Image via WikipediaOur government is broken. The house and senate do not represent the people anymore. They are unwilling and unable to put the electorate first because of the obligations they have to the special interest groups.
In 2008 some 15,000 lobbyist spent close to 3.3 billion dollars to win influence with the house, senate and various government agencies. It is no wonder we cannot get term limits passed.
None of the pigs wants to leave the trough. You could probably drag the average congressional representative or senator through a knothole backwards quicker then you could get them to abandon the swill fed them by special interest groups.
According to opensecrets.org, the health care lobby spent over 480 million dollars in 2008 to buy influence on Capitol Hill. These figures are disgusting and revelatory of how impossible meaningful healthcare reform is going to be.
Elected office in this country has become an entitlement to the incumbents. Their so-called public service is a thinly veiled attempt to perpetuate their own self-aggrandizement while they continue to amass wealth and influence at our expense.
The latest imbroglio to raise my ire was reported by the Associated Press today. It seems that Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad both democratic senators from Connecticut and North Dakota respectively are guilty of accepting preferential treatment from Country Wide Mortgage.
These so-called gentlemen have repeatedly denied any wrong doing or intentional malfeasance related to the mortgages they received from Country Wide. The AP storey makes it clear that their default position when caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is to look everyone in the eye and lie about it.
It will be interesting to see what the various ethics committees will finally conclude in terms of public censure. Even more interesting is how any sane voter could expect someone with the morals of an alley cat to represent their best interest. Unfortunately too many of our current representatives have anything but our best interest at heart.
Under our current laws allowing the purchase and sale of influence, the use and abuse of power and the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street we poor voters do not stand a chance. Our government is no longer of and for the people. It is of and for the special interest groups, lobbying firms, PAC’s and 527’s.
It is disheartening to realize that Harry Truman was the first president to try to implement healthcare reform. That was over 60 years ago. The healthcare lobby did not want reform then and they certainly do not want it now. For six decades, they have used the same tactic to forestall meaningful reform. They delay, stall, obfuscate and use scare tactics to keep it from happening. They also commit what is tantamount to bribery of the house and senate.
As bad as it is, we are getting the government we deserve. As long as we are willing to put up with the malfeasance, incompetence and turpitudes that exemplifies our elected officials nothing will change.
In the words of the immortal bard, if it’s to be it’s up to the collective we.