WHY DO POLITICIANS ENGAGE IN CORRUPTION? FOR $21 TRILLION DOLLARS OF CASH THEY CAN DIRECT TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS

 

 

MSU SCHOLARS FIND $21 TRILLION IN UNAUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT SPENDING; DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT FIRST-EVER AUDIT

Contact(s): Mark Skidmore, Andy Henion

Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.

The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. (Luckily, the researchers downloaded and stored the documents.)

Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history (read the Dec. 7 announcement here).

The Defense Department did not say specifically what led to the audit. But the announcement came four days after Skidmore discussed his team’s findings on USAWatchdog, a news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter.

“While we can’t know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference,” said Skidmore, the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy at MSU.

Skidmore got involved last spring when he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report which indicated the Army had $6.5 trillion in unsupported adjustments, or spending, in fiscal 2015. Given the Army’s $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending.  

Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. “Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion,” he said. “So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion.”

Skidmore and Fitts agreed to work together to investigate the issue further. Over the summer, two MSU graduate students searched government websites, especially the website of the Office of Inspector General, looking for similar documents dating to 1998. They found documents indicating a total $21 trillion in undocumented adjustments over the 1998-2015 period. (The original government documents and a report describing the issue can be found here.)

In a Dec. 8 Forbes column he co-authored with Laurence Kotlikoff, Skidmore said the “gargantuan nature” of the undocumented federal spending “should be a great concern to all taxpayers.”

“Taken together these reports point to a failure to comply with basic constitutional and legislative requirements for spending and disclosure,” the column concludes. “We urge the House and Senate Budget Committee to initiate immediate investigations of unaccounted federal expenditures as well as the source of their payment.”

 

VERY OFTEN, WHEN WE REPORT THE CRIMINAL POLITICIANS TO THE INSPECTOR GENERALS, THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S TURN OUT TO BE DOING THE CORRUPTION TOO:

 

HUD Assistant Inspector General Indicted for Concealing Procurement Fraud Scheme (news)

submitted ago by dundundunnnnn

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-hud-assistant-inspector-general-indicted-concealing-procurement-fraud-scheme

http://archive.is/08SAK

Thursday, June 27, 2019 Former HUD Assistant Inspector General Indicted for Concealing Procurement Fraud Scheme

A seven-count indictment was returned yesterday charging a former Assistant Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, with engaging in a scheme to conceal material facts, making false statements and falsification of records.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Assistant Director in Charge John P. Selleck of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Michael K. Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community made the announcement.

According to the indictment, between early 2012 and mid-2016, Eghbal “Eddie” Saffarinia engaged in a scheme to conceal material facts, including the nature and extent of Saffarinia’s financial relationship with a personal friend who was the owner and chief executive officer of an information technology company in Virginia. During a period in which Saffarinia received payments and loans from his friend totaling $80,000, Saffarinia disclosed confidential internal government information to his friend and undertook efforts to steer government contracts and provide competitive advantages and preferential treatment to his friend’s company. Saffarinia also failed to disclose this financial relationship and another large promissory note on his public financial disclosure forms.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. Trial Attorneys Edward P. Sullivan and Rosaleen T. O’Gara of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

CALIFORNIA IS THE CENTER OF AMERICAN CORRUPTION

 

California politician's love for elitist tech oligarchs has killed California forever.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. California can keep attracting all the BS “highly talented individuals that make the knowledge (spy) economy work,” said Herbert of Harvard’s Joint Center. But, at some point, he added, “the state’s economy will be strangled by the inability to have a broad workforce.” California's politicians have sucked up to Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to the total exclusion of everyone else.

In other words, a place known for diversity, innovation and quality of life may be left for no one but the rich and lucky, who got there before it was too late. Sacramento and Bay Area politicians allowed themselves to become the bitches of Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs and ignore the regular folks.

How California Became America’s Housing Market Nightmare

By Noah Buhayar and Christopher Cannon

The median price for a house now tops $600,000, more than twice the national level. The state has four of the country’s five most expensive residential markets—Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. (Los Angeles is seventh.) The poverty rate, when adjusted for the cost of living, is the worst in the nation. California accounts for 12% of the U.S. population, but a quarter of its homeless population. For both owners and renters, California has the highest share of households spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

How did we get here? Simply put, bad government—from outdated zoning laws to a 40-year-old tax provision that benefits long-time homeowners at the expense of everyone else—has created a severe shortage of houses. While decades in the making, California’s slow-moving disaster has reached a critical point for state officials, businesses and the millions who are straining to live there.

This fall, as President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the situation on his swing through the state to raise money for his reelection, lawmakers in Sacramento passed some of the most sweeping legislation in years to address housing affordability. Google, Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. are throwing billions of dollars at the issue. But nobody’s kidding themselves that it’s enough.

“Broadly speaking, there is no solution to the California housing crisis without the construction of millions of new houses,” said David Garcia, policy director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

McKinsey & Co. estimated in 2016 that California needed some 3.5 million more homes by the middle of next decade—a figure that Governor Gavin Newsom made a central part of his administration’s goals. A more recent analysis suggests it may take the state until 2050 to meet the target.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a “reboot” button for an entire state?  Because the truth is that if an entire state ever needed to completely start over it is the state of California.  At this point it has become the epicenter for just about everything that is wrong with America, and each year it just keeps coming up with new ways to become an even worse cesspool of social decay and depravity.  Millions of people have already left the state, and millions more are thinking of leaving.  One recent survey found that 47 percent of all Californians are thinking about moving out of the state in the next five years, and a different survey discovered that 53 percent of those currently living in the state would like to leave.  If about half the people in your state are seriously considering leaving, it is safe to say that things have gone horribly wrong.  But instead of changing course, those running California continue taking the state down a very self-destructive path.

It is such a shame, because California should be one of the greatest places in the world to live.  The weather is wonderful most of the year, the state still possesses extraordinary natural beauty, and the tech industry provides plenty of high paying jobs. When I was growing up, millions of young Americans dreamed of moving there and living “the California dream”, and when I was a young man I seriously explored the possibility of moving there myself.

And the truth is that a lot of great things have come out of the state.  The following comes from a recent article by Ann Coulter

In the last century, every great thing started in California: surfing, jeans, Disneyland, tax revolts, McDonald’s, movies, car culture, the Grateful Dead, right on red turns, Merle Haggard, skateboarding, Apple computer, and the last two elected Republican presidents not named “Bush.”

But now I don’t know why anyone would want to live there.

If you currently live in California, I am about to tell you a whole bunch of reasons why you should leave.  In fact, if I could get everybody to leave the state, I would.

However, if you feel specifically called to stay, then that is what you should do.  Without a doubt, light is needed the most where things are the darkest, and California needs as much light as it can get right now.

Unfortunately, I believe that it is too late for the state as a whole.  It is headed for a date with destiny, and most of the nearly 40 million people that live there have absolutely no idea what is coming.

If you live in the state and you do not know what you should do, I would get out while you still can.  The following are 35 reasons why you should move away from California…

1. Incredibly high taxes.  At this point, California has the highest marginal tax rate in the entire country.

2. Absurd housing costs.

 

3. The median home value in the state is now more than half a million dollars, and that is about twice as high as the national average.

4. It has been estimated that it now takes approximately $350,000 a year to live a middle class lifestyle in the city of San Francisco.

5. Endless wildfires.

6. Epic mudslides.

7. Horrific traffic jams.

8. Los Angeles has the worst traffic congestion in the entire world.

9. The education system is awful.

10. Medical tyranny.

11. One of the highest poverty levels in the United States.

12. Thousands of drug addicts are literally pooping in the streets.

13. Almost half of all the homeless people in the entire nation live in California.

14. The state is literally being overrun by millions of rats.

15. Los Angeles has been ranked as the second most rat-infested city in the country.

16. At this point things are so bad that even Los Angeles City Hall is being overrun by rats.

17. Illegal immigration is out of control, and the sanctuary cities in California are making things even worse.

18. Rising gang activity.

19. High crime rates.

20. There is now a law in California that protects shoplifters.  So for those that enjoy shoplifting, this might actually be a reason to move into the state.

21. The drug war that has been raging in Mexico is increasingly spilling across the border.

22. California has been ranked as the worst state in the nation to do business year after year.

23. California is also one of the most litigious states in the entire country.

24. The once pristine beaches in the state are now being “completely overrun with fecal bacteria”.

25. Nancy Pelosi.

26. Kamala Harris.

27. Governor Gavin Newsom.

28. The lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the secretary of state and the state treasurer are all Democrats.

29. Democrats make up nearly two-thirds of the California State Senate.

30. Democrats make up more than two-thirds of the California State Assembly.

31. Both of the U.S. senators and 46 out of the 53 members of the House of Representatives that California sends to Washington are Democrats.

32. Much of the population is openly hostile to those that identify as conservatives.

33. California has been on the cutting edge of America’s moral decay for decades.

34. There have been more than 100,000 earthquakes in the state so far this year.

35. One day the “Big One” will hit California, and the geography of the state will be dramatically altered.  The devastation will be unlike anything we have ever witnessed, and the death toll will be unimaginable.

If Donald Trump wins the next presidential election, there is a group of activists in California that plan to get a “Calexit” referendum on the ballot for the following election.

Those activists don’t want to be part of a country that would elect Trump two times, because they consider their values to be completely and utterly incompatible with Trump’s values.

But what is happening in this nation is far bigger than just Trump.

To me, it would be wonderful if the rest of the nation decided that their values were completely and utterly incompatible with California’s values.  We desperately need to turn America around, and the way to do that is to head in a completely opposite direction from the way that California is going.

Sadly, it does not appear that is going to happen.  California may be racing ahead of most of the rest of the country, but our final destination will be the same.