We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
An honest accountant dies and St. Peter tells him that he must first spend a day in hell to decide where he wants to be.In hell, he finds beautiful golf courses without greens fees, alluring women who promise to fulfill his fantasies, and a mansion without cost to him.The accountant returns to St. Peter and tells him that hell is his choice.Upon arriving back in hell, it’s a desolated wasteland full of poor wretched souls, the women are decrepit and reject him, and his home is a hovel.The accountant asks the Devil about the change.The Devil replies: Before you were a recruit, now you’re staff.
The former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, respected for honest accounting, Peter Orszag, is now Director of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).Now he’s staff.
His fall from grace was on exhibit several times this past week.
Last Friday, Orszag defended the trimming of itemized deductions by assertingthat, “the best way to boost charitable giving is to jumpstart the economy and raise incomes – and the purpose of the Recovery Act enacted earlier this month was to do precisely that.”
The conclusion of the current Congressional Budget Office on the stimulus Recovery Act?As Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiew reports:
In a Congressional hearing on President Obama’s budget forecast, Orszag was questioned how the budget could count savings based on the “surge” in Iraq continuing for 10 more years when President Obama announced all combat troops would be withdrawn by 2010.The YouTube is here.Orszag counts as “savings” not continuing for 10-years the temporary level of “surge” troops in 2008.Peter Wehner, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, now a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, observes: “This is, even by Washington standards, unusually dishonest. And coming from the administration of Barack Obama, who promised us “honest” accounting and made a big show of how much integrity and candor he would bring to his governing, this is astonishing.”
Democrat Senator Max Baucus, a leader in the Obama administration’s effort to enact sweeping, mostly untested or tested and found wanting, changes to Americans’ health care, pressured the current Director of CBO to cook the books.Senator Baucus: “…it’s not too much of an overstatement to say CBO can make or break health care reform, and I mean that because we got to go by your numbers…I do believe that there are several different intellectually honest pathways to get from here to there. It’s not just one automatic, and so it needs - you got to be ever more creative to find intellectually honest pathways to get the savings we have to have - practically and both politically - to get health care reform.”
A crooked employer asks several applicants for an accounting position the answer to 2 + 2.The winning applicant asks the employer what he wants the answer to be.
That’s the kind of accounting the Obama administration is practicing. It’s not a joke.