I'm not naive. I've known about our government's insistence upon inefficiency and waste for a very long time. Sometimes it appears that we all view such matters as "gravity"; just one of those things that we can't change so we just go with the flow. However, this persistent plutocratic profligacy was pitched into my face by a source that was too close to ignore and it has caused a stench in my nostrils.
Who of us hasn't heard horror stories about the government's ability to throw fiscal responsibility out the window and to usher aside common sense like it was a horribly-malformed step-child? What troubles me is that nothing is being done about it (at least obviously) and no one in a leadership position has done anything but perhaps tender some minor carping about it. Didn't Rep. Tom Petri have a special "Porker Award" for such waste? Was anyone embarrassed by being a recipient to the point of actually being responsible? Wasn't there a "Fiscal Responsibility Act"? Strangely, nothing is changing and the waste continues to mount to the point of criminality.
The recent instance to which I am referring is concerning a particular military base (the exact base is irrelevant since it's the system that is corrupt and the corruption reaches to all facilities regardless of location). A friend (who is a civilian contractor with the military) was relating how the base commander has to maintain a certain "cash flow" so that the funding isn't curtailed or even cut off. That meant they had to dig pits into which new computers, new equipment, and new furniture and supplies were buried without so much as having been taken out of the boxes/crates. When he related this story I didn't know whether to up and heave clods or just up and heave.
This loony doctrine of "throwing new stuff away so we can get more new stuff" has to stop. Someone must make these wasters accountable (I think "pillagers" would be more accurate). If our Congressmen won't, then who will? I'm up a stump. People have been bellyaching about government waste for a long time prior to my having sucked in my first breathe of polluted air on this planet and yet nothing has changed.
One such story was related to me (in 1976) by an upper middle-aged man who had been a carpenter during WWII. He had been a married man with children so wasn't called and therefore missed the draft, as I recall. I don't even recall what precipitated the conversation other than the fact that, almost 30 years after, it still impressed him enough to blabber about it. The man related how he and his team had to follow government regulations while building government buildings. That meant that they were required to cut a certain length piece of board from the stock length of lumber then throw the remainder away to be burned. He told of how he could hardly believe that he would have to cut a 2' piece from an 8' board then throw the 6' piece away. Then he would cut another 2' section from another 8' board and, again, throw the longer section away rather than just cut three more 2' sections. The taste of this ugly story remains bitter in my mouth even after almost thirty years.
Stories like this gives one pause to figure a way to circumvent the monumental inertia of lunacy that has pervaded our leaders. Oh, for another Thomas Jefferson or George Washington to re-introduce fiscal sanity into our government. Fat chance.
By the way; where the heck is the GAO? Do these people just count a few beans and then take a nice coffee break after pointing out that 1 TRILLION dollars has gone missing and can’t be accounted for in the slightest? Do they sleep soundly at night knowing about the heinous heists on their watch? Is there some reason they are a "paper tiger" who can’t even roar their way out of a wet paper bag? How about the hard question that Nancy Levant recently posited: "Do Americans Care If America Ends?"
This entire matter stinks to high heaven. Not a single private enterprise would be allowed to operate this way. They would be as bankrupt as our government is now in no time. Which leads me to ask: "Since we have leaders in Washington who have been the heads of large corporations and even some who own or have owned their own business, why aren't they running the country in the same responsible way (Enron and a few others aside)?"
Hopefully, enough of us will beat on our drums and on the doors of our legislators until they actually do something (other than create more mischief in the form of "fix it" legislation which is then neutered by the opposition party). Perhaps we won't just lie down and get used the stink. There is, after all, an election in '16.