Janet Napolitano is leaving her post as head of the 240,000-employee, $60-billion-a-year Department of Homeland Security to take the helm of another bloated bureaucracy: The University of California. She takes over a post of a huge 10-campus university system at the end of August. The system has an operating budget of more than $24 billion; almost triple the entire state budget in Arizona and larger than most state governments. Spending amounts to around $100,000 for each student, while tuition and fees are about $13,200 a year — and many lower-income students pay far less.
In addition to administrators and support staff at each campus, the central office in Oakland employs more than 2,300 full-time workers. The office of the president’s “external relations” division includes more than 55 managerial-type employees, plus support personnel. And the “business operations” and “academic affairs” divisions are even larger. To serve its 240,000 students, the university system has 18,896 faculty members and some 189,000 staff members. “The university took some budgetary hits from the state in recent years but offset them with huge tuition increases. No serious attempt was made to vastly cut costs. Regents has brought in a veteran at managing and perpetuating bureaucracies, one well-connected enough to keep the federal flow of support coming and to shake more money from the state’s already overburdened taxpayers.”
Some food stamp recipients are using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to buy groceries in the United States and sending them to relatives in several Caribbean countries. According to the New York Post, New Yorkers in largely Caribbean neighborhoods are using their EBT cards, which provide government benefits like food stamps and cash assistance, to buy the items and sending them overseas in large barrels. Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, called the practice another example of welfare abuse. “This is not intended as a form of foreign aid.” supermarkets offer hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon barrels for shipping. Customers buy the barrels for about $40 each, and use their food stamps to fill them over time with up to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk, and sausages, the Post reports. They then call a shipping company to pick up the barrels and send them mostly to Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republican for about $70. New York is likely not the only place EBT cards are being abused. The Boston Herald reported that similar barrels are available in Boston. “It’s just one of countless scams happening through the food stamp program.” In fiscal 2012, the government spent $74.6 billion on food assistance, and last September, 47.7 million Americans were receiving benefits.
CBO: Public Debt Will Hit 83 Percent of GDP In mid-May, the CBO said the federal deficit in fiscal 2013, which ends in September, would be $642 billion, down from the $1 trillion-plus of the previous four years. “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” President Obama said in an interview with ABC News. “In fact for the next 10 years it’s going to be in a sustainable place.” But “after years of bipartisan overspending, public debt today — that’s the money that the federal government owes to domestic and foreign investors — is almost 90 percent higher than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008,” according to Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. “It climbed by $1 trillion between December 2011 and December 2012 alone to its current level of $12.03 trillion.” Public debt is now 75 percent of GDP, the highest level since 1950 — and that doesn’t include debt the government owes to Social Security and other accounts. But the worst is yet to come. The CBO projects that the public debt is scheduled to grow to $19 trillion by 2023, or 73.6 percent of projected GDP — up from 36 percent as recently as the end of 2007. But if Congress reverses the spending cuts forced through sequestration, the public debt will rise to 83 percent of GDP, the CBO projects. By 2023, the federal government is expected to spend $823 billion a year on interest payments, up from $223 billion today. Interest payments plus entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will account for 75 percent of the federal budget, and other programs will “gradually be squeezed out,” de Rugy writes for Reason magazine. She concludes: “Congress should circumvent these scenarios by acting now to cut spending and reduce future entitlement obligations. No level of taxes can address the phenomenal fiscal imbalance that our country is facing now and into the future.
Benghazi investigation “a pathetic effort to bring people to justice.” Graham questioned how CNN, in just two hours, could find and interview the leader of the terrorist group thought to be responsible for the deadly September 11, 2012 strikes, but apparently the FBI can’t find him.”Our FBI has never talked to these people.”
Benghazi “isn’t a phony scandal,” is incensed by the lack of desire by the White House to find answers and bring those responsible to justice.
Sources—bloomberg, new york post, cato, boston herald, cbo, cnn,