Oh Look! It’s a Billion Wasted!


by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

Wow, man, it’s misdirection again — on purpose!

A new audit about a Pentagon agency losing hundreds of millions of dollars is reported by Politico as an “exclusive.” While that’s technically correct, a government agency losing or wasting or misplacing millions, billions and even trillions of dollars (this is not hyperbole, folks) is nothing new.

Politico’s report is a reminder of what bloated, unaccountable government gets you.

Uh huh.

By the way, the report is true.  And while it should enrage you that our government treats money so cavalierly, given that you pay taxes, and they are running a huge deficit anyway, it is an utter misdirection, and an intentional one, to keep your eye off the ball when it comes to where the structural problems are in government spending that, if not addressed now, will cause the collapse of our economy and markets.

That’s in health care.

Most problems that have some level of complexity to them can be “80% solved” quite easily.  The last 20% is really hard, but it’s also where all of the attention is focused when it comes to the budget.  That above-referenced article, which managed to hit the top line of Faux Snooz, is just one example.  It focuses your attention on a very real, but mathematically immaterial, part of the problem — and one that is both diffuse and common enough that actually fixing all of it will be quite hard.

As I’ve pointed out in my article “The Low-Hanging Fruit” there is a very simple fix for a $400 billion+ waste and scam in government spending that takes place every single year.  It also takes place in the private sector as well, and likely wastes at least as much there, so we’re talking close to a trillion dollars — each and every year.

It’s not diffuse, and thus it’s easy to address should people care to because it can be fixed with one policy change aimed in one direction instead of having to spread a lot of effort and attention all over the millions of government workers and thousands of agencies.

When have you ever seen a Faux Snooz — or CNN for that matter — article on that point?  Never, and the reason is simple: It would actually put a monstrous dent in the deficit, it would do it immediately, it’s focused and easy to do and yet it would also stop a huge scam that is not only making a lot of people very rich it is also killing and maiming a sizable number of Americans each and every year.

This makes it unacceptable to actually do unless you, the American public, rise up and demand it, being willing to enforce that demand through any means necessary.  Why?  Because if it’s done then all the people who profit mightily from that near-trillion dollar annual expense no longer steal that money.

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