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Thread: “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all,

  1. #11
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    My brother, like Geithner, worked offshore. He's no fan of Obama, but says that Geithner's mistakes are common and understandable and as he said, "it don't make him a bad guy."

    The moral, if any, is that we ask a lot of our public servants and we offer them little but abuse in return. We may turn up some crooks in the process. However, what I find amazing is that any honest person would accept the job at all. When you treat everyone like a crook, you will eventually find that only the most successful crooks will put up with you; the honest people will stay home.
    Exactly.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    This Wall Street Journal op-ed dovetails nicely with what Yardley wrote: http://online.wsj.com/article/wonder_land.html

    Hopefully Cotts and all the others cheering on the Orwellian "Truth Commissions" will take a peak. Here's an excerpt:

    Some may argue that a Tim Geithner or Eric Holder deserves no more quarter than the Democratic opposition has given former Justice Department official John Yoo or the other targets of the Democrats' calls for "criminal" prosecution of former government officials and CIA interrogators.

    Others will say this is the normal rough and tumble of politics. It is not. It is more insidious than that. The system is on a downward spiral in which the notion that a sitting American government should be able to function is irrelevant.

    Washington is falling to the level of a Web-based video game. Everyone is expendable. Treasury secretaries and presidential advisers are a dime a dozen. Put differently: The job-protected and gerrymandered lifers are driving out the competition. More often than not, Washington's worst people are destroying its better people.

    In his report, Mr. Conyers cites a catalogue of good-government laws that flowed out of Richard Nixon's impeachment: the Federal Campaign Finance Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Independent Counsel Act, the Ethics in Government Act, and the Presidential Records Act.

    Whatever the original rationale for such laws, the rankest impulses in politics soon turned them into weapons to take down officials in a government one can't overthrow by other means. You could fill the whole House chamber with men and women who since Watergate have been driven out and bankrupted by them. Criminalizing policy differences has become the modern version of bills of attainder.

  3. #13
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    This Wall Street Journal op-ed dovetails nicely with what Yardley wrote: http://online.wsj.com/article/wonder_land.html

    Hopefully Cotts and all the others cheering on the Orwellian "Truth Commissions" will take a peak. Here's an excerpt:
    I think it's a good piece and should inform discussions from the right and the left. I like the analogy to video games. Maybe that has something to do with our apparent willingness to raise all disputes to a level where scorched earth tactics seem justified.

    One of the things that struck me in the period of my life when i worked in government was that the ideological questions of what should we do were actually irrelevant 99% of the time. The relevant questions were could we effectively do anything to mitigate a problem. More often than not, the answer was no. At that point there were always ideologues who would fight to have something done anyway.

    Too many issues get classified as measures of ideological purity or religious orthodoxy long before the science is resolved. Historically, I believe our strength as a nation has been our willingness to approach issues pragmatically rather than ideologically. A strength of our legislative system was always that people could agree on a course of action even whe they did not agree on objectives.

    We seem to have lost that capacity somewhere in the mid-90's. I fear that if we do not regain a pragmatic perspective, looking for the areas that we can work together and accepting that not every problem can or should be fixed, we will continue on a path of economic and political collapse.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    The moral, if any, is that we ask a lot of our public servants and we offer them little but abuse in return. We may turn up some crooks in the process. However, what I find amazing is that any honest person would accept the job at all. When you treat everyone like a crook, you will eventually find that only the most successful crooks will put up with you; the honest people will stay home.
    I don't think it is "wrong" to hold our elected officials to high standards of behavior. They are given great power to make the laws that govern the rest of us. Power should have responsibility.

    Perhaps our problem has been that we are too quick to accept that our politicians will necessarily be corrupt. Corrupt politicians create the impetus for those laws that end up being used against those that aren't corrupt. And the media (as in Jeff's case) then has reason to suspect a snake under every rock.

    Our elected officials are citizens and expected to obey the laws just like the rest of us. Their elected position does not absolve them from obeying the laws. Since they made those laws, they should be the first to step up to the plate in observing them conscientiously.

    Jeff, I admire your efforts (while in government employ) to do the right thing. Since you were not dishonest in your behavior, you were able to document your honesty. And you deserve recognition for outing those who were dishonest and corrupt.

    The media also has great power & should also be using that power responsibly. Often that is not the case.

    Whatever the Obama administration turns out to be, those who are footing the bill & placed faith in the hope of change, have a right to get the facts. Thus far, regardless of the spin put on them, the appointments to high administrative positions have not been encouraging. Nor is it encouraging that some Republicans have defended that having former lobbyists in cabinet positions is "needed".
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

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