Assuming it was necessary to save your life, how would you like to have brain surgery performed by a physician who had just lost $100,000 in the stock market? Well, believe it or not, I have a true story to tell you today that is far more serious than a single brain surgery, as serious as that is, because my true story impacts every single person in our nation. What I want to share has to do with what is taking place in and around our nation’s capital. As a taxpayer or a citizen of this great nation, you deserve to know this.
To begin, in his New York Times Bestseller, "Throw Them All Out" Peter Schweizer asks these revealing questions on the back cover, "How is it that politicians enter office with relatively modest assets, but then, as investors, regularly beat the stock market and sometimes beat the most rapacious hedge funds? How did some members of Congress know to dump their stock holdings just in time to escape the effects of the 2009 financial meltdown? And how is it that billionaires and hedge fund managers often make well-timed investment decisions that anticipate events in Washington?"
In his powerfully argued book, the author blows the lid off Washington’s epidemic of "honest graft." He exposes a secret world where members of Congress insert earmarks into bills to improve their real estate holdings, and campaign contributions receive billions in federal grants. For this, nobody goes to jail. Why? Because members of Congress do not have to play by the same rules as those in the private sector.
Peter Schweizer is the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also president of the Government Accountability Institute, an organization he launched to research and investigate crony capitalism.
This activity, which is completely legal by their standards, is bi-partisan because members of both political parties have been doing this for many years. The end result is something he calls the Permanent Political Class. There was a day when those who ran for and were elected to Congress went to Washington, served, and then returned home to take up the career they left behind. No more. When they go to Washington now, they stay, because living off of taxpayer money has become a full-time career. This has resulted in the three richest counties in the country, and seven of the top 10, being in the Washington, D.C., area.
Most of those who live in these counties are well-connected, live a lavish lifestyle, drive the most expensive cars and have corporate jets. In short, Washington has become a boom town, and is different from other boom towns in our nation’s history. All the others had a product associated with their great prosperity. For example, San Francisco had gold, Amarillo had cattle and Detroit had automobiles. On the other hand, Washington is awash with money. While there are more than 300,000 federal employees at an average annual salary of $120,000, this is peanuts when compared to taxpayer money, and even money we are borrowing from others that these people are able to get their hands on through crony capitalism.
As I said in the beginning, this is something everyone deserves to know. If you would like the full story, read "Throw Them All Out" by Peter Schweizer. I was able to buy a copy through www.amazon.com for less than $10 and I was incensed by what I learned.
Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.