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Category “Government Spending”

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Moody’s: A “Default” in 2013 Won’t Be Same as, Or as Bad as 2011

Somehow, this has not been as wildly reported as it probably should be.

Again, as anyone who’s had credit problems can tell you (and this is 21st Century America, so who hasn’t?), as long as you’re making payments and aren’t adding on new debt, you’re creditors won’t sick their dogs on you.

We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact. The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury’s extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default.

But, but, all the money we owe?  The Chinese?  The Markets?

Yes, those are important, but if we actually got spending under control, they won’t come calling.

Is the situation worse now than it was in 2011, the last time that the debt limit was an issue? No. The budget deficit was considerably larger in 2011 than it is currently, so the magnitude of the necessary spending cuts needed after 17 October is lower now than it was then.

The real question going forward now is this: Will we keep adding to our debt, or will we finally do something (entitlement reform?) to stop it from growing?

Another blank check isn’t the answer, and D.C. needs to start figuring that out soon, or we’re all living in a Banana Republic in 30 years…

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99 Percent of ObamaCare Applicants Didn’t Get Through

In reality, no one appears to have gotten through in the now-six day old “HealthCare.gov.”  (Now back “under construction” this weekend as the IT dorks try to get it past the “Beautiful, but useless Word Press blog” stage…)  Well, there was a report that a 20-something got in, but apparently he didn’t.

[Of course the funnier part in that story was that he was a plant from Organizing for America, of which he’s been employed or with since 2007…]

It’s a batting average that won’t land the federal marketplace for Obamacare into the Healthcare Hall of Fame.

As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan, several insurance industry sources told CNBC on Friday. Some of the problems involve how the exchange’s software collects and verifies an applicant’s data.

“It is extraordinary that these systems weren’t ready,” said Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, which handles data integrity issues for major insurers including WellPoint and Cigna, as well as multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

Experts said that if Healthcare.gov‘s success rate doesn’t improve within the next month or so, federal officials could face a situation in January in which relatively large numbers of people believe they have coverage starting that month, but whose enrollment applications are have not been processed.

“It could be public relations nightmare,” said Nijhawan. Insurers have told his company that just “1 in 100” enrollment applicants being sent from the federal marketplace have provided sufficient, verified information.

According to CNBC, another insurer they talked to who was processing HealthCare.gov enrollments — but didn’t provide his or his company’s name — said that they were getting half completed applications, going so far as saying that many of the applications look like they are coming from corrupted data.

No wonder computer security experts like John McAfee say the entire system is a “hacker’s wet dream.”

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The gang over at Reason.TV put out a video yesterday explaining how in three ways, Apple’s iOS 7 release is nothing like ObamaCare.

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WWII Veterans Blow Past Barricade at Memorial Set Up for Shutdown

“Washington Monument Syndrome” has hit a new level when this has to happen.

For what it is worth, I’ve found the placing of barricades at open-air monuments completely idiotic.  This is the Parks Service acting as willing political accomplices by pretty much caging off the Mall and its monuments when they regularly don’t on a nightly basis.

Shutdown or not, there’s very little reason to close attractions that aren’t in buildings, can be accessed to the public simply by walking up to  them, and only need to have barriers up when the POTUS or any other VIP is visiting.

Kudos to PJ Media for catching this story on video.

 This anecdote at NROs’ The Corner explains exactly why the Parks Service is “the political shock troops of any President during a government shutdown.”

In the past the employees of the National Park Service have enthusiastically served as the President’s shock troops in going out of their way to maximize the inconvenience to the public of any federal shutdown, and this time around is no exception.  Case in point is the Fredericksburg battlefield in the center of the town.  Other than the museum/office, all parts of the battlefield and the two parking lots that serve it are open 24/7 even though staff depart at 5:00.  Indeed it would be impossible to close it off since there are no gates or fences to secure it.  Nonetheless the NPS staff have risen to the challenge and have placed orange cones at the four entrances to the two parking lots.  Of course you can still visit the battlefield, you’ll just have to park someplace else.  They have also locked the gates to the cemetery, suggesting that their play at partisan politics is more important than America’s right to honor its war dead.  But even this egregious gesture is largely symbolic since the cemetery is unfenced in parts and the able bodied  can simply walk up a grass hill to get in.

That’s from Ron Utt, formerly of the Heritage Foundation.  He now writes military history books.

Now…can someone explain to me why we haven’t privatize security for the Parks Service yet?

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