Monday, February 19, 2018

As long as we’re on the subject…..

Fraud, waste, and abuse that is, slathered in lard….or rendered pork fat, for the non-foodie.

   

As the saying goes, pork fat rules.

Remember this post from last August?

http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/2017/08/yes-brunswick-just-like-we-told.html

It included this string of visuals and the takeaway line that summed them up:

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Wonder why this deserves to be called ANYTHING but a private freakin’ airport?  Just take a look at these snips, from the Forecaster as well:

image

image

image

image

Private airport you say?  The hell it is!  The figures above come to “more than”

$12,778,000

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Hence the “yes there is a Santa Claus” slant we gave the earlier post.

Ever at your service, if not Speedy Gonzalez in all such matters, we went after the documentation for the latest “$2 million plus” grant.  We spent, as we recall, something like $9.00 to have MRRA staff reproduce the relevant document, some 53 pages, for us.  The vast majority of that document is standard boilerplate that will make your eyes glaze under.

To shield you from such pain, we distilled the source document down to 16 pages of germane substance, and posted them to scribd for you to read and weep….or whatever might float your aircraft in such instances.  You’ll find it here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/371890889/MRRA-2Meg-Grant-Docs-Oct-2017

           

Reading the pages again today made us want to wring a figurative neck or twenty while at the same time weeping uncontrollably for the unmitigated incompetence and reckless spending of taxpayer dollars that is rife among “public servants,” at all levels – municipal, state, and federal.  Some have taller ladders and can reach further up the money tree, but they all go picking all year long.

We hope you’ll read the pages we scanned and posted for you; they provide some real insights if you reflect on them just a bit.

Here are some of the “highlights” we gleaned from the pages:

  • This is Phase 4 of the Hangar Improvement Program.
  • “Preliminary expense,” undefined, is $231,000.
  • Project inspection fees are $121,200.  Wow….what precision, and what an absurd sum.  How long will it take to confirm that painting was done, lavatories were upgraded, and light bulbs were changed?  How many tiers of subcontractors are dining out on this item alone?
  • Summation of the work done for $2 million plus is as follows:image

Enough; let’s cut to the chase.  As we told you in that post in August:

Turns out we’ve got some insight for you.  According to staff at the facility, the average day at Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM) sees 3 (three) takeoff and landing events.  That’s equivalent to 1,100 a  year. 

Surely you can see why millions of dollars for improving those hangars are critical to BXM success!  You can, can’t you?  Trust on this, because we’re not like all the others.

In round numbers, then, the federal government has been chipping in about $2,000 for each and every takeoff and landing event.  That doesn’t count the fed’s administrative costs, interest expense, and all the rest.  Our wild guess is that easily adds another $1,000 per event, for a grand total of $3,000 per that taxpayers and lenders and printers have to cough up.

Simply put, this is a gigantic rip-off of taxpayers, and a total abuse of the public trust, enthusiastically abetted by the likes of our Senators….King, Angus, and Susan Collins…so they can be glorified in the local print and electronic media.

Here’s the way we see this whole “grant” scheme working.  Various entities of federal and state government are allocated blocks of funding for such purposes, whether it makes sense or not.

It reminds us of when the Sides were first married.  Mrs. Side would ask “how much is in the checkbook?,” to which we responded “why do you ask?”  Her response?: “so I know how much I can spend.”  How’s that for robust budgeting on the home front?

The whole idea of “grants” is that they automatically carry a veneer of necessity and carefully vetted project spending.

We assert just the opposite; that they are a masking of the pork parade, a lovely sauce if you will, to hide the pork fat while touting the lean.  Just look at the Royal Junction Siding Project we just told you about.

We believe the granting organizations each year seek absurd sums in block form to fund their grant programs, citing the requests and applications submitted in prior years to demonstrate how “great the need is.”  Which reminds me of Mrs. Side putting together a list of every item she would like replaced in our humble abode, and the renovations, expansions, and upgrades she also considers “necessary and vital.”

Budget deliberators, demonstrating their fiscal responsibility, take a $1 billion grant program request and pare it down to $500 million or so, in order to “save taxpayers money and avoid running up the deficit and the national debt.”

That’s the equivalent of us taking the raw request from our spouse for $100,000 in household investment in this budget year, and paring it down to $50,000 or so, which we don’t begin to have for any such work.

Once the requesting government organization gets their annual grant fund allocation, you can bet they will spend it all, and the choices will be made with the clear-eyed guidance of elected officials who “know best” what the actual needs are.  All the money will get spent, whether there is rational justfication or not.

What a crock of crap.  Pure pork distribution,  pandering, and glorification of office-holders.  Do King and Collins really want us to believe they carefully reviewed the grant applications, and only approved those that are critical, especially in the context of our annual deficits and out of control federal debt?

This is the equivalent of your teenager coming to you and asking for $250 to spend on a good time this coming weekend, and you declaring that you’ll only give him $150.  After doing so, you tell your frau what a miser you are in such matters, and how you’re watching out for family finances.  All while telling your kid how grateful he should be for your generosity, and how he ought to give you another few years to serve as his father.

Yeah, that’s the way to do things.  When he wants you to buy him a new $30,000 truck because he’s graduating from High School, tell him you’ll only spring for a used one at $20,000 or less.

                                     

Geez; what a stingy son bitch you are, Old Man!

1 comment:

  1. There was once a time when somebody would have been embarrassed by a revelation such as this. But, no more. Investigations would have begun. Heads would have rolled. But, no more. Even if this was republished in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, nothing would come of it. Today, this is business as usual. Those who have the clout to do something are the same as the perpetrators.

    Pull over to the shoulder, Side. Put on your 4-way flashers and let the fraud, corruption and abuse pass you by. Heads are not going to roll.

    That said, I congratulate you on an investigative reporter job well done.

    ReplyDelete