You’ve heard this before, but nothing changes…
By Jack E. Lohman
Our Mainstream media is part of the problem. Like in Egypt they are beholden to the country’s politicians and thus help cover up the corruption. But we’ll not hear about it from CNN or Fox.
What they don’t tell you …
… is that *ABSOLUTELY NOTHING* will fix our economy without getting to the root problem: political corruption. Politicians sharing in the booty by taking campaign bribes, and then rolling over to the industry that wants in the taxpayer’s pockets. It happened in Egypt and it is happening here, and will produce the same results if not fixed.
Payola fueled the so-called “free trade” agreements that were adopted — and they have been the catalyst of job outsourcing — all while the executives of these companies have moved the profits to their personal bank accounts.
The recent “crisis commission” blamed everyone except the nation’s board of directors — our CONGRESS — even when the politicians are 100% to blame. CEO greed, yes, but the politicians are on the payroll of the executives so the forces of law will not put them in jail.
The key problem is the way we finance elections
There are only two kinds of money: public and private. Private money got us here and nothing will change until we get these legal bribes out of politics. Corruption killed Egypt and it will kill the U.S. too.
But a fix is vigorously opposed by the political elite that benefit from the existing corruption.
Nothing else matters, regardless of your issue. Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. Politicians spend taxpayer dollars because they ARE PAID to spend taxpayer dollars, and robbing the SSI fund and Medicare (as just two examples) provides the cash needed to attract campaign dollars.
Our problem is NOT government, and it is not R’s or D’s. It *IS* that government is owned by CEOs and corporate interests that want in the taxpayer’s pockets. We have a plutocracy, not a democracy. The 2010 elections were funded by just 1% of Americans, when they should instead have been financed by 100% of taxpayers. And at $5 per taxpayer it would be a bargain. Even at 100 times that.
How it works, but if you are on the inside you are a winner…
CEOs want short-term profits to increase their already massive salaries, and are willing to share those profits with the politicians that made it all happen. Thus NAFTA and other laws are passed that enable outsourcing to countries with wage scales one-tenth ours. Or reforms that work are repealed (like Glass-Seagall) to enable the Fat Cat bankers to rip off the public. Sometimes outright fraud is committed by the bankers though none are prosecuted.
And all while deregulation crashes our country, China and India flourish.
How to fix it?
In addition to public funding of campaigns, politicians must also (a) be put on a pay-for-performance basis… if deficits or pork barrel and special interest spending go up, their pay goes down. And (b) they must put their own wealth in a blin trust that blocks political insider trading (which today is rampant). They must also (c) get their health care from Medicare and their retirement from Social Security, and receive it only when they reach 67 or 69 or whatever age the rest of us qualify.
As a former CEO my company would not have survived if I had an employee or board of directors taking money on the side and giving away company assets in return. Our country can’t survive this corruption either.
The voters change nothing.
We elect a new group of politicians and the Fat Cats simply re-direct their bribes as we continue down our spiral. But the problem is that all of the above changes must be made by the foxes themselves (congress and the state legislature).
The public’s choices are simple: a 100% turnover of politicians until the above fixes are made, or a national revolution (think Egypt) is inevitable. And all because our politicians refuse to stop the bribery they benefit from, and the public has turned a blind or confused eye.
If politicians are going to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the taxpayers. We MUST demand that our senators and representative pass the Fair Elections Now Act
And isn’t it interesting how we now must cut the budgets even after extending the $800 billion tax cuts to the rich? Something in this really makes me want to throw up.