The current administration set up, a short while ago, a Web site intended to facilitate the efforts of those seeking Federal employment.  In doing so, the administration internalized a task that had been handled by

The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server.

This is an all too common complaint about that new USAJobs Facebook wall.  After a multi-million dollar, two-year to “upgrade,” Office of Personnel Management’s new site has less capability and reduced reliability compared to Monster’s original site.  Additionally, not everyone is convinced the price tag for these two years is justifiable.  “I might make some people mad if I say this, but without knowing the specifics of the contract I can’t really see something like this costing over half a million dollars,” Zach Katkin, President and CEO of Atilus, notes.

At the end of 2008 and start of 2009, the government passed TARP, a $780 billion bailout package for failing businesses.  The package was originally intended to buy all the “toxic assets” (credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities, and other even more esoteric debt instrument derivatives) from vulnerable financial institutions to facilitate their recovery.  Then it was morphed—without Congress’ involvement—into outright bailouts of financial institutions deemed to special to be allowed to fail and go through bankruptcy proceedings, and it was expanded in scope to include bailing out car companies and unions.  Thus was born the whole too big to fail thing and the moral hazard stemming from that, demonstrated by all the demands by other businesses, and even individual Americans, for similar bailouts.

Early in 2009, the government passed the Stimulus Bill, a nearly trillion dollar spending package intended, in the finest Keynesian tradition, to stimulate the economy and promote job growth.  The government even guaranteed that this package would keep national unemployment below 8.5%.  National unemployment soon peaked over 10%, and it’s been above 9% ever since.  But we got those trillion dollars successfully spent, and our national debt successfully ballooned.

In 2010, the government passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on the claim that health care costs for Americans and our businesses would go down drastically and on the claim that Americans would see more transparency in our business transactions and gain protection from the nefarious machinations of our financial institutions.  The response since has been rising insurance costs, to the point the HHS has threatened to bar insurance companies from Obamacare’s insurance exchanges if they don’t straighten up and fly right.  In addition, small business employers are saying, in droves (30% of them, and rising), that costs for the insurance coverage they’re required to provide will be so high when this part of the law takes effect, they’ll be forced to stop providing insurance coverage at all.

Further, small businesses are facing nearly $3,000 per employee in incremental compliance costs due to Dodd-Frank’s reporting requirements.  And Dodd-Frank hasn’t yet had even half of its required rules written.

And we get great ideas like this one from Rep Jim Moran (D, VA):  “The banks aren’t doing it, but the federal government can borrow money at three-and-a-half percent today. They should use that money to refinance every home mortgage, and that would put $750 billion into homeowners pockets.”

We’ve been getting “The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server” messages since well before the botched USAJobs effort.

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