How is it possible that an elected official like Charles Schumer can publically proclaim on the floor of the Senate that the American people don’t care how their money is spent? Or how come there is no public outcry for her resignation when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes outrageous statements that the CIA lied regarding her knowledge of water boarding or that a trillion dollar healthcare bill needs to be approved before its contents can be known?
What about the actions that were accepted by former President George Bush who, according to the Congressional Budget Office, committed over $700 billion of taxpayer dollars and the priceless lives of our young soldiers to a war against those he said were producing weapons of mass destruction as well as being responsible for the attacks on 9/11? This resulted in the United States engaging in a war with Iraq, when it had nothing to do with 9/11 and there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Instead of looking at the United States of America as the greatest country in the world, what if three hundred million citizens visualized it as the greatest company in the world? Maybe then the American citizen would realize that they are the “owners” and not the servants of this great company. Maybe then these owners would realize that they have allowed their goods and services to be mismanaged and outsourced by the temporary employees known as The United States Congress who are selected not actually by them but by outside forces such as big business and special interest groups.
Squandering the company’s financial resources is bad enough but these temporary employees push the envelope even further. Then they openly embarrass themselves and the company’s reputation in the eyes of the world by cheating on their personal taxes, engaging in extra marital affairs, breaking their fiduciary pledges by making one-sided deals with foreign companies for personal gain and an assortment of scandals too numerous to mention. Yet, they continue to give themselves handsome raises and plan on indefinitely continuing this kind of destructive behavior because they have sworn allegiance to either the Democrat or Republican temporary “employment agencies,” but more importantly to the almighty dollar.
Remember the FBI sting operation known as ABSCAM in 1980 where congressmen were convicted of taking bribes? That operation ended, not because the FBI ran out of greedy congressmen but because the operation was made public by the media.
Also, did we forget that long before the sub-prime housing meltdown in 1989, when Congressman Barney Frank admitted to having a lengthy relationship with a male prostitute who was running a prostitution service out of Frank’s apartment?
More recently we have witnessed the scandal of then Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, and locally we have seen a parade of public disgraces such as 15th District Congressman Charles Rangel and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
The Juniper Park Civic Association publically rallied and took part in the successful demand for the resignation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner from the 9th Congressional District, for his outrageous sex exhibitionism on the Internet. These are the politicians who were caught but who would doubt that there are many more scandals being perpetrated at this very moment? It seems when a corrupt tree is shaken a politician falls out!
Did a natural disaster destroy the infrastructure of this great nation? No. Was this great nation made weak by an infectious plague that wiped out the working population? No. So why are we in this dire financial mess?
When temporary employees work for themselves or outside parties instead of the company (you and I the taxpayer) that pays their salaries and gives them the power they enjoy, is it really that difficult to understand why Social Security is broke, our nation’s borders are unprotected and why we have the trillions and trillions of dollars of rising debt?
No company in the world could sustain the unbridled abuse of power by its employees as the United States of America has been subjected to by its elected officials.
You don’t treat lung disease by switching to a different kind of cigarette; you stop smoking all together. The rules we use to hire our elected officials are outdated and are one of the main reasons we find ourselves in the current financial and ethical mess.
To start, we must level the playing field so that a person running for a job that pays $400,000 a year is not allowed to spend $730 million as President Barack Obama did in 2008. These donations make it too difficult for too many to remain free from future payback obligations and IOUs. A spending cap, whether in the form of a dollar amount or formula needs to be immediately imposed upon the election process. This would seriously dent the influence of the special interest lobbyists.
I say this is only a beginning because good and impartial information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of candidates and issues is also necessary in order for the voter to make an informed decision and eventually take back what is rightfully ours.
**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.