Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Help Prove Glenn Beck wrong


ljs

Recommended Posts

Please no stupid drive by comments, I'm serious on this one. Can you prove this wrong? Specifically the bolded text below. It is the transcript of his show, but I only posted a chunk- read the entire transcript from link.

I don't usually watch Beck, but up late Friday night and watched his episode where he talks about specifics in the spending bill, along with comparing some salaries. Can you prove this is wrong?? I would love for him to be wrong here. And if he happens to be right, does it bother you? By the way, he blasted Republicans in this show too- So don't think this is just a partisan issue.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580059,00.html

At least we spent that $787 billion in stimulus money to create jobs, right? President Obama rushed us into it — as did everybody else in Congress. So what are we getting out of it?

$2.2 million went to a failing golf course in San Francisco

• $54 million for a California "wine train"

• $1.5 million went to fossil research in Argentina

• $75,000 went to puppet shows and a clown theater

• Almost $400,000 for people to keep journals of their malt liquor and marijuana use

• $200,000 to study the "hookup" behavior of college students

• $500,000 to study how people use Facebook

• $220,000 on the study of birds, the sex drive of rats and the "caste system" and division of labor in ants

An Obama spokeswoman shrugged off the waste, saying: "Even if there are a few unwise projects, it's only a handful out of the over 50,000 projects ... approved to date."

"A few unwise projects"? I just listed eight that wasted over $50 million of taxpayer money. Projects like Hillary Clinton's pollster getting $6 million to save a whopping three jobs. Maybe that kind of thing doesn't bother Washington, but it sure bothers the rest of us.

And it's not just Democrats. There is a brand new Omnibus bill that is over 2,400-pages. They are voting on it. They've only had access to it for under 24 hours. No one has read it! And the Republicans have slipped in more than $1 billion of pork barrel spending.

Aren't they supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility? Aren't they supposed to be the other choice? And they wonder why polls show they are being beaten by the non-existent Tea Party Party?

How can you justify wasting more of our money on ridiculous grants like the "Juan de Fuca Festival"? And don't give me the "oh, it's only a billion — the whole bill is $447 billion." That's like me saying to my wife, hey, I only slept with 10 tramps... look at Tiger Woods!

From Friday's USA Today, the federal government is adding 10,000 jobs a month while the rest of the country is hemorrhaging them.

The next part of this will make your head explode, so get out the duct tape for this one. How many times have you heard about the "evil CEOs" and the "wealthiest one percent," from our politicians? OK, who in the government is making out the best? From USA Today: "The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases."

The highest paid? Isn't that interesting? It turns out being rich is only bad if you are in the private sector!

Take the Transportation Department: When the recession began they had one — count 'em — one person making over $170,000. Today? There are 1,690!

The average salary in the private sector: $40,331; the average salary for federal employees: $71,206.

click link for entire article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's probably right.

"Aren't they supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility? Aren't they supposed to be the other choice? And they wonder why polls show they are being beaten by the non-existent Tea Party Party?" Truth.

That bit about Tiger :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's probably right.

"Aren't they supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility? Aren't they supposed to be the other choice? And they wonder why polls show they are being beaten by the non-existent Tea Party Party?" Truth.

That bit about Tiger :laugh:

so none of the actual numbers bother you? the fact that the Dept of Transportation salaries over $170k per year jumped from 1 to 1,690??

or do you think he made up those numbers?

and yeah, that Tiger comment was a good one.

Edit: I'm also looking for a link that shows the Federal employees getting something like a 10% salary increase for 2010...heard it on the radio but can't confirm yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The average salary doesnt seem likely...I'm pretty sure the average private salary is higher than that....because if it isnt, I'm jumping ship to a public firm :silly:

I've googled that and can't find anything saying different. Any idea where we could prove what the number actually is?

I do have an article from CNN from 2006, http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/Careers/10/11/cb.government/index.html

just not sure how accurate it is now

articles from USA today and the Dallas news confirm what he says

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/12/american-salari.html

The country is in a recession, right? Private industry has been cutting workers and salaries, right?

And so too has the federal government, right?

Wrong.

USATODAY has an interesting analysis that shows federal salaries have actually increased through this recession while 7.3 million private sector jobs have gone POOOF! Now the average federal worker's salary is $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've googled that and can't find anything saying different. Any idea where we could prove what the number actually is?

I do have an article from CNN from 2006, http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/Careers/10/11/cb.government/index.html

just not sure how accurate it is now

articles from USA today and the Dallas news confirm what he says

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/12/american-salari.html

In the DMN article it seems to say the the main reasons for the 6-figure salary boom were all put in place before Obama took office and his pay increase is the lowest in 35 yrs. It looks like the "reasons" are due to congress and GWB. I would like to see the salary discrepencies between public and private sector jobs before the recession and also what is the criteria for comparison? Is it all public vs. private? Is it industry specific (as it really should be) etc. Everytime there is a big spending bill there are useless, stupid pet projects thrown in there. If this article is really attacking that aspect of govt. I think most people will agree but remember, those projects are how people get re-elected in their home state. People get elected to represent the interests of their state/locale and part of their job is to get things done back home. One other point, the govt. adding jobs during the recession was part of the stimululs. Adding short term govt jobs to get people back to work was a cornerstone of the bill and is supposed to be a large part of stemming unemployment and adding more jobs to the market when private companies did not have the capacity to do so. Whether you agree with that philisophy or not, that was by no means a "hidden" part of the package

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so none of the actual numbers bother you? the fact that the Dept of Transportation salaries over $170k per year jumped from 1 to 1,690??

or do you think he made up those numbers?

and yeah, that Tiger comment was a good one.

Edit: I'm also looking for a link that shows the Federal employees getting something like a 10% salary increase for 2010...heard it on the radio but can't confirm yet.

Its 2%. I wish it was 10%. Actually congress trimmed the budget with that little stunt they pulled. Obama originally wanted 2% to base pay, but congress changed it to 1.5% base and .5% locality. If you are a 1811 (Federal Law Enforcement Agent) and you get LEAP pay the 25% only applies to your base pay, not your total pay. Probably saved the government a couple hundred million.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So out of nearly $800 billion, the Republicans at FOX combed it and all they can complain about is $57 million. They have a problem with 1/1500th of it.

When comparing apples to apples, a federal Government worker makes on average 20-26% less than that same person would in private industry. Almost every Federal Government job requires a college education, and there are no fry cooks or dish washers (those are contractors) so that particular stat is not a good one.

None of those costs really bother me because they are completely insignificant, and we don't know the whole story anyway.

$170K is nice, but it's not rich. It wouldn't even put someone in the highest income tax bracket. Not even close.

BTW, Democrats are doing a 2% raise this year for federal workers. That is a large reduction from years past-much lower than what Republicans and Bush did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"A few unwise projects"? I just listed eight that wasted over $50 million of taxpayer money."

Okay, this is the line I would quibble with. He has cherry picked and highlighted the worst and most egregiously wasteful and dramatic miscues (I'm guessing) and he has come up with 50 million in waste. 50 million out of 787 billion is a pretty damn good ratio.

I also have a soft spot for the 75,000 being spent on a puppet theatre and clown school. That's a cool traditional craft and it is expensive to run a theatre. That 75,000 likely helped save the jobs of pupeteers, light techs, stage managers, cleaning crew, ushers, ticket people, directors, puppet masters, set designers, propmasters, etc.

Not really all that bad an investment for 75 K.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too, but when you cherry pick to make your point this is the other side of the sword that people can use against you.

Thats true. If there were a whole lot of other wasteful programs, and Fox News REALLY wanted to make a point, then they would have put them out there.

Not something like 75k for a puppet theater.

So thats why Glenn Beck is wrong (sorta), by making this out to be a bigger seal than it really is, at least in my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Beck identified 0.00751% that he considers to be waste. Well that settles it, time for me to join the tea parties.

Now as for the projects:

$2.2 million went to a failing golf course in San Francisco

$54 million for a California "wine train"

$75,000 went to puppet shows and a clown theater

A wine train through American wine country is a tourist trap. That creates jobs and helps a pretty good American industry. $75,000 for puppets is a drop in the bucket and jobs at a really cheap price. 2.2 million for a golf course appears to be job related as well.

These are research projects and frankly I have no problems with any of them. Personally I think more should have gone to studying facebook and other social media platforms. Most people might be stupid enough to think the rise of social media insignificant but they don't realize the communications break through these things actually are... or their potential impact on business and critical information:

$1.5 million went to fossil research in Argentina

Almost $400,000 for people to keep journals of their malt liquor and marijuana use

$200,000 to study the "hookup" behavior of college students

$500,000 to study how people use Facebook

$220,000 on the study of birds, the sex drive of rats and the "caste system" and division of labor in ants

Now I have a question... what did people expect? Job creation requires the government to spend money all over the place. They are literally infusing money at every level to create momentum. Considering I don't see anything I consider outrageous in Beck's claim and it covers .0075% of the overall plan I'm actually pleased. Is this the best Beck could come up with? Not bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is very hard to fact check these claims, as Beck does not give us any sources from where he claims to have gotten this information.

I seriously question this one: "Take the Transportation Department: When the recession began they had one — count 'em — one person making over $170,000. Today? There are 1,690!" However, I don't know of any way to check it myself.

I suspect that blogger who hate Beck and have more time on thier hands than I do will make an effort to fact check these claims in the next few days. We might learn something more then.

Given Beck's history, I suspect that there are a ton of falsehoods and half truths in there. His disgraceful pumping of the attendance figures at the big Tea Party wasn't even subtle. But I shouldn't prejudge it. Give it a few days, then check google and see what pops up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The DoT one is true. Basically employees of a Federal Department can't make more than the head. A number of their non-head employees got raises above $170k, because Congress and the President (I'm just assuming) must've raised his salary above $170k... and that essentially must've uncapped a number of employees (they were probably making like $150k-160k for a long time).

I find it ironic that it's okay for Beck to drive-by but no one can drive-by in the comments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20091211/1afedpay11_st.art.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Much of it comes from the above USA today piece. The thing about $170,000 really seems to be out of place w/o knowing how much they were being paid BEFORE.

Due to caps, we're there a bunch of people making $170,000, which than went to $170,500 when their boss got a raise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"A few unwise projects"? I just listed eight that wasted over $50 million of taxpayer money."

Okay, this is the line I would quibble with. He has cherry picked and highlighted the worst and most egregiously wasteful and dramatic miscues (I'm guessing) and he has come up with 50 million in waste. 50 million out of 787 billion is a pretty damn good ratio.

I also have a soft spot for the 75,000 being spent on a puppet theatre and clown school. That's a cool traditional craft and it is expensive to run a theatre. That 75,000 likely helped save the jobs of pupeteers, light techs, stage managers, cleaning crew, ushers, ticket people, directors, puppet masters, set designers, propmasters, etc.

Not really all that bad an investment for 75 K.

You're right in that $75,000 is a teeny, tiny part of $787 billion. But I feel compelled to jump in here, because to describe this as a good "investment" is a bit disingenuous.

That $75,000 has to come from somewhere - namely, Treasury sales, just like the rest of the stimulus thanks to the fact that we run a deficit the size of the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. The Treasury market is limited. A smaller amount of bonds will eventually drive that same amount of money into other investments, investments that will, in all likelihood, create more economic return than a puppet theatre. (And to try to avoid the whole debate about spending going into paychecks and whether or not this eventually becomes economically viable, let's just pretend that investments in, say, AAA corporate bonds eventually result in an equivalent amount of jobs created via business expansion. People will argue about this for all eternity. I'm strictly referring to the goods and services that the original $75,000 is spent on.)

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that it's not worthwhile to preserve various arts. That could be a monstrous thread all to itself. I'm also not directly comparing government spending to tax cuts - people have fallen into a funny habit of pretending that there's some sort of instant zero-sum game between the two, when the fact is that, for better or for worse, the spending we do today won't be paid off for years (with interest). What I am saying is that there's a finite amount of money in the Treasury market, and when the market shrinks, some money has to go someplace else. And that "someplace else" will probably be a better destination in terms of continued growth. In other words, if you were investing $75,000 of your own cash for maximum return - not as charity, not to support the arts, but strictly in a financial sense - I'm guessing that you wouldn't put it into a puppet theatre.

[/economic rambling]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the record, I don't like Glenn Beck at all, but the Tiger Woods thing was funny.

I don't think the $200,000 for studying college hookup behavior is bad, especially compared to $54 million for a wine train. The study will probably help make an assessment on STD prevention and where it is most prevalent and hopefully lead to expansion of contraception availability.

My senior of college, a law was passed that killed subsidized contraception and the price of condoms and birth controll pills went up more than 500%, which wasn't affordable to a lot of people.

The $500,000 for studying Facebook is hopefully a good thing. As annoying as the Facebooks, Twitters and MySpaces of the world are, research could show how much business can be done through those mediums and maybe create another economic channel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other words, if you were investing $75,000 of your own cash for maximum return - not as charity, not to support the arts, but strictly in a financial sense - I'm guessing that you wouldn't put it into a puppet theatre.

[/economic rambling]

Well... I might because I truly do believe in the arts and I believe that you must feed the soul of a community as well as its wallet and that by promoting the arts you wind up creating all sorts of good effects, including employment, lowered crime, increased self esteem, and higher degrees of intellectual stimulation and innovation.

... but as you said, that's really part of a different thread's argument. For this thread, I have no problem with stimulating the economy through arts positions as well as infrastructure or other sources of work. Clearly, that 75K is putting some to work. We can certainly have an honest debate whether these are the most important jobs to save (and they probably aren't), but it isn't a sin to save them either... esp. for such a cheap price tag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well... I might because I truly do believe in the arts and I believe that you must feed the soul of a community as well as its wallet and that by promoting the arts you wind up creating all sorts of good effects, including employment, lowered crime, increased self esteem, and higher degrees of intellectual stimulation and innovation.

Hmmm. I can see how you would say this in a sort of philanthropist sense, but, well... how much of your 401k have you put into puppet theatre companies? Or any other investments that you're specifically counting on to return a good yield for retirement, a college fund, etc.?

To put it another way, I would bet that Warren Buffett has given millions upon millions dollars to the arts. But he's also been responsible for deciding where a hundred times as much money would go as the best possible business investments he could make, both for himself and as a responsibility to shareholders. And I'd bet that he didn't put one cent of that into puppets.

... but as you said, that's really part of a different thread's argument. For this thread, I have no problem with stimulating the economy through arts positions as well as infrastructure or other sources of work. Clearly, that 75K is putting some to work. We can certainly have an honest debate whether these are the most important jobs to save (and they probably aren't), but it isn't a sin to save them either... esp. for such a cheap price tag.

Well, that was why I mentioned the whole "AAA corporate bond" thing. The $75,000 doesn't just disappear. It's part of a very liquid and very fast-moving bond market. If there are fewer Treasury sales, the money goes elsewhere - like corporate bonds. And that either "creates or saves" jobs, too. It's the same $75,000.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other words, if you were investing $75,000 of your own cash for maximum return - not as charity, not to support the arts, but strictly in a financial sense - I'm guessing that you wouldn't put it into a puppet theatre.

[/economic rambling]

I wouldn't put it onto building a highway which I intended to then give away for anybody to use, for free, either.

This might perhaps be an indication that the purpose of government spending isn't to make a profit for the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...