EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

July 6, 2013

Column: Washington merits Declaration of Incompetence

As America celebrates this week’s anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the federal government deserves a Declaration of Incompetence. Washington seems to get almost nothing right. Subjected to monarchic tyranny until 1776, America now suffers the abuses and usurpations of bureaucratic ineptitude.

— President Barack Obama’s signature achievement has become a scrawl. After three years of rehearsal, the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” is not ready for prime time. On Tuesday, Team Obama postponed the employer mandate by one year, conveniently past the 2014 midterm elections.

The Government Accountability Office reported in June that, among the federally facilitated exchanges in 34 states, “on average, about 85 percent of their total key activities” required by Oct. 1 “were not completed.”

“Rate shock” is erupting, as the hilariously named Affordable Care Act proves a masterpiece of false advertising.

Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy, M.D., compared existing health insurance with coverage planned for California. “For the typical 25-year-old nonsmoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent,” he explained in Forbes. For a male nonsmoker in California, “Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.”

— Accused spy Edward Snowden is America’s most wanted fugitive. So, surely, federal prosecutors filled their extradition papers with extra care.

Wrong!

Hong Kong’s records listed Edward Joseph Snowden. However, Justice Department documents demanded Edward James Snowden and Edward J. Snowden. Washington also failed to include Snowden’s passport number or, for days, to invalidate his passport.

These goofs kept Hong Kong from holding Snowden. So, off he flew to Moscow, to languish in Sheremetyevo International Airport until he found asylum elsewhere

— According to the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department’s inspector general “found that the number of known or suspected terrorists admitted to the Witness Security Program is unknown, that DOJ has lost track of two suspected terrorists in the program, and that critical national security information is not being shared with other agencies,” including the FBI. Such confirmed or assumed terrorists in witness protection, who previously were on the federal no-fly list, never had their new names added to it. Thus, “several known or suspected terrorists have been able to board commercial airplanes in the United States.”

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