It is very troubling to me, as it should be to every American citizen, that we repeatedly empower thieves, liars and con men to run our government who only have one purpose in mind. And that is how do I get re elected. More than half of our politicians are now millionaires. So if you think they have your best interest in mind you had better grow up. Our Congress has an approval rating of around 12% to 14% and yet we continue to re elect individuals who steal from us and are responsible for failed government programs and egregious wasteful spending.
Take Charles Rangel for example. Mr. Rangel is the former chairman of the Tax Writing Committee. That's the committee that writes the tax laws. He was convicted of 11 ethics violations including failing to pay taxes on some of his income for 17 years. Are we really to believe that it was an oversight on the chairman's' part? Are we really to believe that his staff is full of idiots? Please, cut me a break! Mr. Rangel should have been expelled from congress but he was not.
Representative Maxine Waters was charged in 2010 with three counts of violating House rules by influence peddling, a polite way of our politicians saying she broke the law. She used her authority and influence of her office to help her husband with our tax dollars mind you. Waters steered $12 million to OneUnited Bank where her husband owns stock and happens to be on the board. OneUnited was facing some financial difficulties and didn't qualify for financial assistance under the TARP plan. Waters' influence peddling was investigated by a subcommittee of the House Ethics Committee which charged Rep. Waters with three counts of violating House rules and ethics regulations in connection with her use of power and influence on behalf of OneUnited Bank. After a highly controversial investigation, plagued by accusations of impropriety and corruption, on September 12, the committee failed to hold Waters to account for steering $12 million to OneUnited Bank. Chalk up another one for the dumb taxpayers.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee on November 17, 2011 said "the final decision was mine." Chu's decision to pour $528 million tax dollars into a failing green energy boondoggle that went belly-up in 2011 is indefensible and corrupt, especially in light of the fact that Solyndra's key investor (Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser) also happens to be a major Obama campaign donor. I wonder who else was involved in that decision. I guess we're to stupid to know or catch on.
Rep. William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to help broker high-tech business deals in Nigeria. He was also caught on tape discussing the deals. An FBI search of his home uncovered $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer. Another one for the ripped off taxpayers.
Look up Rod Blagojevich, Ray Blanton, Spiro Agnew, Carroll Hubbard, George Ryan, James Traficant, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Spencer Bachus, John Ensign, Alcee Hastings, Jesse Jackson, Jr., David Rivera, Don Young, Budd Dwyer, Edwin Edwards, Huey Long, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Bob Andrews, Michael Grimm, Robert Menendez, David Valadao, Greg Meeks, Tim Bishop, Hal Rogers, plus hundreds more. None deserve the dignified title given to them by the taxpayers.
Here are some no name mentionable s: "Read my lips -no new taxes", "I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that women, Miss Lewinsky." "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period!," "If you like your insurance plan you can keep your plan, period!," "Not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS," "I know nothing about 'Fast and Furious,'" "I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi", "It was a spontaneous riot about a movie that killed our ambassador and three other Americans." "I knew nothing about the botched rollout of the health care law." And the biggest insult and stomach turner of them all from the Director of The IRS, "I'm Louis Lerner and I'm taking the fifth." That sickening statement makes me want to drink a fifth just to forget. And now we find out about the horrific conditions and abuses to our veterans at Veteran Hospitals. They put their moral blinders on, cooked the books to make themselves look good, got large bonuses and killed some our veterans in the process. Of course Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs knew nothing about it. Cut me a break. Retired four-star Generals are not that incompetent. They take orders from someone. I wonder who?
If you work for the people and do your dirty on the people you should not have the luxury of taking the fifth. If you do so you forfeit the generous six figure salary and six figure pension that someone gave you. It's time to put principles, character and common sense above parties, campaign promises and lies. I thought the politicians I supported cared about the issues that I did. I was wrong. I have realized that they only care about themselves and their careers.
Legalizing marijuana, sitcoms full of sexual innuendo, lax border security, printing of money, national debt, Americans living in poverty, deficit funded Social Security System, bridges to no where, wasteful government spending, phoney campaign promises, generous government salaries and pensions, legal government insider trading, lies, thieves and con artists. Most people I talk to are convinced that our country is on the wrong track. We know in our gut that something is not right and our moral compass seems to be broken. But we have to admit we have a problem. Then we have to decide what we are going to do about it and take some action.
"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bruce Piatz is a Jamestown resident.