Our nation was built on representative government. But our representatives are so concerned with re-election that many are now afraid to do what’s best for our nation. So much so, that they try to hide their actions from the very people they represent.
The on-going debate over the federal tax code is a case in point.
Before many senators were willing to venture opinions on the tax code, they needed to be assured by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that any suggestions would be kept secret for 50 years! Exactly what, or who, are they afraid of?
In a word, you.
Thanks to the Baucus-Hatch declaration, senators may now solicit favors from the K Street lobbyists without fear of repercussions. They are now free to recommend tax loopholes for their largest campaign contributors and special interests without fear of discovery by the people they are supposed to represent. By the time anyone finds out, they’ll be dead and forgotten.
Not exactly representative government, is it?
In one declaration, Baucus and Hatch have exposed everything that’s wrong with our government. And it’s not just a problem with the federal government. Such secrecy and tricks are used and abused by governments at all levels…city, county and state.
Those with money can buy access to those who make the laws. After all, it takes money to run for office these days…lots of it. So defense contractors, the American Medical Association, health insurance, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Wall Street, multinational corporations, billionaires, the NRA and others write our laws. They write the very regulations that will govern them, and because they write them, they feel free to break them.
No money. No access.
Only a very few politicians have demonstrated through their actions that they are immune to such power. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and a very small number of others have stood on priniciple. They seem willing to do the right thing and explain their decisions to those who elected them.
Far too many others say one thing in public and do something far different behind closed doors. The Baucus-Hatch declaration…along with Senators Baucus and Hatch…needs to go.