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Tags: Debt | to-Hit | 83-percent | of-GDP | Napolitanos Bloated Bureaucracy | U.S. Protests UNESCOs Honoring of Che Guevara | Most Americans Say God Helped Create Humans

Debt to Hit 83 of GDP; Napolitano's Bloated Bureaucracy

By    |   Sunday, 28 July 2013 04:18 PM EDT

Insider Report from Newsmax.com

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. CBO: Public Debt Will Hit 83 Percent of GDP
2. Napolitano to Head Another Bloated Bureaucracy
3. U.S. Protests UNESCO's Honoring of Che Guevara
4. Most Americans Say God Helped Create Humans
5. Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Groceries Overseas
6. World's 'Most Optimistic' Country Is — Burkina Faso?!

1. CBO: Public Debt Will Hit 83 Percent of GDP

Many Democrats pointed to the Congressional Budget Office's revised deficit figures as proof that the national debt is not as large of a threat as previously feared.

But a closer look at America's debt reveals a much different — and alarming — reality. In mid-May, the CBO said the federal deficit in fiscal 2013, which ends in September, will be $642 billion, down from the $1 trillion-plus of the previous four years.

"We don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt," President Obama said in an interview with ABC News. "In fact for the next 10 years it's going to be in a sustainable place."

But "after years of bipartisan overspending, public debt today — that's the money that the federal government owes to domestic and foreign investors — is almost 90 percent higher than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008," according to Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. "It climbed by $1 trillion between December 2011 and December 2012 alone to its current level of $12.03 trillion."

Public debt is now 75 percent of GDP, the highest level since 1950 — and that doesn't include debt the government owes to Social Security and other accounts.

But the worst is yet to come. The CBO projects that the public debt is scheduled to grow to $19 trillion by 2023, or 73.6 percent of projected GDP — up from 36 percent as recently as the end of 2007.

But if Congress reverses the spending cuts forced through sequestration, the public debt will rise to 83 percent of GDP, the CBO projects.

By 2023, the federal government is expected to spend $823 billion a year on interest payments, up from $223 billion today. Interest payments plus entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will account for 75 percent of the federal budget, and other programs will "gradually be squeezed out," de Rugy writes for Reason magazine.

She concludes: "Congress should circumvent these scenarios by acting now to cut spending and reduce future entitlement obligations. No level of taxes can address the phenomenal fiscal imbalance that our country is facing now and into the future.

"History will not judge the debt-denialists kindly."

Editor's Note:

2. Napolitano to Head Another Bloated Bureaucracy

Janet Napolitano is leaving her post as head of the 240,000-employee, $60-billion-a-year Department of Homeland Security to take the helm of another bloated bureaucracy: The University of California.

The former Arizona governor is set to leave her Homeland Security post and take over the huge 10-campus university system at the end of August.

The system has an operating budget of more than $24 billion, almost triple the entire state budget in Arizona and larger than most state governments.

Spending amounts to around $100,000 for each student, while tuition and fees are about $13,200 a year — and many lower-income students pay far less.

Much of this spending "is unrelated to instructional function," according to Richard Vedder, who directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and teaches economics at Ohio University. "The university's bureaucracy is famously monumental, centralized, and costly."

In addition to administrators and support staff at each campus, the central office in Oakland employs more than 2,300 full-time workers. The office of the president's "external relations" division includes more than 55 managerial-type employees, plus support personnel. And the "business operations" and "academic affairs" divisions are even larger.

To serve its 240,000 students, the university system has 18,896 faculty members and some 189,000 staff members.

"The university took some budgetary hits from the state in recent years but offset them with huge tuition increases. No serious attempt was made to vastly cut costs," Vedder writes for Bloomberg.

"Rather than bring in a leader with a proven record of recognizing the need to re-examine the public university and innovate to face these realities, the university's Board of Regents has brought in a veteran at managing and perpetuating bureaucracies, one well-connected enough to keep the federal flow of support coming and to shake more money from the state's already overburdened taxpayers."

Editor's Note:

3. U.S. Protests UNESCO's Honoring of Che Guevara

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is antagonizing the United States once again.

Back in 2011, the agency became the first U.N. body to grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority, and as a result, the Obama administration was required by law to cut off U.S. funding of UNESCO.

Now the United States is protesting the agency's decision to include a reference to the writings of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara in a register of documents deemed to be of "world significance," according to CNS News.

The documents include writings, poems, and songs by Guevara and material about him related to his role in Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba and Guevara's involvement in an anti-government insurgency in Bolivia that led to his execution there in 1967.

They will be now be listed alongside such documents as the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, the diary of Anne Frank, and the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The request for the "Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara" to be included on the register came from the Cuban and Bolivian governments, which called Guevara "a symbol of liberation," and was approved by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion on Wednesday urged UNESCO to reverse the decision, saying "Che Guevara is a controversial figure who advocated violence and made no apologies for executing people in the pursuit of revolution. The content of his writings is not in keeping with UNESCO and United Nations values."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican and staunch critic of the U.N. and the Castro regime, said the agency's decision is "hurtfully insulting for the families of the many Cubans who were sadistically executed by Che and his cronies.

"UNESCO has a long history of making outrageous and nonsensical decisions. The latest horrid decision of this U.N. agency that salutes Che Guevara is just another one to add to a long list of idiotic UNESCO decisions."

The Obama administration sought to circumvent the UNESCO funding ban by including $79 million for the agency in its fiscal year 2013 budget request, but the request was not approved, the Insider Report disclosed earlier. But the administration included $77.7 million for UNESCO in its fiscal 2014 budget request.

Editor's Note:

4. Most Americans Say God Helped Create Humans

One-quarter of Americans believe that human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, but God guided this process, a new poll reveals.

In the survey by YouGov, a research and consulting organization, another 37 percent said God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

Just 21 percent said human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years and God did not directly guide this process — up from 13 percent in 2004 — and 17 percent said they are not sure.

Among Republicans polled, 55 percent said God created human beings within the last 10,000 years, compared to 31 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of independents.

Muslims were most likely to believe that — 64 percent chose that scenario, followed by Protestants (59 percent), Eastern or Greek Orthodox (53 percent), and Mormons (38 percent).

Young respondents, those 18 to 29 years old, were most likely to believe human beings evolved without God's direction — 31 percent said that, compared to 20 percent of those 65 and older.

The YouGov survey also found that 40 percent of respondents favor the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public schools, while 32 percent oppose it and the rest are not sure.

Editor's Note:

5. Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Groceries Overseas

Some food stamp recipients are using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to buy groceries in the United States and sending them to relatives in several Caribbean countries.

According to the New York Post, New Yorkers in largely Caribbean neighborhoods are using their EBT cards, which provide government benefits like food stamps and cash assistance, to buy the items and sending them overseas in large barrels.

Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, called the practice another example of welfare abuse.

"The purpose of this program is to help Americans who don't have enough to eat," he told the Post. "This is not intended as a form of foreign aid."

In those largely Caribbean New York neighborhoods, supermarkets offer hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon barrels for shipping.

Customers buy the barrels for about $40 each, and use their food stamps to fill them over time with up to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk, and sausages, the Post reports.

They then call a shipping company to pick up the barrels and send them mostly to Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republican for about $70.

"Everybody does it," a worker at a Brooklyn supermarket told the paper. "A lot of people pay with EBT."

New York is likely not the only place EBT cards are being abused. The Boston Herald reported that similar barrels are available in Boston, as are the shipping companies.

"If it's happening in one state, it's happening in many other states," Massachusetts Republican state Sen. Shaunna O'Connell told The Boston Herald. "It's just one of countless scams happening through the food stamp program."

In fiscal 2012, the government spent $74.6 billion on food assistance, and last September, 47.7 million Americans were receiving benefits.

Editor's Note:

6. World's 'Most Optimistic' Country Is — Burkina Faso?!

The country where the largest percentage of the population believes their lives will be worse in the future than it is today is economically ravaged Greece, according to a Gallup Poll.

Only 24 percent of survey respondents in Greece believe their life will improve in the next five years, while 38 percent say it will get worse, the poll conducted in 141 nations last year reveals.

"With its economy in shambles after years of austerity measures and depression, an unemployment rate of 27 percent — and double that among young people — and frequent protests against the government's austerity plans, Greeks do not have much hope that their situation could improve in the future," Gallup observed.

Behind Greece, the second most pessimistic nation is the Czech Republic, where 33 percent believe life will get worse, followed by Slovenia (32 percent), Hungary (29 percent), Haiti (26 percent), Taiwan (26 percent), and Spain, Cyprus, and Poland (all at 25 percent).

But only in Greece, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia are more people pessimistic than optimistic. In Hungary, for example, 29 percent are pessimistic but 32 percent are optimistic.

The nation showing the greatest loss of optimism since the 2011 poll is Lithuania, where the optimism percentage dropped from 60 percent in 2011 to 47 percent last year — a decrease of 13 percent. Optimism fell 9 percent in Luxembourg and Malta, and 8 percent in Finland and Estonia.

"In a majority of the 29 European countries surveyed in 2012, less than a third of the population was optimistic about their future," Gallup reported.

At the other end of the scale, the most optimistic nations are Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation in West Africa, and Comoros, an island nation off the Indian Ocean coast of Africa.

Per capita income in Burkina Faso is just $602 per year, and the male life expectancy is 50 years, while in Comoros the per capita figure is $865 a year. Yet 95 percent of the people in the two nations are optimistic about the future.

So why the optimism?

"Some of the most optimistic countries are those with the lowest life ratings — reflecting the belief that their current situations are poor and can only get better," Gallup said. "Optimism may be more widespread in these countries simply because people cannot imagine that their lives could get any worse."

Of the 15 most optimistic nations, only Turkmenistan is not in Africa.

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Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider Report from Newsmax.comHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. CBO: Public Debt Will Hit 83 Percent of GDP 2. Napolitano to Head Another Bloated Bureaucracy 3. U.S. Protests UNESCO's Honoring of Che Guevara 4. Most Americans Say God Helped Create Humans 5....
Debt,to-Hit,83-percent,of-GDP,Napolitanos Bloated Bureaucracy,U.S. Protests UNESCOs Honoring of Che Guevara,Most Americans Say God Helped Create Humans,Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Groceries Overseas,Optimistic Country,Burkina Faso
Sunday, 28 July 2013 04:18 PM
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