State of The Union….

We all like to think we have all the answers. You know the best way to get somewhere. In stocks you have never picked a loser. Your team? Of course it is the best. Personal pride aside we all take one side or the other of an argument. In my own way I would like to put up a group of ideas which I hope represent a consensus. Disagree if you like and please put me in my place where warranted.

Let’s start with the economy. The last three or four years have been great for some and less than desirable for others. I would say not the top 1% but top 5% have done pretty well. The rest are treading water at best. Housing prices have come back in a dramatic way. By sheer numbers the building slump left us with a low stock of available houses. Supply and demand are never more in evidence. It will really remain to be seen if the trend continues.

The stock market has been soaring but the slightest hint of the Fed tapering sends shivers to the Big Board. It’s been a gift from Uncle Sam. Profits are up considerably but this is the result of belt tightening and the cash on balance sheets portends a lack of investment in the future. When we finish wringing out the towel of industry I hope we will still have room for growth and innovation.

The soft underbelly is the rapidly disappearing middle class. A few have graduated but the majority are being left behind. Wages have been stagnant at best(in this sector) for over a decade. We can invoke trickle down against the good wishes of Pope Francis but it has been no more than a slow drip. There are a lot of people out of work and the prospects aren’t good. It is hitting young people and the not yet retired the worst. Forget about arguing about minimum wage. If you make $7.25 an hour you are earning around $15k per year. If you earn $10 an hour that’s about $21k. Hardly a king’s ransom. How far would you get on these stipends?

The military is a quagmire. We spend more than the next four countries combined(including China) on defense. We are the world’s policeman. We have operations at 700 overseas military bases. We say we need this weapons system or that but cost overruns and waste are just downright sinful. There is a cozy relationship between the brass, corporate America and politicians that make this endeavor as a whole unwieldy at best and bordering on unworkable. Nobody want us to be defenseless but fat and bloated are the watchwords and they are not flattering.

During sequester there have been very obvious cutbacks like the canceling of the Blue Angels, football flyovers etc. I say BS. According to a good friend with pretty good knowledge the boys have pockets of cash everywhere they can tap into. I don’t say starve to death but establish priorities and go on a strict diet. More than anything learn how to optimize and be efficient. This comes down to being realistic about specs to avoid $23 screwdrivers and $300 toilet seats. Overturn the fiefdoms of weapons systems that continue to be funded even though there is no hope of their success or deployment.

The climate is what it is. I really don’t know if it is man made or not but we are warming. You can’t pump tons of crap from every mechanical device into the atmosphere without even giving it a thought. I believe we are somewhat caught in the noose in that there is no way we are going to reverse things. I find it uncanny we want the third world countries to work on their ecosystems when we have been blowing up ours for a century.

Hunger and poverty are real especially in the US of A. For a moment let’s say there are a mere 25 million of our fellow countrymen who go to sleep hungry every night. Let’s set the poverty line higher so there are only 27 million living below the poverty level. Forget about the human failure. Do you realize what people living under duress cost us a year in education, malnutrition and crime costs? Oh I forgot. The system will take care of these people eventually. Why is that any worry of mine?

Politics are the cesspool of our country. After Thanksgiving dinner I thought of gluttons at the trough. Just picture, politicians. business and lobbyists fighting over the carcass claiming the most lucrative pieces for themselves. For better or worse I have been studying the inner workings of  legislative and corporate America. It is beyond disheartening. Politicians are on the take but corporate gives to get their own particular phrase or favor. Vested interests via “consultants” thrive on ambiguity and complexity. Make it unreadable by sheer length and unfathomable by its ornate features. And in the end it means money for all….except us.

Politicians, staff, enforcement officers go into private industry( lobbying/consulting) to show the way to avoid prosecution, or get around this loophole or that. They created them. They know the way and you are more than willing to pay for it. Money is a multi headed monster that gives with one limb and devours with the other. The appetites are insatiable.

I think it really resides with us. I can stop doing this and by default my lovely wife will be a lot happier. I won’t shriek and howl after reading this or that. But there is something inside of me that says I can’t just sit by. Forget about whether I can actually do anything. My acquiescence would the worst possible thing I could do for my kids and grandkids.

Melodramatic? I think not. How many of us have not given to curry favor? How many look the other way at an acquaintance or associate who is doing dead wrong? Blame it on Fox or CNN whatever your bent. Call anyone a bastard who upsets your sense of comfort. Our State of The Union? I think we have a fabulous country that has been taken hostage. Gone is the sense of collaboration. Every man for himself and survival of the fittest. These are givens but we can change that. It just takes guts. I hope we or someone has them.

As always

Ted The Great


In the coming weeks I hope to talk about tax reform, education and immigration reform. Hold me to it

Overseas we have 50,000 troops in Japan, more than 100,000 in Germany, 11,000 in England and 23,000 in Italy to name a few.

The Military budget for the US is around $680 billion. The Congress gives more than 58% of “discretionary ” spending to  the military. We account for 40% of global arms spending. In 2010 The GAO stated that 98 Major Defense Acquisition Program were $402 billion over budget and 22 months behind schedule.

Income inequality in the US is not unusual. It is smallest in Maine and greatest in Texas. The share of total income for the top 1% went from 11.3% in 1979 to 20.9% in 2007. There is no doubt the middle class must educate and train more but with dwindling resources things like college tuition fall by the wayside. Everyone and I repeat everyone has to have a hand in the solution.

Coincident with this is we tend not to go where the jobs are. Unemployment in the Dakotas are around 3%. California, Georgia, Michigan. Rhode Island , Illinois and Nevada range from 8.75%- 9.5%.

The unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds is 24%. For 20-24 year olds it is 13%. Who is going to pay for Social Security and Medicare?

Happy New Year. It will be great if we ALL get our asses in gear. And that is a factoid.

Words To Live By…..

I just finished visiting my good friend Fr. Michael at the  Samaritan House homeless shelter. I brought him goodies I knew he would like…..a pack of two dollar bills. This way he can be Santa without looking ostentatious. He is one of the most charitable and kind people I know. He made me think of Dr. Nancy Sneiderman’s comments on the Today show as they were discussing the holidays. She stated,”Religion is what mucks the whole thing up.” My thoughts weren’t so much outrage as much as bewilderment. Have we truly forgotten the way Christmas got started? Are we that far removed?

Then I was sent the following by a friend. It just sums things up for me. I hope Ben Stein does not mind me stealing it. He read it during the broadcast of CBS Sunday News. Ben’s forte is money and investing but he can be my sage anytime.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said okay. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said okay.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with, “we reap what we sow.”

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards,

Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein”

And to all of you a Merry Christmas. Hug your family, dogs or just someone on the street. Instead of worrying about what you are going to get just think about giving of yourself.  Thank you all for being such good friends and putting up with my musings. We all have mailing lists. I hope you send this to yours.

As Always

Ted The Great

Santa needs fighter escorts. To hit all the homes it is estimated he cruises at 650 miles a second  and in that time makes it down 822 chimneys per second. If you object to the fighters,get a life.

There are 60 million Xmas trees cut annually in Europe. It takes 15 years for the tree to mature. For every one cut, there are three planted. You can actually eat the tree. It is a good source of roughage and Vitamin C. We are now producing upside down artificial trees so you can get more presents under them. I can’t make this stuff up.

St Francis was the first to start singing carols in church in the 13th century

The long build up for Christmas shopping started in WW II so you could make sure the packages arrived in time overseas. What’s our excuse now?

Why Us?……

When you live in a fabulous place like Colorado there are givens. When you get up in the morning you are greeted by the sun…over 320 days a year. When you walk down the street odds are the person coming the other way is under 40, loves the outdoors and is pretty well educated. We are a purple state and unfortunately at election time we are inundated by ads from both sides. Such is our lot. And for some unknown reason we are the center of gun or bomb wielding misfits that feel it is their right to blow themselves and others apart.

I was in church Sunday. Father Mike was waxing poetically about nothing in particular and a young girl left the pew where her family was sitting. She had tears in her eyes and was distraught. She wore an Arapahoe High School sweatshirt. Headlines meet reality. I have two girls that once were that young and innocent. I have seven grandchildren who will face things like this several times in their lives. Commonplace and quickly relegated to page 12 in the second section. How sad.

If you haven’t been there, you thank your lucky stars. You gawk at the TV for a period of time partly because the ritual makes it somehow unreal and by watching maybe, just maybe it will turn out differently. Then again  the footage is in  the worst way voyeurism and you relish the fact the grisly scene is hundreds or thousands of miles away both physically and in your heart. Oh well, back to my life.

I really think it is a cultural thing and not just unique to the Rockies. Yes we are outdoorsy and adore the hunter gatherer mentality. Men are men and drive pickups. But you can see the same gig at a college or NFL game. Tailgating and screaming for blood are not only commonplace but part of our psyches. A young man named Keshown Moreno is our running back. A couple of weeks ago we were playing Kansas City and during the National Anthem there he was with tears flowing from his eyes. He was just proud and felt so lucky to be there he would state later. Many couch potatoes and commentators of the testosterone nation thought he should have been stronger and not show feelings. What a pussy!

We are enamored and obsessed with weaponry. As a kid of course I loved to blow up coffee cans with a cherry bombs. In Viet Nam you do brandish an M60 or a handheld grenade launcher and macho kicks in. Put your thumbs on the trigger of twin 50’s and as the spray of miniature missiles rakes back and forth there is a little Rambo in all of us. But that was war and we are supposedly civilized. When you see the destruction of both friend or foe the rubber meets the road. These are not good things.

We vacillate and ponder. I have a right to bear arms but does that mean an arsenal? If you can’t defend yourself with fifteen rounds should you even have a gun? We shoot down gun registration laws because you are infringing on my rights. And yet does anyone want to talk about my right to walk down the street or go into a mall without fear of having an urban warrior mow me down? Tell that mom and dad whose daughter had her head blown off about your rights. I am sure they would feel for you.

I was fascinated by the reaction of media types and solons who felt Pope Francis was over the top in his criticism of capitalism. Rush Limbaugh thought he was a Marxist but said he had really liked him up to this point. No more. Sara Palin and Forbes magazine weighed in. The former governor had not read the encyclical  but she thought it sounded pretty liberal. Despite these weighty observations no one got it that he was talking in a spiritual not political sense. We have made it a habit of politicizing everything even showing charity toward your fellow man.

I was getting a cup of coffee the other day and there was a guy bitching about all the hoopla that went with the passing of some “friggin’ South African dude.” Incredibly after 27 years of hard time he embraced his jailers. He got into government and got it to change a whole culture called apartheid. He cheered an all white rugby team and then moved on to let others take up the mantle. Why would any one want to honor this guy’s memory? We have more important things to do .

Yes I am in the Christmas spirit. I want to be charitable and give to you and others. I would love my hunter friends to have all they need to pursue their interests. Just keep it reasonable and register. We are not going to tail you any more than the NSA does now.  I would love all my rich friends to keep all their money if they see fit. Just figure out how much you really need and leave a little for others. I would also like to figure out how we can solve this immigrant situation. I would like to reach out because my grandparents were visitors to Ellis Island oh so long ago and somehow I can’t be dismissive . I would like to help someone make a decent wage. It may be a hit to profits but I think we would get used to that. It would take a week of all of us living on $7.25 an hour to maybe see the light.

I ask why us and know it is not just Coloradans. I ask why us and I know deep down you all know the answer. We can’t live in an anonymous world where the victim of a hit and run lies in a snowdrift on a busy highway in Vail for 20 minutes before some one stops to help. We can’t make it all about me. Hey, that would be wonderful in some ways but sooner or later we need each other. Or like the dinosaurs we can be made extinct by an asteroid of our own design. Why us? We better figure that out soon.

As always

Ted The Great


If you make $7.25 an hour and work a forty hour week you will make approximately $15,000 per annum. $10 per hour comes to $20,000. $15 per hour rounds out to around $30,000.

80% of the workforce is on hourly wage. About 4 million make the minimum or 5% of the workforce. Vast majority of those are under 25.

In the US last year there were 31,076 homicides which comes to 85 per day or a little over 3 every hour. 10,000 were by gun. By contrast Germany and Canada had 200. Spain 100. and Australia around 50.

There are 275 million guns in the US. That’s 89 per 100 citizens. Serbia is in second with 58 per and Yemen third at 54. Interestingly Canada has 30, Palestine 3.4, Syria 3.9 and Viet Nam 1.7 per 100.

Since Newtown one year ago, 194 kids under 12 have been killed by guns. 127 of these were in their own homes.

There are 11.5 million undocumented(we used to call them illegal) immigrants in the US. 59% of those are of Mexican origin. There has been no new  net migration in the last two years. At least we have a number we can work with but unfortunately the problem is not going away.

Just for Fun:  Pour a drink and enjoy these two.

Google:……  Bob Hope Christmas | Big Geek Daddy

Put in your address line……

Have We Lost It?……

Last weekend I decided to check out my new surroundings and since it was -5F what better time to amble over to the mall. It is a mere 1/4 mile and I of course have plenty of insulation. Opening hour is 10:00 AM but I arrive at 9:40 so it is time for a Starbucks. Not triple Chai non fat latte or whatever for me. Just a Venti black. Actually it is the only thing I know how to order.  Window shopping is next.

Whoa. The Apple store is open or so it would seem. There is a large dude that doesn’t really look Silicon Valley who is the official greeter. He is engaged with a potential patron so I slide by into the cyber wonder world. As I start to play with this or that the Big Boy gets me in his sights. Interloper. You don’t have an appointment! We don’t open til 10! But the door was open. Makes no difference we need an official Apple person to escort you around. I would like to tell you he was friendly and courteous. Not the case. Better move on TTG.

As I wandered down the walkway there were a few stores open including Brookstone. For the uninitiated this emporium is chock full of totally weird and useless things to either occupy your time or give to some unsuspecting relative. My type of place. The staff could not have been friendlier. Now chock a block with Hi Test caffeine my mind searched for answers. Apple didn’t want me in. These people couldn’t wait to relieve me of my cash. What’s wrong with this picture? I dropped a little over $150 in a matter of moments. What was I thinking? Maybe they got the message  I was the customer and not some shoplifter. Oh well.

It’s 10:00 now and I am out of here. Was this Black Friday? The loonies came out of the woodwork. Geez Louise. That lady got home and realized she had 15 “things” for Sally and only 13 for Mary. These people are on a mission and I am right smack dab in their way. Wait a minute this is December 7th. I feel like the USS Arizona and the Jap Zeroes are coming out of the sun. When in doubt, head for the Food Court.

This is really emblematic of our sophisticated palates. Where else in the civilized world could you have your choice of Cinnabuns, pizza or the Wok and Roll at this hour of the day? As it turns out there is a reason they are open this early. The place is packed….and not every one looks like they have just run five miles.

As I made my way home I couldn’t help but dwell on the scene of conspicuous consumption. Goods and food. There had been an ad on TV for a place called the Golden Corral. They now have a triple waterfall. You go up to this thing and stick ice cream, a cookie or your head underneath and presto chango you now have covered it in several layers of chocolate. And you can go back as many times as you want. That’s after bottomless ribs or southern fried chicken. And bring the kids. They are half price. If they served booze you would probably never leave.

When I got back to our high rise roost I opened my Denver Post. Sports page first of course. Lo and behold there is an article about Robinson Cano. It seems the Seattle Mariners are going to pay this dude $240 million over 10 years… play baseball. Now as always quick to decipher, I figure out that this guy is getting $65,000 a day for the next 3,650. Even more astute as I take management to task there is the fact that somehow you and I and every other loyal patron of Comcast or some other cable provider are PAYING FOR THIS. What the heck ? It is only a game.

Later on I chat with my nephew who pushes(I mean sells ) real estate on Long Island. Specializing in the Hamptons he tells of every manner of wildlife that has come to call the area home. They migrate every summer but not wanting to pack bags they are purchasing and not renting domiciles. There are plenty of wonderful scapes but none that quite meet the standards of our weary travelers. So they buy a place for $5-6 million and do what they have to. Tear it down. Then they rebuild twice the size on the same size lot and Voila you have Queens coming to the beach. I can’t make this stuff up.

Having had too much of a good thing I take my lovely bride to the movies….Last Vegas. This is a cute but reasonably funny fun flick. It tells of the Flatbush Four which is made up of old friends from the neighborhood in the 50’s. Morgan Freeman,Kevin Cline, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas are the culprits who have gone their way in life but are getting together for one last stand in Vegas. There is no more over the top place in these United States.

As I watched the gambling and boobs parade by I couldn’t help but think of my last (truly last ) trip there. Everything is engineered to remove money form your wallet and still have you smile. I had a hooker greet me as I went down for coffee at 6:00 AM and ask me if I wanted to start my day off with a smile? I just guessed at the time because there are no clocks anywhere. As the credits rose at the end of the flick I thought about my passage in the everyday life of TTG.

There is nothing accusatory about my reflection. I am strictly observational. Do what you want to do. Let he who is without sin. Not this guy. But I do wonder if we have lost it and I mean perspective. Just go to the tape of the day and tell me if yours is much different. It seems we are driven and that is good. But do we have any brakes on these cars? Do we at least slow down for turns? I am all for pushing envelopes but did it ever occur to you we just might be pushing our luck? At the next exit I think I am just going to pull over and look at the   scenery. Then I will be back on the road but hopefully a little wiser. I haven’t lost it yet.

As always

Ted The Great.


Approximately 40 million people visit Las Vegas annually. The average age is 45. There are over 21,000 conventions per year. Watch out for those Shriners with the Fezes. They are a dead giveaway.  People gamble $9.4 billion  a year in Clark County.

As a country we spend $6 billion a year on Christmas lights. None of them work the next year. You can now have your lights put up by somebody for around $1000-1200

The US spends $700 per person on gifts with a GDP of $50,000. The Dutch spend $200 with a GDP of $40,000. I  guess that’s why they call it going dutch.

The average batting average for the major leagues is around 250. The average ERA is 3.85 Cable costs increase 5-10% per annum. It is estimated 50% of that cost is due to sports.

Food Consumption per person in United States

Poultry /Meat                                Cheese                         High Fructose Corn Syrup

1950                     138lbs                                     7.7lbs                                     0

2012                    200lbs                                     30lbs                                     42lbs

Obesity Rate 1950      9%                2012  35%

It is estimated 80% of today’s diseases(heart,cancer,diabetes etc) are caused by diet and environment and ergo  preventable.

None of Our Business

Unless you have been on the latest Chinese rocket ship to outer space you have seen clips from Sunday night’s “60 Minutes.”  Jeff Bezos, CEO from, was holding court with Charlie Rose. He was enumerating  fact after fact of how many times and how fast they process goods  and then blew everyone away with the future…at least as he saw it. His company has been researching the use of drones to deliver packages. Some were in awe and some said he was nuts and yet there he was at least thinking about it. Very cool.

I started doing a little research. It seems Amazon can process over 300 orders per second! That is crazy. Sir Jeff goes on to describe how in the early days he would bring the packages to the post office himself. His one big dream was to one day have so much business in a warehouse that he could buy a fork lift. From the tiny acorn a great oak grows. This fiasco of a healthcare rollout got me thinking even more. We are trying to take care of a few thousand inquiries an hour.

Let’s look at Facebook. They have 1.26 billion users worldwide. There are 2.2 billion hits a day. Big deal,you say.  You just give a thumbs up or down. kiddies we are talking about a complex site for Obamacare. Okay, let’s look at Google. There are 3 billion inquiries for info daily. 500 million are for things they have never been queried on before. They peruse 20 billion sites to find you the correct answer in seconds. Are you getting my drift?

For a moment let’s not debate the efficacy of the Affordable Care Act but the process. For three years now we have been planning the rollout. I say we because like it or not you and I foot the bill. At the helm is Kathleen Sebelius. Her resume states she had been Governor of Kansas and before that the state’s insurance commissioner. Hold that thought and become a head hunter. Would you have chosen this person to be the head of a $982 billion corporation? To give a little perspective Walmart is a $470 billion enterprise, GE $147 billion and Ford Motor a mere $134 billion.

Let’s get off that bandwagon and swing onto defense. Chuck Hagel is a nice guy like Ms. Sebelius. He was an enlisted man in the Army and went to Viet Nam. Thank you for your service. He went on to become a US Senator and then Secretary of Defense. He is now in charge of a $683 billion corporation with worldwide operations and a multitude of subsidiaries. Was he in your top ten of candidates?

Don’t be so smug all you righties. This ain’t particularly  Anti Obama. You remember Mike Leavitt. He was HHS secretary under Bush. He went to Southern Utah University and then was Governor of Utah. The BeeHive state is beautiful but I am not sure it is a proving ground for executive talent. Paul Bremer was the civilian in charge for Iraq when we invaded. His management expertise was drawn from a diplomatic career. In the first few days he fired 400,000 Iraqi soldiers who would have cost us $12 million a month to keep on….and out of the way. Gotta watch those numbers and it only cost us $1.25 trillion to get out of that one.

Now let’s just say you are a stockholder of the overall entity. Unfortunately we are.  You keep putting up money on a annual basis. We are taking some pretty big losses year over year. The balance sheet doesn’t look so good to the tune of  $16 trillion in the red. That’s okay because we should start turning a profit in say around 2025. Hey. Twitter is losing money too.

I’ll tell you what. Let’s do some cost cutting. We will close down some money losing operations, fire staff and rein in expenditures. Right. We have weapons systems that have been defunded for years  but the offices remain open. Ditto about one hundred military installations that serve no other purpose than to prop up the local economy. We need Carl Icahn, Leon Black and KKR to come in and clean house.

Maybe we can do it internally?  One of our divisions(Health and Human Services) has between $80-100 billion in fraudulent transactions per annum but they are making progress. They recovered fully $5 billion of those lost funds with a small group of investigators. What’s that you say? Hire more watchdogs? Can’t do that. The Board of Directors (Congress) doesn’t want you to go this route. It wouldn’t look good to be bringing on new staff.

That’s okay we have a lean business plan to guide us. Our primary revenue blueprint has 4 million words in the code. It is so fraught with loopholes it is a wonder anyone pays in. Back in the 30’s and 40’s we had laws that were only a few pages long. Yeah but they didn’t have a clue how tough this governing thing is.

One thing we do know is how to budget and plan for our future. I can prove that. It is estimated that most infrastructure projects run only 38% over what was projected. We have this thing down to a science. Jet fighters, aircraft carriers, web sites? You have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. Relax,we are getting there. It is a learning curve.

We are finally getting this exchange website going. A senior exec from Google is on leave  from California and leading the charge. Duh? We have burned through millions of dollars and precious man (and woman) hours to finally figure this out. There are people in government who are very talented. I am sure there are a lot of nice well meaning people in government that really don’t have a clue. Then there are a bunch of fat cats (elected,appointed,and civil serviced) who see it as one big gravy train. Keep your mouth shut and try to stay out of trouble.

It would humorous and somewhat intriguing if it wasn’t a $3.5 trillion business with 2.75 million employees. It is beyond unwieldly and out of control. We need to streamline. We need a stockholder revolt. We need a new strategic plan. We need a new board of directors. It really is some of our business. Let’s storm the Bastille or wherever.

As always

Ted The Great


Health and Human Services has several thousand people still  on its rolls who are dead. They pay them Social Security and Government Pension funds annually. They say the few hundred million we dole out is not considered a priority.

In 2008 The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported that 72 weapons programs in the military have average cost overruns of 40%

The Capitol Visitor Center was projected to cost $265 million in 2000. The final cost was $621 million in 2008.  Think it was worth it to see these schmoes up front and personal?

The Big Dig in Boston was originally pegged at $2.6 billion in 1986 and was opened in 2005. The total cost including interest will be $22 billion. For that a concrete ceiling tile that was substandard fell and killed a motorist.

The majority of these overruns are plagued by poor project planning and lack of experience. The government should be in the business of legislating and the management of projects and facilities should be left to private business who can be both rewarded for achievement and culpable for failure. Hey, I can dream can’t I?