Government Theft From Hard Working Taxpayers

I read everything Dinesh D’Souza writes. His previous books I most recently read include Stealing America (shown at left), The Big Lie, Exposing the Nazi Roots of The American Left; and Death of a Nation — Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democrat Party. They are all  insightfully penetrating and easy to read.

Do you know the history of the Democrat party since its founding by Martin Van Buren in 1828? Van Buren was Andrew Jackson’s Vice-President from 1833-1837, then he was 8th President of the U.S. from 1837-1841.

Nobody knows this history. It’s in Death of  Nation. It’s fascinating and illuminating.  It’s amazing how the modern Democrat Party is not that much different than the one Martin Van Buren founded in 1828.  This history can help conservatives understand their opposition. It might even  motivate them.

Right now the Democrats want to raise taxes. They say the government needs more money. Arthur Laffer once demonstrated with a drawing on a napkin at a restaurant how raising taxes actually brings less revenue to the government. Democrats don’t care, they want to raise taxes anyway. It’s not about revenue, it about control.

The government doesn’t need more money. It already has too much money. It doesn’t need more control over us, either. How do we know that? Because the government regularly wastes so much money. Anyone who is wasting money probably has too much of it. The most common way to waste money is to buy things you don’t need. Government wrote the book on that one.

Below is an excerpt from D’Souza’s Stealing America. It’s on government waste and proves beyond a shadow that the government has more money than it needs.

Republican senator Tom Coburn publishes an annual Wastebook listing outrageous examples of how the federal government spends money. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) publishes its own reports on the topic. Here are a few examples.

Each year the federal government hands out more than $500 billion in farm subsidies. Once advocated as a measure to save the “family farm,” currently these payment benefits go to a small number of politically well-connected recipients, some of whom live in cities like Chicago and New York, where there are no farms. Only 10,000 recipients get farm subsidies, each receiving an average of $417,000. Some of the recipients are billionaires like Paul Allen, David Rockefeller, and Penny Pritzker.

According to the GAO, each year the government makes approximately $125 billion in improper payments. This means that the government is handing out taxpayer money to people who are not entitled to receive it.

In addition, sheer duplication of federal programs and services costs $45 billion annually. While this has been known for years, no serious efforts are made to eliminate this duplication.

The inspector general for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reports the federal government pays $150 million in retirement and disability benefits each year to people who have died. These checks are then cashed by the dead person’s family. Again, this problem can be corrected through more effective data collection, but the government

government seems unwilling or uninterested in correcting the problem. Each year Congress allocates money for defense programs that the Pentagon doesn’t want. In 2014, the government designated $90 million to upgrade the M-1 tank. The Pentagon says it has enough tanks, and Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno testified against the appropriation.

The Defense Department spent $500 million to purchase military planes for the Afghan Air Force that have since been scrapped because that air force could not afford to maintain them.

The Department of Homeland Security has one of the largest fleets of vehicles of any federal agency, but according to an inspector general report, 60 percent of its vehicles are scarcely used at all; in 2012 alone, these vehicles cost between $35 million and $50 million.

The IRS spent $11.6 million to buy computer software that remains unused. This is because the IRS doesn’t have the space for it and does not have an effective inventory system for keeping track of its computer software.

Ninety members of Congress—mostly Democrats, but some Republicans as well—receive federal pensions in addition to their congressional salaries. Democratic congresswoman Joyce Beatty of Ohio, for example, gets $253,323 from her government pension in addition to her annual $174,000 congressional salary. This practice is commonly known as “double dipping.”

Federal agencies paid nearly $50 million to the National Technical Information Service, a division of the Department of Commerce, for information that is available for free online.

Cabinet and federal agencies routinely spend tens of thousands of dollars commissioning portraits of senior government officials who like seeing their own image on the wall when they come to work every day. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke paid $19,500 to have an artist paint his portrait; Energy Secretary Steven Chu had his official portrait made for $21,100, and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had her portrait done for nearly $40,000.

The DEA pays informants working at Amtrak to disclose passenger names. One Amtrak employee was paid $854,000 over twenty years. The DEA could have received this information free since the Amtrak police are part of a national law enforcement network that shares information among its partners.

Congress assigned $652,000 to build a new visitor center on the highway from Talihina, Oklahoma, to Mena, Arkansas, even though this particular highway already has three visitor centers.

NASA allocated $3 million to study how Congress works.

The National Institutes of Health currently has a $500,000 research project to figure out why obese girls are asked on fewer dates. The agency also spent $330,000 to study the sex and drug habits of gay and transgender men in Peru.

Another $371,000 was given to study if mothers love their dogs as much as their kids by examining the way their brains respond to pictures of both.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $200,000 to a Yale University research project to figure out whether Wikipedia has a gender bias. The NSF also allocated $5.2 million for Columbia University to develop a video game called “Future Coast,” where rising seas cause weather calamities, in order to “spur climate change activism.”

The Department of Agriculture paid one coffee plantation in Hawaii $45,000 to use solar power to dry coffee beans, even though bean farmers all over the world have used the sun to dry their beans for centuries.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Hope College a $300,000 grant to develop a game that connects Civil War reenactors online.

Waste is when you spend money on something you don’t need, because you wrongly think you need it. Or you do need it, but you spend too much on it. None of Coburn’s examples involve waste. Rather, the government is quite deliberately spending the taxpayer’s money on projects that benefit the bureaucrats and their cronies.

In many cases, members of Congress are buying votes with taxpayer money. So it’s corruption. And it’s theft. The money is not being stolen from the government; it’s being stolen by the government. The victims are the everyday folks who work and pay taxes to fund this corruption and theft.

Do yourself a favor and read all three of D’Souza’s books that I’ve shown here. You’ll probably become a fan. You’ll for sure gain more understanding of today’s political scene in America.

 

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