores:

  • All five voted against SCHIP language which, in Planned Parenthood’s words, “unnecessarily personified the fetus.” March 14, 2008, Allard Amendment to S. Con. Res. 70, Roll Call vote 81
  • All five voted against reinstating the Mexico City policy, which – until President Obama abolished it by executive order – prohibited federal funding of foreign abortion providers. January 28, 2009, Martinez Amendment to H.R. 2; Roll Call vote 19
  • All five voted against preventing Obamacare from subsidizing abortion coverage. December 8, 2009, Nelson-Hatch Amendment to H.R. 3590, Roll Call vote 369
  • All five voted against ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood. April 14th, 2011, H. Con. Res. 36, Roll Call vote 60

With Obamacare looming larger every day, conservative voters must remember what Planned Parenthood is all about – and recognize how far outside the mainstream the group’s enablers are. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is right to stop funneling donations to the nation’s top abortion provider, and it’s past time for Congress to do the same with taxpayer funds.

If you live in Montana, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, or Florida, help make your incumbent Democrat senator’s pro-abortion record known by all!

Sherrod Touts Ted Kennedy’s Morals

Left-of-everyone Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has a leg up on the layman in matters of faith: Sherrod labored alongside Ted Kennedy for a government big enough to drown us all in its generosity. Sherrod is so charitable with your money, he fought for a “public option” in Obamacare!

At a September 2009 Organizing for America rally in Columbus, Ohio, Sherrod promised to pass a health care bill with a public option — because Saint Teddy knew it was good for us:

When discussing the late Ted Kennedy, “He easily could have walked away” is an unfortunate choice of words.

As we saw last week, Sherrod Brown’s take on Christianity features a central government equal parts asphyxiating and unaffordable. If citing Ted Kennedy is Sherrod’s idea of bolstering a faith-based argument, Sherrod is not a person we should defer to on “moral issues.”

Aside from the implication that Jesus hates limited government, why should we resent the Ted Kennedy standard for socialist healthcare? Teddy himself said it best after the 1969 drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne: “I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately.”

Ted Kennedy was a contemptible man whose name yielded Progressive victories logic and basic mathematics should have rendered impossible. Whether his failings are glossed over by the likes of Sherrod Brown out of Christian forgiveness or partisan convenience, Kennedy should serve as a moral gauge for no one.

OFA rally footage from YouTube user jmknapp. Clip transcript:

SENATOR SHERROD BROWN: But, what struck me is the kind of life that Ted Kennedy could live and was living… and he didn’t need to stay in public service for 47 years. He easily could have walked away. But, you know, like Pastor [??], Ted Kennedy understands that Progressive government and social justice and economic issues and health care are moral issues.

And as Pastor [??] hap– he and I happen to same, uh, share the same faith, as Lutherans – Pastor [??] talked about, Senator Kennedy understood that part of his faith was the question, the moral questions, and the issue of equal justice, and the issue of health care for all. That’s why he never quit, that’s why nobody in this crowd is quitting, that’s why we’re gonna get health care with a strong public option.

Cross-posted from Big Government.

Sherrod’s Shameful Mediscare Routine

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) doesn’t have a voting record ranked as far left as Socialist Bernie Sanders by accident; Sherrod thinks a bigger central government is the answer to every problem. In this video, Senator Brown applies his trademark class warfare to the issue of Medicare, instructing a gathering of teachers’ union members to indoctrinate their family, friends, and students against cruel conservatism:

Like the first half of Sherrod’s answer to a question about whether privatization of government programs is a Wall Street conspiracy, there is so much stupid in this clip that it’s tough to begin. To his credit, Sherrod Brown is consistent! Sherrod consistently glosses over exploding federal deficits, consistently attributes the worst motives to anyone who tries to limit government’s power, and consistently brags about the wonders of failed Progressive governance.

Even with crippling tax hikes, the government programs whose praises Sherrod sings will bankrupt the nation by mid-century. Even if Medicare did amazing things for every American it served, only a fool or liar would fight reforms to a collapsing system.

This is why I ask, earnestly, my question from the end of the video: Is Sherrod Brown an idiot, or a dishonest idealogue? The brutal effects of Washington spending on America’s economy are plain to see, and unfunded entitlement liabilities total in the tens of trillions. Yet, as our fiscal canoe sloshes toward the falls, Sherrod Brown attacks with a straight face anyone who dares paddle backwards.

Sherrod’s mathematically outrageous and transparently political scare tactics are, like most every policy Sherrod has ever pursued, wrong for Ohio and wrong for America. Next November, Ohio should send Obamacare champion Sherrod Brown packing… along with the guy that awful legislation is named for.

Sherrod Stands for Bigger Government

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is the most liberal member of the United States Senate, according to NationalJournal vote rankings. Senator Brown supports the freaks of Occupy Wall Street, opposes free trade, and was the deciding vote for Obamacare.

That vote could be… problematic, as explained by likely 2012 challenger Josh Mandel:

We must not overlook the truly significant blow that Ohioans dealt Obamacare last week, with a mix of 2.2 million Democrats, Republicans and Independents rejecting this intrusion on individual liberty and family control over health care decisions.

Indeed, you would be pressed to find a statist boondoggle Sherrod Brown doesn’t love. Check out this rant from a Q&A session Sherrod held this spring with Ohio’s largest government union:

According to Senator Brown, privatization is always driven by “greed” and always makes “the services get worse.” Hearty red meat for a government union crowd, but keep in mind this was an unscripted response. Bigger government, higher taxes, and demonizing The Rich are the only things Sherrod knows.

Sadly for Sherrod, every county in Ohio voted to amend the state constitution against Obamacare’s individual mandate – even after a $30 million Progressive smear campaign against union reform. With huge turnout for an off-year election, the citizen-driven Health Care Freedom Amendment passed by a wider margin than the union issue failed! Brown claims the amendment was “confusing,” which would be a great explanation for the opposite result.

Think class warfare will convince Ohio to retain America’s most liberal Senator, a freshman who rode into Washington on a 2006 Democrat wave in the Buckeye State? Not if I have anything to say about it.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Help Ohio Fight Union Bosses and Obamacare!

From 2000-2010, Ohio lost 595,200 private industry jobs, faring better than only Michigan and California. In 2010 the state had the 7th-highest tax burden and 47th-best business climate. Although Governor Kasich has been working since January to get Ohio back on track, the forces of statism are deeply entrenched.

As public record proves, many of these folks get rich portraying big government as a moral imperative:

You have a chance right now to help a Midwestern swing state escape leftist control! Two Ohio ballot measures up for a vote on Tuesday deserve the full support of conservatives nationwide.

Issue 3 represents an unprecedented citizen-driven effort; its passage would amend the state constitution to block Obamacare’s individual mandate in Ohio. Conventional wisdom is that Issue 3 will pass, but efforts to kill Issue 2 may claim Issue 3 as collateral damage. If conservative Ohioans stay home Tuesday, union propaganda could prevent a repudiation of Obamacare.

Issue 2 has been the focus of a $30 million smear campaign, with an alphabet soup of unions framing government union reform as an “attack on The Middle Class.” There are many reasons to support Issue 2, but the best is also the simplest: Issue 2 restores a little power from union bosses to taxpayers.

Ohio’s status quo ensures that unions – instead of our elected officials – set the rules of public employment. Public wages are garnished for union propaganda and professional agitators’ pockets, while taxpayers are demonized over any effort to restrain spending. Their own employees describe Ohio union bosses as “rife with hypocrisy,” but $30 million buries a whole lot of dirt!

Far from theoretical, Ohio’s need for reform is rooted in fiscal urgency. Based on forecasts prior to Kasich’s election, 260 Ohio school districts will have deficits amounting to more than $500 per resident by 2015. Passing Issue 2 would ensure fewer layoffs, fewer tax hikes, fewer service cuts… as well as fewer six-figure union salaries. Any questions as to why AFL-CIO, NEA, AFSCME, and SEIU are dumping millions into a state ballot issue?

Like the broken law Issue 2 amends, I’ve been part of Ohio since 1983. Will you help me do good where decades of bureaucracy have done so much harm? Will you encourage Ohioans to free themselves from President Obama’s terrible policies and dishonest financiers?

Citizens of the Buckeye State, vote Yes on Issue 2 and Yes on Issue 3. Everyone else, please help counter union lies on your social media network of choice!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and RedState.

Health Care Freedom Amendment Clears Leftist Challenge

Per The Columbus Dispatch:

The Ohio Supreme Court this morning unanimously rejected an attempt to block an issue from the November ballot that would attempt to opt-out Ohio from the new federal requirements that everyone obtain health insurance.

Good news, as expected. The Health Care Freedom Amendment does what it says, providing Ohioans with an opportunity to fight leftist attempts at centralized government medicine. Complainant ProgressOhio uses this platform as they use all platforms, spinning harebrained Progressive nonsense:

“Ohioans will now have a choice — to return to the days when children were denied insurance coverage over pre-existing conditions; return to the days when seniors have to choose between prescription drugs and groceries; return to the days when young adults can’t stay on their parents insurance and return to the days when small businesses did not get tax breaks for providing insurance.

“This fall “no” will be a beautiful word.”

Where is the option for magically affordable coverage for everyone? Somehow ProgressOhio has missed the past year’s worth of news about what a budget-busting, care-rationing disaster Obamacare will be if it’s not disassembled.

If you live in this dimension’s Ohio, where things aren’t free just because socialists think they can force The Rich to pay for them, vote Yes on Issue 3!

Cross-posted at Columbus Tea Party and Third Base Politics.

A Tale of Two Ballot Measures

With yesterday’s news that the Secretary of State has certified more than 425,000 signatures supporting The Healthcare Freedom Amendment, it’s official – the November ballot will include a referendum on Obamacare’s key mandate. This is excellent news for Ohioans, and less-excellent news for Progressive advocates of big government.

The amendment, championed by the Ohio Liberty Council and other conservative groups, has found support among Ohio’s GOP establishment – which is finally recognizing the old Democrat-lite agenda as a dead end. In addition to being unaffordable, guaranteeing rationed care, and limiting Ohioans’ health care choices, Obamacare is plainly unconstitutional. Unless you believe (as Sherrod Brown does) that “interstate commerce” means “Washington can decide what you do or do not buy; when, where, and from whom.”

But those reasons don’t explain Republican support for The Healthcare Freedom Amendment! No, according to the Dispatch, “The measure was supported by the state Republican Party as a possible GOP counterweight to the Democrat-backed referendum on Senate Bill 5.”

Ok… let’s go down that road. Progress Ohio and the usual array of mathematically-impaired leftists insist Obamacare is good and necessary legislation, while Senate Bill 5 is the work of hateful extremists. Need proof? Just look at the campaigns behind the two ballot issues:

  • Socialized medicine is a long-time goal of Progressives, therefore opposition to Obamacare is evil. Senate Bill 5 changes a law passed by Democrats in 1983, therefore Senate Bill 5 is evil.
  • The Health Care Freedom Amendment has support extending beyond Ohio: astroturf! All government unions march to a nationally financed and centrally-organized drum: solidarity!
  • Wealthy people sometimes donate to tea party groups – those capitalist swine! Union bosses pay themselves six figures in member dues – those martyrs for workers’ rights!
  • Obamacare was written by a few Democrats and lobbyists before being rammed through using flagrant bribes, as all legislation guiding the lives of 308,000,000 people should be. Senate Bill 5 was passed with GOP maneuvering, which is obviously far worse.

Shall we start a collection for train tickets so the InnoProgPolicy Ohio scholars can depart our cloud of backwardness when The Healthcare Freedom Amendment passes and the SB 5 referendum fails?

Cross-posted at Columbus Tea Party and Third Base Politics.

O’Keefe Does Ohio

Conservative muckraker James O’Keefe’s team at Project Veritas released their latest video on Sunday, and whatever you think of O’Keefe, it’s worth watching. Why? Because Ohio’s Medicaid bureaucracy was targeted, and the results are not pretty.

Imagine two guys walk into a county office inquiring about Medicaid coverage. Now imagine they explain to staff their concerns over getting government handouts while dealing drugs, driving an $800,000 car, and whoring out their underage sister. It’s a little painful to watch, but makes an incredibly powerful point when peppered with out-of-control Medicaid spending figures from the Dispatch.

As Hot Air and The Blaze have noted, O’Keefe’s tactics remain somewhat creepy. His emulation of leftists’ personal attacks causes very real grief for the individuals caught on tape – not to mention obvious questions about editing. That said, if your response to a drug dealer looking for public funds isn’t to laugh in their face and call a supervisor, you’re doing something wrong.

I’ve contacted county officials in Columbus, Marion, and London for their responses. If the video’s targets promptly reported the Veritas guys to their supervisors and/or local police, good news: sometimes, government works! If not, this is another arrow to the heart of Progressive arguments that can be boiled down to “MORE.”

The video follows, with uncut footage of the Columbus sting at the end of the 10-minute piece.

As for the entirely predictable response from Media Matters, Talking Points Memo, et al, of course O’Keefe is going to exaggerate the importance of his footage. That hardly invalidates his criticism, if the Franklin County, Marion County, and Madison County Departments of Job and Family Services advised the Project Veritas scammers and did nothing to prevent them from acquiring Medicaid funds. Of course, leftist outlets will shriek desperately about O’Keefe’s political agenda if doing so serves their own!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.