posted on March 01, 2013 17:06
It’s a fault of human nature: When you spend your own money you look at it one way but when you spend someone else’s money it’s a different story.
Once, years ago, I served on a church-school board with a half dozen tight-fisted, hard-eyed businessmen who could squeeze a dollar out of a turnip. But whenever we’d start discussing raises for principals or teachers those tight fisted businessmen would turn to soft-hearted marshmallows.
Now in government no one spends their own money. And in state government, sometimes, they don’t even spend state government’s money – they spend Washington’s money. The State Medicaid Department is an example: It spends billions of dollars that come down from Washington each year.
Angie Sligh who heads the Department’s massive computer system that processes Medicaid claims has a tough job and a decade ago, when the department set out to replace its old computers, it got tougher. The conversion fell flat on its face. The state had to go back to the drawing board and start over. Then, a few years, later Mrs. Sligh found herself in another tough spot: She had to go over to the General Assembly and explain to a committee of irate legislators why the department’s new $250 million dollar computer system was $200 million dollars over budget and two years behind schedule. During the hearing, one irate legislator asked Mrs. Sligh how she’d rate her job performance and she explained why she’d give herself an ‘A’ – the legislators were skeptical but her bosses in the Perdue Administration agreed. The state auditor reports over the last three years they paid her $237,000 for working overtime and, just before Governor Perdue left office, gave her a 25% raise.
Now the department says the new computer system will be up and running by July 1st but the newspapers have reported another odd fact: The state’s new computer system runs on a thirty-year-old technology called COBOL.
It’s a classic example of how government works: Would someone spend $450 million of their own money to build a state-of-the-art computer system that runs on technology that was invented before the Internet?
Saturday, March 02, 2013 11:26 AM
SEQUESTER—HELP OR HARM
Spending out of control—myth--Under Obama spending has increased at the slowest pace since Eisenhower. Obama initiated a program called EFFECTIVE FEDERAL SPENDING and each department was instructed to control expenditures. CBO reveals Deficits have decreased and Debt is stabilized as closer to the percentage of GDP. Sequester may slow economic growth and increase deficits via loss of revenue from tax on wages. Some think tank estimates drop of GDP by half a percent and loss of one million jobs over first two years .
Remove Bush Two Wars—Tax Cuts—Part D and America would boot David Koch'Tea Party cut government-cut tax ideology out of office.
The President plan had balanced program cuts and increased revenue
He has made success in reducing the deficit
The right wing talk show hosts have misinformed the public on Obama plan plus his sccesses.
He took over a 3500B Budget and 2013 budget is 3800B or plus 8.06% compared to Bush 90% Budget increase,
Sunday, March 03, 2013 11:03 AM
OBAMA NEEDS FAIR EVALUATION
I read too many attacks from opinion not facts.
Bush got an 1800B Budget
Obama got a 3500B Budget
Bush got a surplus
Obama got a 1400B Deficit
Bush got a 5800B Debt
Obama got a 11,900B Debt
Bush got a 237,000 Job creation per month
Obama got a 31,000.
Bush got no wars
Obama got two wars
Bush got a tax increase
Obama got a huge tax cut for the rich
Obama got an unfunded Part D Medicare
Obama got a Republican Congress determined to destroy him
Obama job creator American Jobs Program was killed even though it mean savings/creating 4 million jobs. Unemployment would be in 6% bracket.
Google: Obama Achievements. org and read a long list of achievements.
Sunday, March 03, 2013 2:45 PM
COBOL is a programming language, not a "technology". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBOL for a history. The "age" of a programming language is fundamentally irrelevant to the issue of whether a program written in that language is "state-of-the-art".
As a "for instance," the programming language that Linux (the operating system that the vast majority of the Wolrd Wide Web runs on) is written in C ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_(programming_language) ), which was first introduced in 1972. No one, who knew what they were talking about, would ever claim that Linux is not "state-of-the-art" because of this fact.
At the level of complexity involved in the State's Medicaid computer system, COBOL is probably only one of many languages used in in its various component programs and services. If you're going to criticize the technology behind the claims processing system, you're going to need a lot more understanding of computers than this post demonstrates.
Also, as a side note, COBOL was first introduced in 1959, which makes it 50 years old.
Sunday, March 03, 2013 7:38 PM
Hopefully my response here will be presented here on the Front Page. My last post somehow didn't get to the site or was either ignored, rejected or lost. It was a post in response to wafranklin's response to my initial post on one of the Front Page threads. It's fine. I get it. Things happen.
Carter, what you've said here is certainly true to the bone. I mean, who doesn't know that legislators...those in charge of the taxpayer's purse strings...don't spend "government" money like they'd ever spend their own money? It's the reason we're in such huge debt and deficit problems in America. It's the reason our entire WORLD is in such a debt crisis.
What I particularly hate is that we have intrusted the public dollars to people that aren't fiscally frugile. Many...maybe most...are spendthrifts in their own right, with their own money. You'd be amazed how much personal debt most of those that make decisions with taxpayer money have themselves. So, if they can't even stay within their own personal budget, how can you expect them to stay within a budget that is just so easily exceeded without any backlash or personal responsibility attached?
In the example you presented here, who doesn't think that there wasn't some graft and corruption and influence peddling without regard to the outcome? It's government at its worst and it's rampant from city to county to state to federal government.
Wish I knew the answer to correct it.
Monday, March 04, 2013 10:16 AM
I cannot understand why Medicare Controls were turned over to private insurers like Humana and Blue
In the past it was fact that overhead costs for Medicare was 2% of revenue while private insurers overhead was 17% of Revenue.
Private Insurers who control Medicare application hire outside sources to track records of the Medicare patients.
The single biggest factor driving debt is health care. As a percent of GDP health care grew from 7.1% in 1970 to 17.9% in 2010. It is expected to reach 25% by 2025.
If Medicare is more effective at containing costs why turn it to private insurers?
Monday, March 04, 2013 11:22 AM
We must rebuild the middle class with decent paying jobs.
We needed more public investment not less.
The debt ration declines when the economy recovers.
Wall Street and the top 1% have had a big recovery but not wages and jobs.
Sequester or fiscal contraction slows recovery.
We need public investment to use education and infrastructure to rebuild our middle class.
Government agencies are delaying spending in fear of the single fiscal year sequester cuts in budgets.
The Defense Department deferred spending by 22% in the last quarter of 2012.
Jobs-Decent Wage=economic growth