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Thread: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

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    GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    By SEUNG MIN KIM | 4/16/12 1:17 PM EDT Updated: 4/16/12 2:42 PM EDT

    A top General Services Administration official who was in charge of organizing a lavish Las Vegas conference that’s drawn congressional and taxpayer fire repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination Monday on Capitol Hill.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75192.html

    Ironically, one of the functions of the GSA to "develop government-wide cost minimizing policies" (according to Wiki). See why some of us are not comfortable with trusting govt agencies to police themselves?
    Last edited by X Factor; 04-16-12 at 04:19 PM.

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal - Seung Min Kim - POLITICO.com Ironically, one of the functions of the GSA to "develop government-wide cost minimizing policies" (according to Wiki). See why some of us are not comfortable with trusting govt agencies to police themselves?
    Great post and so true. Why should ANYONE pay higher taxes when they do that with OUR money?
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post
    Great post and so true. Why should ANYONE pay higher taxes when they do that with OUR money?
    There will always be some waste or corruption in any organization.

    The important thing is to root it out and stop it not to use it as an excuse not perform your civic duty
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    There will always be some waste or corruption in any organization.

    The important thing is to root it out and stop it not to use it as an excuse not perform your civic duty
    I pay all my taxes, but I resent them just wasting what I give them. Medicare fraud accounts for $1350 per insured per year.

    $4 Billion of Medicare Fraud Recovered in 2010

    Tougher Security Measures Take Bigger Bite out of US' Estimated $90 Billion Medicare Fraud Problem

    (AP) MIAMI - Federal health officials announced new security measures Monday to combat Medicare fraud, including tougher screenings for providers and the ability to withhold payments during investigations.

    Authorities recovered $4 billion in health care fraud judgments last year - a record high up 50 percent from 2009 - according to a new report.

    Authorities have long said the solution to solving the nation's estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in vigorously screening providers and stopping payment to suspicious ones, ending the antiquated "pay and chase" system authorities say has kept them one step behind criminals.

    $4 Billion of Medicare Fraud Recovered in 2010 - CBS News
    $4 billion of $60 billion is 6.7%, that's if the fraud is only $60 billion. If it's $90 billion then it's 4.4%. Instead of stopping the waste and fraud, they'd much rather just keep piling on the taxes.

    Not another dime till the stop the waste.

    Seriously, if you hired a contractor to build you a deck and he used the money to go to Vegas and lost it, would you give him more to finish the deck?
    Last edited by Prof. Peabody; 04-16-12 at 04:44 PM.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    I pay all my taxes, but I resent them just wasting what I give them. Medicare fraud accounts for $1350 per insured per year.
    I think everybody resents people wasting that money. Saying that we should just get rid of Medicare because fraud happens is ridiculous though. Fraud and waste will happen whenever there's large amounts of money at stake. The goal should be to hire the best people possible to protect our investment not cut funding which just ensures this will happen more often.

    A friend of mine use to work at a large "non-profit" insurance firm. One of his major jobs was to screw over Medicare. He got well compensated. On the other side of the fence...those rooting out fraud they got paid 1/3rd of what he did. Guess who generally wins that tug of war?

    $4 billion of $60 billion is 6.7%, that's if the fraud is only $60 billion. If it's $90 billion then it's 4.4%. Instead of stopping the waste and fraud, they'd much rather just keep piling on the taxes.

    Not another dime till the stop the waste.

    Seriously, if you hired a contractor to build you a deck and he used the money to go to Vegas and lost it, would you give him more to finish the deck?
    That fraud is conducted from private firms...you know that whole "private does things better than public" schtick? The thing they do better is get the most money for the worst/least service.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    I think everybody resents people wasting that money. Saying that we should just get rid of Medicare because fraud happens is ridiculous though. Fraud and waste will happen whenever there's large amounts of money at stake. The goal should be to hire the best people possible to protect our investment not cut funding which just ensures this will happen more often.
    WHAT? I never said we should "get rid of Medicare", please quote me or apologize for putting words in my mouth. I said we need to get rid of the fraud.

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    A friend of mine use to work at a large "non-profit" insurance firm. One of his major jobs was to screw over Medicare. He got well compensated. On the other side of the fence...those rooting out fraud they got paid 1/3rd of what he did. Guess who generally wins that tug of war?
    Where is the enforcement of Government regulations?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    That fraud is conducted from private firms...you know that whole "private does things better than public" schtick? The thing they do better is get the most money for the worst/least service.
    So you admit government regulation and oversight is failing?
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    WHAT? I never said we should "get rid of Medicare", please quote me or apologize for putting words in my mouth. I said we need to get rid of the fraud.
    I apoligize for putting words in your mouth. I meant to say cutting funding does not end fraud. In fact it does the opposite.
    Where is the enforcement of Government regulations?
    It's being enforced by much lower paid and much lower amounts of staff. People complain about the institution of government but the problem is that we've virtually been gutting government for the past 3 decades. It's pretty predictable that government would perform it's job less efficiently.

    So you admit government regulation and oversight is failing?
    Yes...completely....but gutting discretionary budget and cutting Federal Employees is the complete opposite of what we should be doing. Like everything else...you get what you paid for. If you pay lawyers and regulaters half of what the private sector is paying people to go around regulations and find loopholes and basically screw over tax payers you're going to get 3rd tier people that can't keep up with the people on the other side.
    Last edited by iliveonramen; 04-16-12 at 05:20 PM.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    It's being enforced by much lower paid and much lower amounts of staff. People complain about the institution of government but the problem is that we've virtually been gutting government for the past 3 decades. It's pretty predictable that government would perform it's job less efficiently.
    Since 1992 the number of government employees has remained within a few hundred thousand employees. What do you mean by gutting government?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Yes...completely....but gutting discretionary budget and cutting Federal Employees is the complete opposite of what we should be doing. Like everything else...you get what you paid for. If you pay lawyers and regulaters half of what the private sector is paying people to go around regulations and find loopholes and basically screw over tax payers you're going to get 3rd tier people that can't keep up with the people on the other side.
    Government has proven over the last three decades it simply can NOT deal with the waste, fraud and abuse that goes on within it's organization. The GSA typifies that.

    Federal pay ahead of private industry

    Updated 3/8/2010 3:03 PM

    By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

    Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.

    Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.

    Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

    CHART: Federal salaries compared to private-sector

    These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Federal pay ahead of private industry - USATODAY.com
    Unless you can post to the contrary, your argument appears to be losing steam. At the end of the day it doesn't seem to make much difference on what we pay them, the waste, fraud and abuse just goes on...and on....and on.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Since 1992 the number of government employees has remained within a few hundred thousand employees. What do you mean by gutting government?
    And GDP has grown 50% and the population has increased by 50 or so million people. That's not even pointing out the huge increase in Medicare and Social Security payouts due to an older population. You on the right call that a victory....I see it as the reason we can't adequately police Medicare.

    Government has proven over the last three decades it simply can NOT deal with the waste, fraud and abuse that goes on within it's organization. The GSA typifies that.
    So waste and fraud wasn't a massive issue when we had a well funded government during the 50's and 60's but magically government as an institution can't handle waste and fraud? It just happens to coincide with the small government movement?

    Unless you can post to the contrary, your argument appears to be losing steam. At the end of the day it doesn't seem to make much difference on what we pay them, the waste, fraud and abuse just goes on...and on....and on.
    Here's most likely one major difference

    says higher pay also reflects the longevity and older age of federal workers.
    USA Today constantly gets called out for their shoddy statistics. They are in the business of selling papers not actually analyzing the data. The fact is the Federal workforce is an old workforce. The majority of their benefits are paid to individuals that stick in federal government until retirement...therefore most individuals work until retirement. An accountant in Federal government making 80k a year is most likely much older with decades of experience. My brother has been an accountant for 6 years. He started at 40k and makes around 100k right now.

    A friend of mine that came out of a top tier law school wanted to work for government. He got a job writing regulation and makes 70k a year while working in DC....people that he graduated with are making well above 100k a year starting out.

    Honestly to buy that nonesense you have to have minimal contact with both individuals with advanced degrees as well as individuals that actually work in DC.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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    Re: GSA official pleads Fifth in conference scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    And GDP has grown 50% and the population has increased by 50 or so million people. That's not even pointing out the huge increase in Medicare and Social Security payouts due to an older population. You on the right call that a victory....I see it as the reason we can't adequately police Medicare.



    So waste and fraud wasn't a massive issue when we had a well funded government during the 50's and 60's but magically government as an institution can't handle waste and fraud? It just happens to coincide with the small government movement?



    Here's most likely one major difference



    USA Today constantly gets called out for their shoddy statistics. They are in the business of selling papers not actually analyzing the data. The fact is the Federal workforce is an old workforce. The majority of their benefits are paid to individuals that stick in federal government until retirement...therefore most individuals work until retirement. An accountant in Federal government making 80k a year is most likely much older with decades of experience. My brother has been an accountant for 6 years. He started at 40k and makes around 100k right now.

    A friend of mine that came out of a top tier law school wanted to work for government. He got a job writing regulation and makes 70k a year while working in DC....people that he graduated with are making well above 100k a year starting out.

    Honestly to buy that nonesense you have to have minimal contact with both individuals with advanced degrees as well as individuals that actually work in DC.
    Do you have any links to back up your assertions? I posted mine.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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