The latest ranking of contractors providing services to the federal government reveals that at least nine of the top 10 are tied to the Department of Defense and took in nearly $70 billion of the government’s money in 2010. Leading the pack as it has for the past 17 years is Lockheed Martin, with $17 billion, followed by Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.
The top 27 contractors each received at least $1 billion in contracts from the government last year, with Number 100 on the list, Teledyne, getting $170 million. This reflects the enormous growth of government spending in general, and on outside vendors in particular, growing from $207 billion in 2000 to $535 billion last year.
Seattle, Washington, is one of 25 communities that received $20 million from the Stimulus program as part of “Retrofit Ramp Up” — an initiative of the Department of Energy in which stimulus dollars are utilized to make homes more energy efficient. The program was touted as one that would create 2000 “green” jobs in the city of Seattle and retrofit at least 2000 homes. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there’s just one problem. The program is a massive failure.
“Retrofit Ramp-Up,” according to Vice President Joe Biden who announced the program, sought to accomplish the following:
It’s about making our homes and our office buildings more efficient and more comfortable and more affordable, replacing windows and doors. I have visited, along with some of the people in the front row, new window and door factories making incredibly -- incredibly energy-efficient windows and doors, which can save billions of dollars over time. Putting in new air conditioning or heating units that are much more efficient. Sealing up cracks and openings where air can leak into and out of your home.
President Barack Obama has been traveling in style — Canadian style — while riding through the Midwest to talk about creating jobs in America. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the $1.1 million bus — one of two purchased for the Secret Service — carrying the President through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, was made by the Quebec company, Prevost. It is the top of the line, VIP H3-45 model used by many rock bands and country music acts, Christine Garant of Prevost told the Post.
"That's the more luxurious model," Garant said. "When we have the Country Music Awards, we sometimes see a lot of them," she said, naming Kid Rock, David Lee Roth and Kenny Rogers among the owners of the luxury vehicles.
Like the presidential limousine, made by General Motors and nicknamed "The Beast," the bus carrying the President has armored doors. Inside is a large, flat-screen TV, chairs, sofas and electronic equipment that allows the President to teleconference with people in any part of the world. It has a bathroom, but unlike the buses used by many of the big-name entertainers, it has no bedroom or sleeping area. Its Secret Service code name is "Stagecoach" when the President is on board, sources told ABC News.
While the private-sector is drowning under a perpetual recessionary storm, U.S. regulatory agencies are flourishing. "If the federal government’s regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined," writes John Merline of Investors.com.
Indeed, the federal regulatory business is thriving, and if there is one "victory" President Obama can declare, this is it, because government regulation has grown rapidly under his watch. From Investors.com:
The recent attempt to terminate both the ethanol subsidies of $.45 a gallon and the $.54-per-gallon import tariff on Brazilian sugar-based ethanol by the Senate failed because it was an amendment attached to a bill that was doomed to failure anyway. Both will cease on December 31 automatically, ending 33 years of subsidizing the ethanol industry; however, food prices are likely to stay high anyway. The main reason is neither the subsidy nor the tariff, but the mandate by the government requiring gasoline refiners to continue to increase their usage of ethanol when blending their gasoline products. Under the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard, the United States is required to use 12.6 billion gallons of ethanol this year, increasing to 15 billion in 2015, and 36 billion gallons by the year 2022.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack claims food stamps and other forms of government welfare are camouflaged stimulus programs that stir job growth by pumping money into the economy. After questioned about the cancerous issue of unemployment and the growing number of impoverished Americans forced to live on food stamps, Vilsack responded that the reason so many Americans are on food stamps — 46 million, or one in seven people — is because the Obama administration has helped states get "the word out" about the program.
During an interview on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Vilsack asserted that though the food stamps program dates back to 1939, large states such as Texas and California have "underperformed" in bridging eligible participants to the program. "The reason why these numbers have gone up is that we’ve done a pretty good job of working with states that had done a poor job in the past in getting the word out about this program," he alleged. "We’re now working with them to make sure that people who are eligible get the benefits."
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been riding the promotion circuit since his latest book, On China, was released on May 17 by Penguin Press. The release was timed to precede the 40th anniversary (July 9, 1971) of his secret trip to China that is credited with opening relations between the United States and the Communist regime of Mao Zedong (which was then assisting the Communist forces that were killing American troops in Southeast Asia).
The book's release also, coincidentally, was well timed for exploitation by the Chinese Politburo for the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1, 1921). As to be expected, the 608-page tome has been showered with adulatory reviews from the Kissinger-adoring mainstream media. Some examples: "Nobody living can claim greater credit than Mr. Kissinger for America's 1971 opening to Beijing ... a fluent, fascinating...book," — the Wall Street Journal. "Fascinating, shrewd..." — the New York Times. "From the eminent elder statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy ... Sage words and critical perspective ..." — Kirkus Reviews.
The optimism and patience of the Congressional Black Caucus, after two and a half years of Obama-rule, has finally given out. They are now accusing the Obama administration of failing to adequately address a veritable epidemic of African-American unemployment.
"Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn't find it?" asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of the caucus, in July 2011. "You would see congressional hearings and community gatherings. There would be rallies and protest marches. There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.”
Unfortunately for them, the first black American president has no credible answer for the caucus. The trouble is that for decades black leadership in and out of Congress has done nothing to tackle the problem of what might be termed "the black underclass."
Further evidence that the unions have resorted to thuggery can be found in Ohio, where business owner John King was shot and almost killed for being non-union. While unions have been found to engage in shakedowns and bullying tactics, this most recent incident represents a new chapter in union thuggery.
Reports indicate that King had been harassed repeatedly prior to the shooting. Union thugs often threatened King with violence.
According to The Blaze:
John King owns one of Toledo’s largest non-union electrical contracting businesses. With 25 employees and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, King’s business reportedly often thrives while other unionized electrical contracting businesses fail due to their higher rates.
I’ll be the first to agree that politicians and bureaucrats have no principles. But government itself does; like other entities, it operates according to certain precepts. We who loathe the State do well to understand these laws the better to combat its wickedness.
Perhaps first among them is Jefferson’s famous dictum, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground” — an unanswerable argument for anarchy, and one whose proof this country’s history amply supplies. Even the most strictly, constitutionally limited government will explode into a totalitarian nightmare; those yearning for a permanently small State crave the impossible. They are as foolish as parents who expect their child to remain three years old for the rest of his life.
We owe a second axiom to Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Voters who believe “good” politicians can save the country ignore the fact that every elected sociopath gained office precisely because enough people mistook him for our rescuer (presuming American polls are as open and honest as Our Rulers pretend).