Archive for February, 2017

Fixing What Ails the VA


Thursday February 23rd, 2017   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:27am PST   •   0 Comments

Last week saw two significant developments at the scandal-ridden U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to confirm President Trump’s selection of David Shulkin to assume the top leadership post of the VA, replacing the often out-of-his-depth Robert McDonald. The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a 700-page report on federal government...
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Government Abuses Veterans, Job Seekers


Wednesday February 22nd, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:04am PST   •   0 Comments

The U.S. military trains medics and tasks them to attend those shot, bombed or blown up, sometimes including civilian victims. This is about the most rigorous duty any medic could experience but veterans have a hard time applying their skills in civilian life. As Foon Rhee notes in the Sacramento Bee, the California legislature...
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Government Dam Abuse


Monday February 20th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 2:03pm PST   •   0 Comments

Despite contrary claims by law enforcement, looting did take place during the evacuation of more than 150,000 people in the wake of the spillway failure at the Oroville Dam. As the Los Angeles Times reported, in one case looters blasted the doors of a market with a shotgun and attempted to ransack the business....
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First on the Chopping Block


Monday February 20th, 2017   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:14am PST   •   0 Comments

There is a draft memo circulating around the White House’s Office of Management and Budget that identifies the first federal government spending programs that the Trump administration is targeting for cuts on Capitol Hill as part of its first budget proposal. The New York Times reports: The White House budget office has drafted a...
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Why Not Replace Bureaucrats with Robots?


Thursday February 16th, 2017   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:28am PST   •   0 Comments

Over the years, MyGovCost has told many stories of bureaucrats behaving badly, but technology may have finally advanced enough to provide a real solution for bad bureaucrats: we can replace them with robots! That possibility is now being discussed in the United Kingdom, where one think tank believes that up to a quarter million...
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BART Sweeps In More Toll Hikes


Wednesday February 15th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 1:13pm PST   •   0 Comments

Bridge tolls are high in the Bay Area but rapid transit bosses are worried that they are not quite high enough. As Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross note in the San Francisco Chronicle, a $3.5 billion bond approval has BART bosses panting for another $1.5 billion in toll hikes on the area’s seven state-owned...
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“Stuff Happens.” Oroville Dam Crisis Is a Failure of Government


Tuesday February 14th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:48am PST   •   0 Comments

A massive spillway failure at Northern California’s Oroville Dam prompted an evacuation order that sent 200,000 people running for shelter anywhere they could find it. As the Sacramento Bee reported, the dam itself “has not been compromised. But experts say that if the emergency spillway collapses, it wouldn’t be much different than a total...
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Pension Retro-Ripoff


Monday February 13th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:57am PST   •   0 Comments

  Back in 1999, under governor Gray Davis, the State of California boosted pensions and allowed most government employees to retire at the age of 55. This led to a surge of unfunded liabilities, and even Jerry Brown pushed for minor reforms. State employees hired after January 1, 2013, would have to work to...
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The Cost of Building a Border Wall


Monday February 13th, 2017   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:36am PST   •   0 Comments

During the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump called for the construction of a wall along the 1,954 mile border with Mexico for the purpose of minimizing “the illegal flow of drugs, cash, guns, and people across our border.” During his first week in office, one of President Trump’s first executive actions was to...
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What President Trump Should Know about California’s Bullet Train


Friday February 10th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:00am PST   •   0 Comments

In his State of the State address, California governor Jerry Brown went off on President Trump with unusual fury, but he also extended an olive branch of sorts. California has “roads, tunnels and railroads” that the president “could help us with,” Brown said, and that will “create good-paying American jobs.” Before he gets on...
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