It’s not difficult to see the inexcusable gross overspending in some of America’s corporations. For years, some actions at the highest corporate levels have been indisputable flamboyant abuses of shareholder money. And when that behavior continues in companies that receive exorbitant federal “bailout” funds, credulity is strained beyond limits.
Consequently, the fury that President Barack Obama and Congress have expressed concerning this behavior is fully warranted. Congress has hauled some (even if often the wrong) managers into publicly broadcasted hearings to belittle and humiliate them. President Obama has chosen to make piñatas out of these abusers in his teleprompted speeches. The result? The appearance that something is being done.
The irony, however, as has been frequently pointed out, is that both the president and Congress are guilty of the very same practices. The “stimulus bill” and all of the subsequent abusive spending in the “omnibus bill” and budget are, to our nation, far more extreme than any malfeasance done by any corporate executive. The transfer of wealth embedded in these plans makes Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme appear rudimentary.
Since Congress and President Obama have repeatedly utilized the terms “accountability” and “transparency” in their rhetoric, it is time to insist that they be held to the same standards they place on their “subjects.” If the Obama administration and Pelosi-Reid Congress are allowed to drastically dilute and erode our free market system through their extreme forms of government regulation and spending, then their standards of regulation should be made equally applicable to their abuses as well. It is time that we address our public servants in the same ways we have chosen to treat our corporate executives. After all, as they put our nation on the road to eventual hyper-inflation or stagflation, the eradication of the dollar, and depression symptoms that will make the Great Depression not so great, they deserve at least the same level of regulation placed upon corporate America. They not only serve us but are fully federally funded in doing so.
One “change” that needs to be instituted is to eliminate, or significantly loosen, the immunity from criminal and civil actions that these officials enjoy. Ironically, the current Congress and president should favor this as it affords them an excellent way to repay one of their biggest constituents for their votes — the trial lawyers. Just as corporate executives have to face legal issues while in office, there is no need to protect Barney Frank or Harry Reid from the same burdens of the law while they are supposedly “serving” our interests. This is especially true when the charges would concern issues of spending and oversight as compared with those issues more intimately connected to foreign policy and national security for which immunity is more meaningful. Such release from immunity will certainly guarantee they will give that extra surge of consideration before further destroying our financial system.