In what is clearly an attempt to get people to look away from the scandals overtaking his administration the President delivered a rose garden speech surrounded by college kids today.
Photo: Getty Images
"We can't keep saddling young people with more and more debt just as they're starting out in life".
'He's finally got it!' I thought. But then he continued
“We cannot price the middle class or folks who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class out of a college education".
Oh... that. What about the $53,000 in debt we saddle on you the minute you're born? Actually since we understand that babies and poor folks can't pay toward the government debt it's now over $150,000 for every working person. And in Obama's first term he saddled $64,000 of extra debt on each taxpayer. The average yearly cost of in state tuition books and dorms according to CNN is $16,510. Meaning 4 years of college would cost $66,040 or less than half the debt our government puts on you once you graduate.
Also the crisis the President is talking about is another self created tragedy. If this feels like deja vu all over again like Yogi Berra said, it's because last year at this time the President made the same speech. It has to do with federal interest rates on student loans which are currently set at 3.4% set to jump to 6.8% on July 1st. Like the fiscal cliff crisis which he created in the Oval Office, July of 2011 and extended through January 2013, this is another crisis that he could have solved before any drama. But now we're weeks away and he wants to play hero to the 7 million college kids who fund their schooling with Stafford loans.
But I have to admit I do like his plan a little bit better than the GOP's. The GOP plan ties student loans to the interest rates on 10 year treasury notes plus 2.5 percent. But they change every year the student is in school. They cap the max rate out at 8%. Obama also ties it to the interest rates on 10 year treasury notes plus 2% but locks you in for 4 years. He also guarantees that your payments once you graduate don't exceed 10% of your annual income. I like both plans but the Obama plan a bit better because it allows a student to lock in a rate, and more importantly helps assure they won't default on their loan. But either plan will be better than what we have now. So Obama should turn down the rhetoric like "the GOP plan isn't smart and it's not fair." It's almost the same as yours!
The guy who brought America the phrase "you've got some big testicles bro" has not only rejected the offer for free hamburgers for life that was made by an Ohio restaurant chain, it appears he may be suing them over it. He is now being rep'd by Walker & Jock law firm who have fired off a cease & desist to the restaurants from serving Ramsey Burgers. They are also sent one to a Taiwanese video game producer who has Ramsey saving the hostages by throwing burgers at the Ariel Castro. Which is a shame because that game sounds awesome! The reason he can be so bold is because Bruce Merrin's Celebrity Speakers & Entertainment Bureau is now repping Charles to give motivational speeches. "I believe that Charles has a story that will impact audiences lives! His spirit moves me." Merrin said in a press release. And the fee to have Charles give your company a motivational speech is $10,000. If you're company hires the recently retired dishwasher from Hodges restaurant to give a speech, you've either got too much money or are the verge of bankruptcy. I'm just saying...dead giveaway.
It looks like the real deal...I mean it looks looks like Burger King actually commissioned this:
Today I'm reading the story about prisoners in NJ collecting millions in food stamps, medicade and other government benefits.
NJ Comptroller Matt Boxer said. "Our audit identifies simple but critical steps that will help ensure that tax dollars spent on these programs are reserved for those who actually qualify for benefits." Boxer blamed gaps in oversight. For example, state agencies administering the public assistance programs failed to review county and state inmate data before awarding government benefits. Boxer said the departments responsible for administering each of the programs have vowed to recover the misspent money and to cross-check inmate data.
Riiiiight. Good luck getting money back from prisoners. They already spent it and the only way they could pay you back is if they figure out another scam they can run on the government that will pay them while they're in jail. And yes the scam started once they were in jail. One guy didn't even apply till he was already 3 months into his sentence. The largest check was for $37,000 to a guy convicted of raping a child. Think about how easy it must be to scam the government if a convicted child molester can get them to send him $37,000?
Now if it's just you and I and couple of other folks handling these agencies it's really easy to make sure prisoners don't get checks. Once they're convicted, you put a flag on their social security number and all checks cease and any future applications are halted till that sentence is up. But it's not a couple of folks. It's not a couple of thousand folks. It is millions of people who work at these government agencies. Federal government adds another 40,000 employees a year according to CNN. Local and State governments have been downsizing during the same period. Because at the local level voters see the results. National is just too big for most to get their heads around it.
Question. Why aren't agency heads rewarded for streamlining systems that would allow the staff and budgets shrink? Currently the more employees you oversee the more money you make! Which has all the logic of a weight-loss plan offering more desserts the heavier you get. The incentive in both instances is to get fatter!
Medicaid gets punked out of an estimated 48 billion dollars a year in fradulant claims according to the Government Accountability Office. In 2011 they spent 2 billion more to recover 4.1 billion. Of course spending 2 billion to get 4 billion is a good idea. A better idea would be to not lose 48 billion to begin with. Medicare looses another 90 billion to fraud annually. Con artists have figured out that the biggest sucker in America is the tax payer.
Yes we are the suckers. Because we have the power over our government and yet we continue to allow this system to operate. Human nature dictates that people have to be motivated by something. Power, money, love something. Most people who run corporations or agencies love money and or power. So have Congress change the way these executives are compensated. They should be bonused on how much money they save us the taxpayer, annually! Those savings can come from creating more efficient systems that allows us to downsize our workforce, or by downsizing the amount of fraudulent payments we make. Government continues to swell because people are compensated for growing it. Reverse that plan and the results will reverse with it. Because what we're doing now is insane.