There is Corruption…and There is Institutional Corruption.
Who can protect us from corruption by politicians within government?
Let me tell you a story of such corruption and where corruption leads. The lesson starts with politicians. These politicians often threaten to regulate businesses. The regulation is designed to be costly to business. High cost isn’t a fault, it is a feature. In fact, the more expensive and burdensome the regulations, the better this scheme works. Faced with this new legislation, the local businesses donate money to their local politician and the politician’s special interests. The legislation goes away after businesses deliver the donations.
This “money bill” can shake down an evil corporation as easily as it shakes down a scrupulously honest company. The virtue of the business isn’t the point of a “money bill”. The purpose of the “money bill” is…you guessed it…money. Money for the politician!
This money grab is common. It is done at the city, county, state and federal levels. Remember how the game is played while we add more pieces to the game.
Sometimes the “money” bill” scheme is used to control federal agencies. Federal agencies have lots of taxpayer money. They can spend it in a Senators state…or not. The federal agency can use the politically connected vendors who have already paid off their Senator.. or not. Corruption at this level is simply crass corruption for political gain. The corruption can go deeper; it can go beyond money and affect the core of government policy.
Not only do government agencies have more money than most citizens, government agencies have more lawyers. We’ve already seen the Federal Internal Revenue Service use the tax system as a weapon against political conservatives. When a Senator threatens the IRS, are they asking them to stop corruption, or intensify it? Corruption doesn’t stop with the IRS. Every agency of government has been politicized.
Federal agencies have tapped citizen’s phone calls. Politicians also use telephones and call mere citizens. That means federal agencies have also recorded politicians phone calls. That will embarrass most politicians AND most federal agencies. What we don’t know is if the politicians are using the power of their office to hide these recordings, or to secure the recordings and embarrass their political opponents. We don’t know all the facts, but we do know the character of those involved. We know federal agencies have power and money. We know politicians want more control.
That is why I’m undecided about Senator Dianne Feinstein calling out corruption in the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA reportedly removed documents from an ongoing investigation into CIA torture. I simply don’t know who to believe. Would the CIA remove torture documents, or is Senator Dianne Feinstein torturing the truth for political gain? That is the problem when compromised politicians cry wolf. I don’t know if Senator Feinstein is protecting us from government abuse of power, or if she personifies it and is trying to further exploit it. That is the problem with politicians who play the money game. It takes years to discover if they are seeking our interests…or theirs.
Money is not the root of all evil, but government money.. and power.. is the root of corruption. The only solution I see is to make government smaller.