Yet by October’s end, the promised 160 million doses of swine flu vaccination had only amounted to 30 million known vaccinations in the U.S., prompting Senior Obama Adviser David Axelrod to declare on national television that “we overpromised.” This, of course, prompted Secretary Sebelius to jump back in to action, so she penned an op-ed for the Nashville Tennessean newspaper assuring readers that, as a mother, she herself “understands the frustration and anxiety that parents feel” when they can’t get a vaccination, and declared that "without question, we need significant improvements in vaccine production...”
Depending on whose count you accept, somewhere between two and four thousand Americans have died from the flu this year. That’s more than the number of lives lost in the carnage of Hurricane Katrina. Yet in both scenarios, our U.S. Federal Government has demonstrated an incredible inability to respond to the needs of the American people – even, as in the case of the swine flu vaccinations, when it has made explicit promises to do so.
President Obama’s so-called “economic stimulus bill” highlights this incompetence as well. Minutes after Vice President Biden delivered remarks in Phoenix last Monday about how the numbers of jobs that have allegedly been “created or saved” by the stimulus bill, the Obama Administration was stung with analysis from ABC News revealing that Biden’s remarks – and information posted on the Administration’s recovery.gov website (a website that cost the Administration $18 million to create) – were false. Both were reporting alleged “jobs” in congressional districts that don’t exist, and the website was even listing “stimulus success stories” from congressional districts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands – two U.S. territories that don’t have any congressional districts at all. And as of today, roughly nine months after the passage of the bill, the national unemployment rate is even higher than President Obama predicted it would be had the Congress NOT passed his bill.
So where is the “stimulus” money? What happened to that crucial $787 billion that President Obama had to spend, to “get the economy rolling again?” We are told that only a portion of the money has been spent thus far, yet the Obama Administration has taken legal steps to prevent Obama’s “recovery czars” from being questioned about the money by Congress.
Recklessness and incompetence of this magnitude, with such enormous amounts of other people’s money, would be grounds for immediate termination among private sector executives and managers. And the problem doesn’t begin and end with Democrats: recall that the $700 million “TARP” program was created by Republican President George W Bush last year, and Bush himself was the first to violate the intended purposes of the program by handing-over nearly $14 billion in loans to Chrysler and G.M. (Obama continued doing this after he took office, until the two companies met their inevitable fate of bankruptcy).
Government does NOT exercise wise stewardship over economic and material resources. It’s sad that each new generation has to re-learn this basic truth, but Americans are in a painful process of re-learning it again right now. And the managers overseeing these resources – the President, and the Congressional leadership – deserved to be fired for failing to uphold their most basic fiduciary responsibilities.
Remember this the next time you go to vote.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.