Congress’ Incredible Ability To Waste Taxpayers’ Money

Yesterday Just the News posted an article reporting that Congress added $3 million to the legislative branch’s already exorbitant $1.3 trillion annual budget for the failed impeachment of Donald Trump. There are several problems with this expenditure. First of all, we really don’t have $1.3 trillion to spend on a wild goose chase. It was understood from the beginning that the Senate would never impeach President Trump, so what was the purpose of this futile exercise? It was a purely political stunt. Damn the taxpayers, and full speed ahead. Second, anyone paying attention with an IQ of more than 50 understood that the charges against the President were not impeachable offenses. The whole impeachment theater was an exercise in futility.

The article details the spending:

That price tag included the salaries of more than 100 congressional staffers and employees who, for those four months, essentially worked full-time on the impeachment proceedings. It also factors in the hourly fees of the six attorneys who were hired as lawyers of record for witnesses who made appearances during hearings, and acted as impeachment counsel for the House Democratic impeachment managers throughout the trial.

The high cost of the impeachment effort is primarily due to the House’s decision to use congressional staffers to investigate the president for potentially impeachable crimes. For reference, during the impeachment of President Clinton 1998, the majority of the fact-finding was done by Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s staff. For President Nixon’s impeachment inquiry, the bulk of the investigating was handled by special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, in addition to a Senate select committee.

The $3 million tally is a conservative estimate, since it does not yet include the impeachment costs run up during the Senate trial in January and February. It also does not factor in overtime pay for Capitol Police, witness travel expenses, or supplies and materials required for the hearings and trial. 

The impeachment inquiry began just weeks after the release of the Mueller Report and conclusion of the two-and-a-half year Russia probe. Adding the impeachment spending to the $32 million spent on the Mueller investigation, the taxpayer has been billed a total of $35 million for the two investigations, neither of which resulted in bipartisan findings of presidential wrongdoing.

Elections have consequences. The impeachment fiasco was the result of turning the House of Representatives over to the Democrats after the Democrat candidates promised they would not spend their time going after President Trump. The impeachment fiasco was something that the more radical elements of the Democrat party demanded, but most American voters did not support. If the Democrats hold the House of Representatives after the November elections and President Trump is reelected, I can guarantee that more taxpayer money will be wasted in Congress on political theater.

The Other Side Of The Story

Impeachment continues. We all know that President Trump’s constitutional rights were violated during the initial hearings in the House of Representatives–he was not allowed to face his accusers, his lawyers were not allowed to call witnesses, and much of the cross examination of the Democrats’ witnesses was disallowed or limited. All of those things are in violation of the constitutional rights supposedly allowed ALL American citizens. Now the President’s defense team is making their case to the Senate.

Townhall posted an article today that lists six facts that were either misrepresented or omitted in the House Managers’ presentation to the Senate.

The article reports:

According to Purpura (White House Deputy Counsel Mike Purpura), there are six key facts that “have not and will not change.”

1. The transcript proves President Trump didn’t condition military aid or a meeting on anything.

“The paused security assistance funds aren’t even mentioned on the call,” Purpura said.

2. Ukrainian officials said they never felt pressured into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter, for corruption. They also said quid pro quo never took place.

3. President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were unaware of the paused military aide.

“The security assistance was paused until the end of August, over a month after the July 25th call,” Purpura said.

4. None of the Democrats’ witnesses say President Trump tied an investigation into the Bidens to the military aid or a meeting.

5. “The security assistance flowed on September 11th and a presidential meeting took place on September 25, without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigation,” Purpura said.

6. President Trump has been a strong supporter of Ukraine.

“The Democrats’ blind eye to impeach the president does not and cannot change the fact, as attested to by the Democrats’ own witnesses, that President Trump has been a better friend and supporter of Ukraine than his predecessor,” Purpura explained. “Those are the facts.”

What a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money this trial has been when everyone could have simply read the transcript of the telephone call in question. We need to vote anyone out of office who has promoted the idea that President Trump has committed an impeachable offense. I truly believe that the rush to impeach has more to do with the crimes of some Congressmen that may be revealed in the Durham report than anything President Trump has or has not done.

Playing Games With Taxpayer Money

No, this isn’t about the Secret Service scandal or the GSA scandal–it’s about using taxpayer money intended for other things to prevent voters from feeling the impact of Obamacare and voting against President Obama because of it.

Yesterday’s New York Post posted a story about how some of the money intended to implement Obamacare is being spent.

The article states:

It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election.

This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.

But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.

The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.

That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.

Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”

I think this should be included on the list of reasons why the federal budget needs to be cut drastically. The taxpayers’ money is being spent irresponsibly, and we need to make sure Washington has less money to spend.

 

 
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