Last Thursday, five presidents of the United States shared a stage.  One of them used these words to explain the responsibilities of the office.

“In democracy, the purpose of public office is not to fulfill personal ambition. Elected officials must serve a cause greater than themselves.   The political winds blow left and right, polls rise and fall,  supporters come and go. But in the end, leaders are defined by the convictions  they hold.

As president, I tried to act on these  principles every day. It wasn’t  always easy and it certainly wasn’t always popular …  And when our freedom came under attack, we made the  tough decisions required to keep the American  people safe…”

“…It’s the honor of a lifetime to lead  a country as brave and as noble as the United States. Whatever challenges come before  us, I will always believe our  nation’s best day lie ahead.  God bless.”  – George W. Bush

Advertisements

A new interim report released jointly by 5 US House Committees documents how the Obama administration lied about the State Department’s handling of security in Benghazi and then covered up relevant information in their reporting after the attacks.  The report includes a recognition that Secretary Clinton’s testimony to Congress is contradicted by facts.

libya

This short report is clear, well organized and easy to read.  I encourage you to read it.  (If you’d like a quick review of the Benghazi affair, click here.)

The Office of Management and Budget has released a review of the costs and benefits of federal regulations over the last 10 years. The cost? “…The estimated annual costs are in the aggregate between $57 billion and $84 billion…” with the costs for 2012 being estimated at $14.8 billion to $19.5 billion in annual costs for a majority of the rules, and an additional $1 billion for the remaining rules.

Of course, the government assesses the benefits of these regulations as outweighing the costs.  But measuring future (potential) benefits against actual (current) costs is tricky.  A very large portion of the benefits from EPA regulations, for example, rely on an assumed reduction in “premature mortality” due to particulates removed from the air.  This administration has a record of poor predictive abilities.  Remember what the Obama administration predicted as the benefits of the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act?

Want to see how Obama compares to previous administrations?  Click here.

“Machines should work. People should think.”

In the 60’s, there was too much work, and not enough workers. Now …

Senator Max Baucus,  chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a key architect of the healthcare reform law, calls the Affordable Care Act a “train wreck.”

Since the senator helped write it and pushed it through the Senate, I can only assume he is going for the “hipster vote” in his re-election campaign. But irony will only get you so far.