Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama ethics

The day after President Obama was sworn into office, he issued an executive order prohibiting administration appointees from accepting positions in federal agencies they had lobbied in the previous two years. Democrats heralded it as a new era of ethical behavior in government.

Two days later, Obama had to issue a “wavier” to his own rules to appoint William Lynn as Deputy Secretary of Defense. William Lynn headed government relations with Raytheon, which is one of the largest defense contractors in the country. While Lynn headed government lobbying at Raytheon, the company spent more than $14.5 million lobbying the House, Senate, DARPA, Defense Department, Energy Department, Treasury Department, State Department, and others. The payoff? $54 BILLION in direct government contracts, and more if you include their subcontracts to other companies. Lynn's appointment clearly violates Obama’s new ethics guidelines, which is why he had to issue a “waiver” to his own rules.

Yesterday Timothy Geithner won conformation as Obama’s Treasury Secretary. Geithner was previously president the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which was part of the monetary shenanigans that helped cause the economic mess we are in today. Geithner failed to pay self-employment taxes for several years while he worked at the International Monetary Fund. He also made false deductions on his tax return relating to child care. Geithner did not make any attempt to pay his back taxes until after Obama expressed his intent to nominate Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury. If you would have refused to pay your back taxes for years, the IRS would have put lien on your bank account, garnished your wages, and sent you letters threatening jail. Ask Wesley Snipes who was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to pay back taxes. Geithner's political connections spared him from the type of treatment the rest of us get at the hands of the IRS.

Obama has only been president for a week yet we’re already finding huge ethical problems. I’m quite sure these aren’t the only ones because politicians of all stripes are by their very nature unethical and in this case hypocritical as well.

But hey, Obama’s heart is in the right place and he is trying to do the right thing, so who cares about a few transgressions? While I am in no way comparing Obama to these people, let's not forget that this was the exact argument made by left about all of their heros from Stalin to Castro.


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Anonymous said...

My tank is full and my mortgage is paid for me! All hail lord Obama. Awesome!

He's just another slick politician. Very very slick.