In all the noise and anger over TARP, Recovery, and Healthcare reform, we as a nation discovered something far more acidic and corrosive to our democracy than any of the so called “socialist” agenda of government control.
It was late one night, and I was half watching, and half not, switching between the Yankees, CNN, Fox, and Discovery Channel, when I heard something that stopped me in my tracks. Thank goodness for Tivo, I stop; I rewind, and listen again, thinking I must have heard it wrong. But I hadn’t….
What was it you ask that I heard, and we as a nation discovered? Our Senators and Congressmen don’t actual read bills before they vote on them.
It’s difficult to do in a blog, but this would be the scene of the movie where there’s a long uncomfortable pause of disbelieve. The characters would just look at each other and say “did that really happen?” “Did he just say that they never actually read the bills that they vote on”?
Am I the only one who had a “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment? The sad part is that I, like the rest of America, got sucked into the next sound bite, completely forgetting about the fact that billions of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent in government programs in the past 12 months, detailed in documents that our elected representatives don’t even understand themselves. It was not until I was thinking of ideas for this post that I recalled the horror of learning how irresponsible government had become.
Sadder still was the fact that the press is not talking about this.
If an employee of a company entered into a contract with a supplier without reading the agreement, they’d call it something like “fired for cause”.
If it was the Military, and a General did not read a rules of engagement pact put together with a local authority, it might be called something like “gross dereliction of duty”.
So what do we call it when the officials that we elect to make decisions for us, and allocate our tax dollars, have no idea what they are signing up for when they vote?
In defense of this quirk in our system of government, insiders tell me that the legislative staff reads the bills. Or more accurately the staff is briefed on the bill by lobbyist who wrote the bill, and then the staff briefs the lawmaker. Did I really just write that? It does not seem it could be true?
So I leave it to you, the online politicos. What do we call it when our Senators and Congressmen act like sub prime mortgage buyers with no money, and don’t bother to read the fine print?
What are your thoughts?
Guest Blogger – Jeff Hine