Posted by: johnhourihan | August 6, 2012

Government admits waste and corruption

We need no investigation to know if there is waste and corruption in this chapter of our political history. We just have to look at what is being admitted by the current government in order to head off what is not being admitted, to see the problem is deeper than we thought. If you want the truth about corruption be sure to read this all the way through.
It is bad enough that recent polls show 88 percent of us feel our current crop of politicians is corrupt and wasteful — it is worse that they say they didn’t even know that it was wrong.
Before dealing with the current government, let me tell you about something else.
While I was covering a story several years ago on a group who wanted to put a racetrack in a town where the general population seemed opposed to a racetrack, I attended a press conference called by the entrepreneurs.
After two hours of diagrams, spread sheets, pie charts, and speeches, the head honcho stood up in front of an audience of selectmen, planning and zoning members, conservation committee members, and reporters and invited everyone to “visit our facility” in a neighboring state for a day of “fact-finding”
Transportation and breakfast would be provided, and then on to a day at the track where we would be “comped” some tokens and drinks, and the whole affair would end with dinner paid for by the company.
The only ones who refused were the members of the press.
And when I asked the politicians if they didn’t think it would be wrong to spend a day of gambling, food and festivities at the expense of someone who was trying to cajole their votes, they all said no. Some even were angry at the suggestion that it might be wrong.
To understand the level of corruption our current government is hiding, all we have to do is look at the level of corruption, waste and preferential treatment they freely admit.
As to waste, the president of the United States made a public statement recently telling people that the answer to our fuel problems is for us to drive less, and, for his part, he would have his White House office staff save money by scaling back on nonessential travel, turning down air conditioners, turning off office equipment when everyone has gone home for the night, and by using public transportation.
If the travel is non-essential, then why just scale back? Why not stop taking unnecessary trips entirely? The president freely admits it is going on and doesn’t even seem to know it is wrong.
As to turning off office equipment when no one is there to use it as a means to save money, I wonder why they have been leaving it on up until now. They are on our dime, and they don’t even have the decency to turn off the equipment when they go home?
By way of making nice-nice with voters pre-election, the president’s people tell us there should be rules against taking lavish gifts from people who are trying to convince them to vote their way.
Which in itself tells us it has been going on as a matter of normal discourse.
They also don’t think they should be going out to expensive restaurants on the lobbyists’ tabs anymore. They now feel taking impossible-to-get tickets to sporting events or to concerts that regular people have a difficult time getting, and of course the limo that picks them up on the tab of someone who wants certain political action, should be stopped, and of course plane rides and cruises to exotic places should be out, from now on.
One prominent lobbyist actually told congress he gave meals, travel, entertainment and the like to a congressman in exchange for “official acts.”
And congressmen even the chairman of the House Administration Committee says he didn’t do anything wrong. And I believe he doesn’t think he did.
We don’t need to waste money on an investigation. They admit it has been going on by the rules they are now proposing.
The larger problem is politicians are so divorced from normal life with normal standards of right and wrong, they don’t even know there is something wrong with being corrupt or wantonly wasteful with our money.
There’s an election coming up. I think it is time we remind them.
We should also remind them that this entire article was written when George Bush was in office.



  1. I wanted to respond to this when I finished reading,but you said all that needs to be said. I know I’ll copy it and distribute it.

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