Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Cash for Clunkers: The Real Story

When the cash-for-clunkers program started....I was mostly amused by it. There wasn’t very much planning put into this. The concept was supposed to be simple. So far, it’s been mostly a failure. Now....a congressman from Penn says that the federal government has only reimbursed auto dealers for 2 percent of the claims they've submitted.

The dealers are now saying that reimbursement payments aren’t coming. Then they added that various applications were being rejected because of apparent procedural issues.

Then they gave a fascinating statistic.....there are currently around 338,659 submissions.

The mighty shop at the Bureau of Transportation ....has barely 220-odd folks handling the submissions.

This means each guy is handling around 1690 applications. How many could a guy handle in a day? 100 per day? Maybe.....I’d make a bet that the best you could handle is fifteen per day. Count in all the idiots who didn’t know how to fill out the forms and the guys who used bogus information to finish the form.

The 220-odd guys?

Figure a chief, and a support staff of eight for him. Then figure six IT guys. Then figure at least six admin people. Figure at least 25 managers. So at least 45-odd folks have nothing to do with real work and production.

This was designed as a failure on day one....runs as a failure on day forty-five currently, and will dissolve at day 100 as a successful failure. At least forty folks will be working on award packages for themselves for doing an outstanding job and still be doing clean-up work twelve months from now at this magnificent operation.

Three Minutes of Analysis over Health Care

So what happened with the health care episode? There probably will be thousands of hours with MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox to tell the entire story. So let me give you the five simple reasons.

First, rather than fix one problem for 45-odd million, we designed a one-size-fits-all program which took up 1,000 pages of text. We could have built this in five or six layers and eventually reached this in six years. Evidently, that wasn’t ever going to be discussed.

Second, whatever combined effort or consolidated concept between both parties....came and went. There was never any belief getting a joint effort.

Third, whatever the prime media players (ABC, MSNBC, NBC or CBS) believed in their ability to get out the message...which they did to an extent never seen before...it didn't work. It could not match up to what a bunch of guys from AM radio, Fox or the internet crowd could toss back. Some journalists probably extinguished every bit of neutral trust that they had.....to make their impression known to the public.

Fourth, the President’s speeches came up a day late and short. For some reason, he could not connect with a majority of Americans on this topic. The town-hall meetings? They should have occurred in June and he should have had massive support moving before the House ever dreamed up page one of the 1,000 pages.

Fifth and final.....there are democrats and there are less-than-Democrats. As we’ve learned....almost one quarter of the Democrats had problems with the 1,000 pages of the bill. The leadership of the party? It could not connect to these representatives or their folks back home in the heartland of America. The leadership of the democratic party lost track of who they are or where they came from.

Finally, when you examine the timing of the moment when failure was admitted....less than five days prior....came this audio clip of Ronald Reagan talking about socialized medical care. As I heard the tape back on Wednesday of last week.....I thought it was a massive delivery vehicle for independent voters. When you look at the folks who stood on the Reagan sidelines of the 1980s....most were fairly independent in nature. Reagan was agreeable and the type of 1950s candidate that came to a sensible conclusion on situations. It’s interesting how the audio came and the decision to step back from the program came just a few days later.

So there. I saved you forty hours of watching CNN next week.

Swine Flu and Canada

There was an interesting news item from the Canadians today. You won’t see much of this on the US side. Apparently, this super-flu vaccine is being developed for the swine flu. It’s almost to the point of release.

Up in Canada, they have universal health care. So you would think that you could just release the shots to the system, and then everyone could show up and get a shot.

Apparently, the doctors are all up in a rage....that this isn’t part of their deal. They already have a standard work-day and work-weeks....and they haven’t built time into the system to handle a massive all-Canada vaccine situation.

Naturally, the left-liberal political figure in charge of health care for the party is very concerned about this and wants the government to explain about who will give the shots.

Some folks think that the Canadian military in some fashion will be activated and it’s medical elements will be charged with this deal. Some folks think that the county or district health care professionals will give the shots. Some folks even think it could be the regular nurses who work for the doctors who give the shot.

I paused and pondered over this.

There isn’t a single doctor who ever gives you a shot. In fifty years, I can’t remember a single doctor giving a shot....it’s always a nurse who does the job.

I’ve sat and watched four Air Force nurse technicians run through 250 people in three hours. This involved signing the shot records, and noting the individual in a computerized database, If you dispatched a dozen nurses in a town of 1,000 people....they could wrap up things up in half a day.

The problem in Canada is that they have developed their entire system to fit a certain model. They can only handle X amount of business in a day or week. What the doctors are talking about....is a system that can’t possibly handle the flu epidemic.

So after a whole bunch of pondering....I think the only thing we can do is activate the Bama national guard....board some buses and hustle up to Canada and save those damn folks by giving out flu shots left and right. It's the right thing to do, cause they can't save themselves.