To Joe Klein From One of the ‘Ill Informed’

Regarding a recent article of yours, where you described Americans as “too dumb to thrive”.
(http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/01/25/too-dumb-to-thrive/)

You believe that your Birkenstock wearing, Latte sipping, Ivy League School (University of Pennsylvania ?!?) pedigree makes you superior to us peons and entitles you to tell us so.

I first heard about your article on Glenn Beck (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,584003,00.html) where, according to you, the “misinformed” go to get their information.

Having said that, there’s a few things you need to know in response to your accusations.
You said:

“Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787 stimulus package: nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted. On second thought, they may be right: it’s been wasted on them. Indeed, the largest single item in the package–$288 billion–is tax relief for 95% of the American public. This money is that magical $60 to $80 per month you’ve been finding in your paycheck since last spring. Not a life changing amount, but helpful in paying the bills.”

Here’s where much of the money went, not counting the hundreds of phantom districts that received money no one can trace.
Andy Stern’s SEIU made a killing. God knows he’s spent enough time visiting the White House to remind Obama of the payoff he’s got coming for all his hard campaign work.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/It_s-a-wonderful-life-working-for-the-government-8697601-80294522.html

Obama’s stimulus PR site, Recovery.gov, has a big credibility problem.

The supposed purpose of the site is “to allow taxpayers to see precisely what entities receive [stimulus] money in addition to how and where the money is spent.”

Here’s just some of the blatant discrepancies.

Phantom Congressional Districts.
Picking up on a story from ABC News about stimulus jobs created in phantom congressional districts, I found jobs/awards reported for the following Illinois “districts”: 0, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 33rd, 34th, 42nd, 44th, 53rd, and 59th. Or as Stephen Colbert would say, “the fightin’ 59th.” Too bad Colbert couldn’t “better know these districts,” because they don’t exist. Notes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “the federal government is attributing about $6.5 million in stimulus spending to non-existent congressional districts in Illinois.”

Counting Irregularities.
Recovery.gov touts state-by-state totals for jobs “created or saved.” Some of the counts are little more than guesses. For example, the Illinois Institute of Technology was awarded $97,900 to “purchase a high performance computer cluster” and related software. One job was counted created/saved; the related entry surmised: “I think the vendor of the computer equipment can retain about one job for this amount of purchase.” That’s totally unsubstantiated. Still, it was added to Illinois’s statewide jobs tally.

For some projects, the descriptive “job creation” information does not match the numerical “number of jobs” entry. One entry for Head Start in Illinois noted they would use $169,279 to “hire 2 additional staff and increase compensation of staff through a COLA to improve overall quality of program.” Yet under “number of jobs” they listed 63.65 positions, which counted toward the statewide jobs total.

Misallocation of Job Counts.
Recovery.gov breaks down the jobs created/saved by the stimulus by congressional district. For Illinois, the vast majority of jobs were supposedly created/saved in the 18th congressional district. With 16,996 jobs created/saved in the 18th district (the next largest jobs total is 3,444 in the 7th district). A closer look at the details shows that 14,233 of those central Illinois jobs came from the Illinois State Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which is located in state capital of Springfield. The State Office counted education jobs saved across the state, yet all were allocated to the 18th district. If the designers of Recovery.gov hope to sway future congressional votes with the district-by-district job numbers, they’re need to present credible information.

Where are the Private Sector Jobs?
You’ll remember that back in January 2009 ….Obama promised that 90 percent of the jobs saved or created by the stimulus would be in the private sector. So far, that’s not the case. If the 90 percent promise held up, 22,003 of the 24,448 Illinois jobs would be in the private sector. But looking at the data, the big job saver is a government entity, otherwise known as “Illinois, State of.” Some 14,233 jobs were saved in public education. The “Chicago Transit Authority” is another big job saver and/or creator, accounting for 2,071 jobs. Seen in this light, the stimulus was more of a state and local government bailout than a private-sector engine starter.
http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/18/surprise-recovery-gov-has-a-credibility-problem/

Over 75,000 bogus jobs.  

Nationwide, the “Funemployment” rate is 15%. In my home state of Ohio, it’s 10%.

That paycheck increase? A whopping $13 extra in their weekly paychecks, while a $1,000 child tax credit would be extended to more low-income families that don’t make enough money to pay income taxes.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090214/ap_on_go_co/stimulus_stakes_who_gets_what

You said:

1. The Obama Administration has done a terrible job explaining the stimulus package to the American people…especially since there have been very few documented cases of waste so far.

Maybe THE ONE can explain why more of it went to “projects” like these:

– $462,000 to purchase 22 concrete toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri.

– $1 million for Portland, Ore., to replace 100 aging bike lockers and build a garage that would house 250 bicycles.

– $1.3 million on government arts jobs in Maine, including $30,000 for basket makers, $20,000 for storytelling and $12,500 for a music festival.

– $6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn.

– $173,834 to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Madison County, Ill.

– $20,000 for a fish sperm freezer at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota.

– $300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=59af3ebd-7bf9-4933-8279-8091b533464f

Your comment:

2. This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed…and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed.

I’ve read every ObamaCare bill put forth by the Democrats, I’ve done research on Obama’s Marxist philosophy, background, friends, mentors, and associates, and I’ve seen the consequences of his “wealth redistribution”, so I’m pretty knowledgeable even without the benefit of Glenn Beck.

As for this statement:

It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don’t make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government. It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you’re a nation of dodos.

Let me clue you in about the basic activities of our government.  First of all, we are a Democratic Republic.
The current crop of Democrats have demonstrated they have no respect for American citizens, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. Here’s a link to a summary of their incredible hubris:
http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/the-democrats-assault-on-america/

The founders who wrote the Constitution believed that a government that rules least rules best; in other words, they intended that government intrusion into the lives and well-being of Americans be limited.

Opponents of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid socialist train wreck get dismissed, disrespected, and denigrated by leftwingnut politicians and main stream media hacks, alike. We made a powerful impact throughout 2009; we shell-shocked the controlling Dem majority with a taste of real patriotic ‘community organizing’.

We know the Tea Party movement scares the living crap out of you liberal effetes. In your lexicon, that makes people like me one of the “uneducated”.

We’re educated enough to know that socialism is an epic fail. It stifles freedoms—from speech to business enterprise.

Now along comes another pompous “educated” asslown to inform the ignorant masses that we just ‘don’t know what’s good for us’.

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