Consider that no less than four such “officials” personally selected by President Obama to serve in his Cabinet have been embroiled in scandal, and most of these have been forced to step-down. The first to fall was New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, chosen to head up the Department of Commerce, but then was discovered to be under federal investigation for allegedly granting government business contracts in his home state in exchange for campaign donations.
Then came the succession of three Cabinet nominees who, as it turned out, had all dodged the I.R.S. and had failed to pay their taxes adequately and on-time. Among this select crowd was, ironically, Nancy Killifer, the person chosen by President Obama to be the first-ever “Chief Performance Officer” of the U.S. Government, the person who would ensure our government’s “efficiency” and who would seek to eliminate “government waste.”
And of course, the irony among ironies - - there is our new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Mr. Geithner is the one scandal-plagued Cabinet nominee who did not withdraw his nomination merely because he failed to manage his personal finances correctly. Today, Geithner is the tax dodger who oversees the entire I.R.S.
Is the scandal, and corruption, and “conflict of interest” that is so flagrantly on display in Washington right now a phenomena unique to Democrats? Absolutely not! Republicans have known their share of such misgivings. At the very least, an intellectually honest person would have to admit that while Congressional Democrats may have begun the modern-day “art” of earmark spending, the Republican-controlled Congress of the Bush-era most certainly “perfected” the art.
The difference between Democrats and Republicans in this regard is, largely, a philosophical difference, but it is a profound difference nonetheless. Contemporary Democratic thought insists that as long as power is concentrated in the hands of the “correct people,” with the “correct ideas” about how to wield that power, then there is no limit to the goodness that government agencies and programs can bring about.
Historic Republican thought has, until recent years, insisted that increased concentrations of power in the hands of governmental agents tends to corrupt even the best of intentions.
Today, we have a President who believes that the U.S. Constitution is flawed, because of its focus on what government cannot do to U.S. citizens, rather than focusing on all the wonderful things that government CAN do for citizens. And he is well underway with his efforts to do many “wonderful things” to us all, even as his well-intended plans continue to go sour.
It is time for Republicans to return to their “historic” philosophical underpinning. America must re-discover a healthy skepticism of government’s “wonderful things.”
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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