Russian collusion. Selling 20 percent of our uranium to Russia. Clinton Foundation receipt of “gifts.” Comey‘s decisions before testimony given, testimony not under oath, leaking information, etc. Pelosi’s we have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it. Clinton/Democrat National Committee’s (DNC) internal manipulations to deny Sanders. DNC providing questions to Hillary in advance of Clinton-Trump debates. Flood of leaks of classified information. Illegal “unmasking” of political opponents. Politicizing and using the IRS to deny the legal rights of selected nonprofit applicants ... and not a single person got punished. Capturing and storing telephone conversations of citizens. Bringing the full-fledged power of the federal government in order to deny ranchers grazing rights so a senator’s son could profit... and protesting citizens wound up in jail. Benghazi. Obama’s “jobs czar” moving his company’s elevator manufacturing division to China. Politicizing of the Justice Department. Using the country’s investigative resources to spy on political opponents. Changing 240 years of Senate rules to allow “stacking” of district courts with liberal justices. Stonewalling and slow walking of incoming president’s nominees. Non-elected and fireproof bureaucrats writing regulations that have the force of law. Imposing regulations on religious institutions that violate their rights under the First Amendment. Billions of dollars unaccounted for. Money spent by the Executive Branch that had not been authorized by Congress. Congress not subjecting itself or its staff to laws imposed on the citizenry. Insider trading cover-up. And so much more; add your thoughts to the list.
The sad thing is that we, the average citizens, are unaware of how our government’s politicians and embedded bureaucrats collude for their own benefit, both politically and financially. Our government “of, by, and for the people” is an ever-growing myth.
In the business world, companies provide goods or services the market wants or needs at a price it is willing to pay. The companies that do that best make a profit and are able to grow. Just imagine that only a few years ago, a young Princeton graduate, Jeff Bezos, had an idea that the public would like to be able to shop “online,” at their convenience on any day at any hour, for virtually any product one can think of. He took the risk and in the blink of an eye, his ability to deliver on his vision has made him the wealthiest person in the world; he delivered what the customer wanted at a price they were willing to pay, and he did it at the convenience of the customer.
Now compare a private enterprise and a federal government department. If the private enterprise doesn’t meet the needs of its customers and doesn’t make a profit, it goes out of business. That not just initially, that’s for every day of its existence. A government department, a bureaucracy, does not make a profit. Its income is derived from the taxpayers, the people to whom they are supposed to be providing a necessary, beneficial, and useful service. If a department fails to effectively and efficiently deliver such to the taxpayer, the department is not dissolved; it is most often rewarded by being given more tax dollars and more staff resources. Accountability, in a normal business sense, is lacking in our government bureaucracy. The result is incredible increases in the cost of government, with those increases to be borne by the taxpayers who have little or no say as to the viability or need for the failing bureaucracy; The Swamp.
There are constructive ways in which to begin draining The Swamp. For example:
While the current Republican president and Republican Congress are attempting to transition the government employee retirement benefits to plans that are similar to those now in use in most private enterprise companies, Democrat members of Congress are vowing to fight the Republican attempt to make that transition. This issue is critically important since the Republican proposal would require employees to contribute into their plans, much like employees in the private sector do. And, since this would allow employees to take their retirement plan with them, it might incentivize those in the bureaucracy to take early retirement or to seek other nongovernment employment; not having that ability retains the bloated bureaucracy.
Many private sector companies have “internal auditors” to review the operating practices set forth by the company, to ensure that such practices are being followed. Such audits are normally conducted by management level personnel. While the Legislative Branch of the federal government has the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to perform audits for congressional oversight, one has to wonder how such things as the Executive Branch spending huge sums of money not authorized by Congress can occur, or how approximately six billion dollars cannot be accounted for at the State Department, or how President Obama was able to acquire and send billions of dollars in cash to Iran. Those questions need answers.
Consider the issues in the first paragraph; draining The Swamp is a mighty task. If it’s not done with the backing of we the people, we cede our freedom.
Bob Meade is a Laconia resident. He may be reached at email@example.com.