I didn’t watch President Obama’s speech last night, and I probably should have. I was just too tired, and figured that I would look over the transcript at a later time. Well, I haven’t exactly done that either…at least not completely…
But one of the items that popped out at me was his directive that a website be formed (www.recovery.gov) to provide the American people the “transparency, oversight, and accountability” to track where the money for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is going. To which I say…
Government now cannot track the billions of dollars that are spent on Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and other social services much less any other part of the government. Cost overruns and outright fraud account for more mismanagement. Yes, I know that President Obama has promised to “ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud,” but so has every other President, to no avail. And now we are to expect an accounting down to the penny of where the Redistribution of Future Taxpayer Dollars ARRA is being spent? Please do not insult my intelligence!
Governments cannot operate under transparency. If so, then why do so many committees that are trying to work out compromises meet behind closed doors, and the minutes not available for public review? If so, then why did the ARRA (all 1000+ pages) not be published in time (48 hours was the promise) before the vote was taken?
Because that very same transparency would expose the vile corruption that takes place in our government. The power-plays, the gamesmanship, the outright stupidity of our elected representatives would be exposed for all to see, and no amount of media whitewashing could cover it up.
So where is the oversight and accountability? Government watching itself and holding itself to the highest standards? Who determines the standards? Sounds more like the fox watching the hen house for the farmer.
Which now brings me to a local instance of government trying fly completely under the radar…
The local government wanted to hold an election yesterday for the purpose of floating a $70 million bond for updating the schools. The notice for the election went completely unnoticed by yours truly and his newspaper reading better half (wife) until the day of the election when one of my coworkers mentioned it. There was only a couple of inches in that day’s paper, and it was buried in the back pages. Of course, it would mean that our property taxes would go up (again!) to cover the bond for the next 30 years. I already have an ax to grind with the local educational system (that is a rant for another post), but this was about as underhanded as I could think. Springing this on us at the last minute “for the kids” in a time of when houses are being foreclosed upon, people losing jobs all over the place, people leaving the state in droves, school enrollment is dropping, and government is wanting us to voluntarily raise our property taxes? Come on!! Where is the common sense?
And now we have a President who is arguably a great orator, promising to be all things to all people, and ready to jump over tall buildings to set things right for this country via government intervention. Reminds me of the Ronald Reagan quote:
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
The government is here, and it’s wanting to “help.” God help us all.