Saturday, December 4, 2010

Your Tax Dollars Hard At Waste

Today I learned about ExpectMore.gov. (It's actually called www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore, but ExpectMore.gov will get you there.) It is a website, the purpose of such is apparently to make me very angry. It definitely sucked out most of my WTL (Will To Live) and kind of filled me with an HFOH (Heart Full Of Hate). Let's see if it makes you angry as well!

The purpose of the site (which is run by the Federal government) is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of all Federal programs and then rate whether the program is Effective, Moderately Effective, Adequate, Ineffective or Results Not Demonstrated. According to
the page which explains what each rating actually means, Results Not Demonstrated means "...that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing." In other words, they're just screwing around. An Ineffective rating means that "Programs receiving this rating are not using your tax dollars effectively. Ineffective programs have been unable to achieve results due to a lack of clarity regarding the program's purpose or goals, poor management, or some other significant weakness." Well, that doesn't sound good. I guess the rating "Piece of S**t" didn't sound very official and that's why they went with Ineffective.

They have so far evaluated about 98% of the Federal programs and that amounts to 1,015 of them. Do you want to know how many are below Adequate? (And let me just tell you that the definition of Adequate isn't anything to throw a party over. It is indicative of a "...program that needs to set more ambitious goals, achieve better results, improve accountability or strengthen its management practices." Seriously, do you feel good about that? I don't.) Ready? 199 out of 1,015 are a complete waste of money. 19.6%. And that's not even ALL of the programs yet! More to come! Stay stuned!

Twenty percent of the governments programs have been deemed by the government to be doing nothing other than pissing away your money! That's astounding. Take a look at your next pay stub. Look at what you paid in Federal taxes. Take twenty percent of that and realize that, not only did you work to earn it and you can't have it, it isn't doing a damn thing and is being wasted. And when you hear what some of these programs are, you're going to be wondering why they were ever given money in the first place.

There's the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program. It's goal is "To improve the likelihood that persons eligible for the Food Stamp Program (FSP) will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) and My Pyramid". Uh-huh. Like that's going to happen. Of course, they really have no way that they're doing this. And that's why their budget has gone from $600,000 in 1992 to (brace yourself) $147 million in 1992 and THAT was eight years ago! So in ten years, their budget grew to 245 times what it started out at! And if I'm reading the chart correctly (it's a little hard to follow and I know that's completely shocking to you) their funding for 2008 was $312 million. That means that it's doubled and then some in two years. And it's not doing anything! I wish I could have a budget for some worthless piece of crap double in the span of only two years. Good Lord. Got your axe handles at the ready? Torches? Pitchforks? I'm just getting started.

There's the National Writing Project which is "...to promote K-16 teacher training and professional development in the area of writing. The Project consists of one national office and a network of local sites through which teachers have access to training, professional development, and current research about the teaching of writing." HOW MANY teachers does that scope actually make up? Is it enough to make it worthy of $22 million in funding in 2008? Since when do our grades go from kindergarten to Grade Sixteen?! Isn't that a senior in college? Shouldn't they know how to write by then? Why do they still need to be taught how to write?

There is the Black Lung Clinics Program (BLCP) which received $6 million in 2008 and is "...to establish and operate clinics that identify, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate active and retired coal miners with occupational exposure to airborne particles resulting in respiratory and pulmonary ailments." I'm sure that you'll be comforted and satisfied to learn that "Since implementation of the Black Lung Clinics Program in 1979, only one independent assessment of the program has been conducted. This assessment did not provide an evaluation of the program's effectiveness and was limited in the range of issues addressed." Oh, good. So, in thirty-one years there has been ONE assessment. Sure. That seems easily explainable. Not by me, of course.

Let's not forget the Workforce Investment Act - Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers which got $83 million in 2008 for the purpose of providing "...competitive grants to fund training, employment, and other services to help economically disadvantaged farmworkers and their families. Through these services, the program seeks to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency by strengthening their ability to gain stable employment." What the what?! You'll also want to know that "Each year, more than 60 percent of the program's approximately 30,000 participants receive only supportive services, like emergency cash assistance." Wait a minute.

30,000 participants and they get $83 million dollars?! For the guys that pick the strawberries that are frequently permanently visiting here from foreign lands?! Emergency cash assistance?! I know some folks who could use some emergency cash assistance. Oh, but they're citizens and they don't pick strawberries. Why is this sounding more and more backwards the more I go on. (And by the way, do you want to or should I tell the Federal government that it's not "farmworkers", it's "farm workers"? Two words. We're doomed.)

And these few that I have listed were merely some of the Ineffective programs. There are plenty of programs with ridiculous sounding names that were rated Results Not Demonstrated. Programs like the $49 million Mentoring Program (I swear to you that's what it's called), the $120 million Teaching American History program, the $20 million Packers and Stockyards program and the $4.783 billion Universal Service Fund E-Rate program which is supposed to "...help ensure that the educational benefits of telecommunications services are provided to schools and libraries. The program provides discounts on these services in varying amounts based on demonstrated economic need." (What, exactly, do they mean by "telecommunications"? A PHONE?!)

Now, maybe some of those or the other 169 programs whose results cannot be demonstrated are actually doing some good. Since they results can't be demonstrated, I'm sure that some jackass congressperson will make that argument. Hard to imagine that if they were actually doing some good that they wouldn't be able to prove it, though. Hard to imagine. It's also hard to imagine that 20% of these Federal programs don't do squat. And they wonder why we're having budgetary issues. They wonder why the consumer isn't spending more. It's because the country is being run by a bunch of folks who keep spending our money on crap like this. That's why.

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1 comment:

Juliana said...

You crack me up! Thank-you for bringing information to us in a humerous and outrageaous way. It certainly helps to swallow all this shi* easier! Yummy! Scroomed Mary! We're all scroomed!