Government greed and transparency

America’s financial institutions have been finally receiving the kind of attention they’ve needed for a long time – much like a plane in need of service. Better to get to them before the kind of crash that leaves them beyond repair.

A friend points out that a lot of the news coverage wrongly attributes the problems in our financial system to “unfettered capitalism.” This friend describes it instead as “government enabled and incentivized perverting of the proper function of price and credit.”

It is my personal hope that similar levels of attention will soon be paid to other government-caused problems like government’s over-spending and over-taxing. We’ve highlighted the work of former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker – who wants Americans to know about the $52 trillion dollar federal debt and liabilities, and the work of Truth in Accounting’s Sheila Weinberg – who has brought attention to the “$44 billion dollar lie” on the part of Illinois’ political leaders.

Another great example of government excess is reflected in the studies showing that federal, state, and local government employees are given much better pay and benefits packages on average than their private sector counterparts.

To put it in even simpler terms, those who are paid by tax dollars are richer than those who pay the taxes.

The political left and the Democrats love class warfare – but don’t expect them to start highlighting this inequity struggle any time soon.

As we noted several months ago, Governor Sarah Palin has put the State of Alaska’s check register online for its citizens to inspect. Here in Illinois, our elected Republican leadership in the General Assembly has been silent on the issue of government transparency. While a transparency bill has been introduced, there hasn’t been any concerted effort on the part of Republicans to win public support for it and the legislation is locked away in the rules committee.

Next time you hear a Republican legislator invoke the name of Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, you might ask that politician to be honest about how they measure up to the Palin standard on reform – and transparency.

David Walker, Sheila Weinberg and others are warning about the coming fiscal crisis when it comes to local, state and federal government spending. We don’t have to wait for the next government enabled crash to begin giving it the kind of attention it deserves.

2008 John Francis Biver