What Is Obama Hiding? (AMERICAN THINKER) By Ed Lasky 06/05/12)
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There has been plenty of conjecture regarding Obama´s biography.
Clearly, he has a penchant for fiction and does not care to fact-
check his own life. Nor does he care for others to fact-check or
scrutinize what he has been doing as president. Has this been why he
has been decimating the taxpayers´ best friends in Washington: the
Inspectors general are investigative officials charged with
monitoring government programs for waste, fraud, incompetency,
corruption, and the like. They are the taxpayers´ first line of
defense against a rampaging, out-of-control, and corrupt government.
Unlike many if not most government programs, inspector general
programs have a sterling return on investment. For example, Daniel
Levinson, inspector general of the Health and Human Services
Department, has been an unheralded hero for taxpayers. Since he took
his job a few years ago, his investigations have led to more charges
for health care fraud than ever before, and his office has returned
about $11 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund (see this glowing
profile in Business Week). Even in Obama´s Washington, that is
serious money: those billions that will be available to care for our
nation´s seniors. Levinson certainly is as deserving of the
Presidential Medal of Freedom as Bob Dylan.
Inspectors general are a natural enemy of, let´s say, a politician
who hails from Cook County and who likes to spend with abandon. This
is particularly true when the beneficiaries of the spending are
donors and supporters who can be paid back for their support with
other people´s money. Didn´t Barack Obama define politics as a way
to punish enemies and reward friends? Such is politics done the
Looking at the past three years of Barack Obama´s presidency, there
appears to have been a plan all along to blunt the effectiveness of
inspectors general. This has been done by a variety of ways: by
trying to force through Congress new and richly funded programs akin
to "slush funds" without providing for the oversight that comes from
the inspector general program; by stonewalling and attacking Darrell
Issa, who as chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight
Committee (the two words "reform" and "oversight" are anathema to
Barack Obama) has called for expanding the power of inspectors
general; brutal public personal attacks on various inspectors general
that are meant to drive them from office and chill the investigative
efforts of others; and by deliberately failing to fill vacancies in
the ranks of inspectors general -- a dereliction of duty on the part
of Barack Obama that earned the president a stinging rebuke in a
recent Washington Post editorial ("Where are the inspectors
When Democrats were in control of Congress, President Obama was on a
rampage: pushing through various programs that have gone down the
memory hole because they have been judged failures and have become
unpopular. Foremost among these have been the stimulus boondoggle
Another program Obama attempted to get passed was a $30-billion small
business lending program, shielded from being subject to oversight by
inspectors general. The inspector general who would have overseen
the spending noted that this would leave the program "vulnerable to
potential fraud." Republicans, led by Darrell Issa, were outraged.
Small business lending programs have been a big loser for the federal
government over the years, and the potential for this program to dole
out dollars under a friends and family program was self-evident.
This program never made it, but the agenda was clear.
Few congressmen have been as diligent in defending the taxpayer and
ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the federal government as
has been Congressman Issa. He has bedeviled President Obama´s
administration by launching hearings on a wide variety of government
operations --foremost among them are his investigations involving
Attorney General Eric Holder´s Department of Justice and the
scandalous Fast and Furious program.
But that is just one high-profile investigation he has launched.
Issa has been looking into spending under the stimulus program,
uncovering waste and fraud. Once he assumed the chairmanship after
GOP victories in 2010, Issa called for expanding the power of
inspectors general by granting them expanded subpoena powers. He has
been leading the criticism by House Republicans of Barack Obama´s
failure to staff inspector general posts. He most assuredly has
earned a place on Barack Obama´s enemies list.
Since Issa has been a thorn in Obama´s side, the Democrats have not
only stonewalled his inquiries, but also maneuvered to have
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) win the election as the
ranking minority member on his committee -- a result that surprised
other Democrats, as the spot normally would have gone to
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Political pros realized what
had happened. There was a belief that Cummings would be far more
effective in blocking Issa´s investigations into the Obama White
House than Maloney would. Cummings has been running interference for
But those have not been the only attempts to derail Issa. He has
been subject to fierce attacks in the media in liberal outlets such
as The New Yorker and the New York Times -- obvious attempts to
intimidate him into silence.
However, Darrell Issa is unlikely to fold; he has a safe seat and is
one of the wealthiest members of Congress (he was a very successful
entrepreneur). He can brush these politically motivated attacks
away. This is not true, however, when the administration tries to
bully inspectors general or outright fires them for doing their jobs
all too well.
When one inspector general, Gerald Walpin, found that a political
ally and basketball-playing friend of Barack Obama´s, Sacramento
Mayor Kevin Johnson, was abusing federal funds meant for a charity
for political and personal uses, the White House shifted into its
favorite mode: attack.
Not only was Walpin fired, but when he tried to alert the media to
the scandal, various figures from the administration attacked him in
the most personally destructive way -- all but publicly accusing him
of mental illness.
Walpin has company.
Obama´s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) threatened an inspector
general for daring to tell Congress that the OMB was trying to slash
his budget, crimping his ability to monitor spending and other
actions by the OMB.
There are more victims of this type of fragging by the Obama
administration toward career officials dedicated to watching out for
Neil Barosfky (a lifelong Democrat, incidentally) was the special
inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He
discovered serious flaws behind the administration´s claims. He
thrashed the Treasury for relying on self-reporting by recipients of
TARP money. He wrote that the bailout was falling short of many of
its goals, like preserving home ownership and stimulating the
economy. He also reported that the Treasury had switched accounting
methods in order to promote the view that taxpayers would profit from
the AIG bailout. One analyst depicted the Treasury´s new accounting
method as "Enron-style" accounting.
As I wrote in an earlier column ("Obama´s Ongoing War on Inspectors
What happened? I think we know the script by now. The administration
heaped personal abuse on Barofsky. Jen Psaki, who goes back to the
Obama campaign, serves as the deputy communications director at the
White House. And communicate she did.
On her blog, she attacked Barofsky:
Some people don´t like movies with happy endings[.] ... How else to
explain this week´s report by Sigtarp? Rather than focusing on the
growing evidence we´ve seen in recent months that TARP will be far
less costly than anyone expected, Sigtarp instead sought to generate
a false controversy over AIG to try and grab a few, cheap headlines.
The name calling and vilification continue for seven more paragraphs.
Here, we have Obama´s modus operandi regarding inspectors generals --
the taxpayers´ best friends and the unsung heroes in government.
Barack Obama holds grudges and vendettas. He personalizes politics
and does not like to be shown to be anything other than a superstar.
Barack Obama advised in 2008 that when others bring a knife to a
fight, he brings a gun. He may have broken promises too numerous to
count, but this implied threat has endured. He and his minions do
not care how many people they harm in their goal to hide their
actions from the people. This is especially so when these people are
charged with being the watchdogs for taxpayers.
As the inspector general ranks have been depleted, there has been no
movement by the White House to replace them. This is an
unprecedented dereliction of duty by Barack Obama. Since he has
grown the budget to astronomical levels, monitoring to prevent abuse,
fraud, and incompetency is needed as never before.
And this is precisely the reason why Obama has stalled in replacing
these crucial actors. He does not like to be scrutinized or graded;
it may offend his sensibilities and ego, as well as his political
future. This is a president who gave himself a solid B+ and declared
himself one of the greatest presidents of all time.
What is Obama afraid to disclose to voters and taxpayers? What has
he been hiding? What could embarrass him? We have plenty of examples
that already have been uncovered by the IGs.
There´s an inspector general´s report that the number of green jobs
generated by Obama´s green schemes has been a figment of his and his
campaign-spinners´ imagination; that the drilling moratorium in the
Gulf that has been subject to much scandal (the experts behind the
report that was used to justify the ban denied that they had called
for such a halt) was engineered at the last minute at the behest of
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; one IG has found that the
Obama team and GM have been conspiring to create a rosy image
(cooking the books) behind the purported success of the auto bailout,
according to the IG reviewing the bailout; and the inspector general
monitoring the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on green
energy programs found that the money was directed to projects linked
to big Obama and Democrat donors -- the inspector general said that
they were steered to friends and family. Solyndra is just one
Inspectors general have lately been focusing a great deal of
attention on Obama´s spending on green energy projects. They will be
Marc Thiessen recently wrote a superb column, titled "Forget Bain --
Obama´s public equity record is the real scandal," which reviewed the
disastrous waste of taxpayer money for which Obama and his team bear
Amazingly, Obama has declared that all the projects received
funding "based solely on their merits." But as Hoover Institution
scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book, "Throw Them All Out,"
fully 71 percent of the Obama Energy Department´s grants and loans
went to "individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama´s National
Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party."
Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign,
and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35
billion. Obama said this week it´s not the president´s job "to make
a lot of money for investors." Well, he sure seems to have made a lot
of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine".
All that cronyism and corruption is catching up with the
administration. According to Politico, "The Energy Department´s
inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations"
related to the department´s green-energy programs.
There are surely many other examples of taxpayer abuse waiting to be
plumbed, and hopefully Mitt Romney, if not the media, will enlighten
voters. Romney´s campaign does see potential, as shown by this
commercial featuring Solyndra -- empty and bankrupt, a massive
failure that will cost taxpayers a lot of money -- as a symbol for
all that is wrong about Barack Obama and his agenda.
Barack Obama does not want anyone overseeing his actions as
president. He does not want the incompetency and waste to see the
light of day. He does not want fraud to be exposed. He does not
want his ties to donors and their projects to be public knowledge.
He does not want the American people to realize they have been taken
for a ride.
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