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The Real Scandal


It’s refreshing to see that the Main Stream Media is actually taking a serious look at an Obama administration scandal. Unlike the “Messiah” of two years ago, today’s all too human Obama is actually being held to some ethical standards (if by “held to” you mean “caught by”). His tampering with Democratic primaries by offering jobs to induce inconvenient candidates to drop out is clearly illegal. But anyone paying attention has long since figured out that all of Obama can be divided in three parts: He’s one part leftist fanatic, one part incompetent novice and one part “Chicago-level” Corrupt. (I’ve given up trying to figure out which “third” predominates.) But, the REAL issue, and the REAL scandal is being overlooked by almost everyone.

To illustrate, let’s imagine that I was running for Congress and the President called up and said “Listen, we’d like to avoid a messy primary fight, so how about I give you your choice of three different jobs. You can be a dermatologist, a software engineer or an electrician.” I would be forced to say, “But Mr. President, I’m not qualified to do any of those things. They each require very special skills!”

Of course, those aren’t the jobs that were offered to Andrew Romanoff to entice him to drop out of a U.S. Senate primary in Colorado. We now know the White House wanted him to consider (and I’m betting Joe Sestak was offered roughly the same list): “Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America, and the Caribbean at the United States Agency for International Development”, “ Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance” at the same agency and “Director of the United States Trade and Development Agency”. Now I bet you Free Market Warriors are wondering just what the “Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance” does. The answer: He doesn’t run for the Senate from Colorado!

Thus we have an illustration of the difference between the real world and the Washington world. In the real world a job is something that needs to be done. If I run a business and I need an engineer, let’s say, I don’t have the luxury of using that position to bribe someone not to run for Congress because I want my guy to be unopposed. If I don’t hire the best, most competent engineer, my business might fail and drag me into bankruptcy. Do you think they worry about this over at the United States Agency for International Development? Can you imagine if Romanoff had taken the job, that six weeks later someone would come to Obama and say, “You know that Romanoff guy just can’t seem to get the hang of ‘Democracy and Governance’. We better replace him with someone better.” Anyone who said that would be laughed out of the Oval Office. The man’s not messing up our Colorado Senate race. That’s what he’s getting paid for! And, of course, they can afford to pay him because he’s getting paid with our money.

So, here’s the real scandal. Our federal government has about 2 million employees excluding the military and the Post Office. The vast majority do nothing. Oh sure, they write memos, go to meetings and force businesses to jump through regulatory hoops before getting anything done. And they try to figure out how to put 17 word job titles onto their business cards. But they do nothing that “needs to be done” (remember that’s supposed to be the definition for the word “Job”.) These positions exist solely so that politicians can manipulate people. On the lower levels jobs are essentially traded for votes. If those Tea Party types come to power, the 89,000 people (no joke!) who work for the Department of Agriculture (and grow no crops) are going to be unemployed. So, they better vote the right way! On the higher levels the jobs are rewards for campaign workers, compensation for allies defeated at the ballot box and, as we are seeing, bribes to alter political decisions. And, of course, the Republicans have behaved the same way, although perhaps less egregiously. The real question is how long the American people are going to put up with a system that can’t be uncorrupted because it has no other purpose beside corruption.

Real change will begin when the American people realize that there is no “right” person to fill any of these arcane and meaningless jobs, just as there is no “right” leader to preside over it all. We have allowed an evil monstrosity of corrupt and oppressive government to bestraddle our once free society. The way forward is to eliminate it, root and branch, and return to the governance our Founders envisioned and crafted. In that way alone, lays freedom.

Loren Spivack (The Free Market Warrior)
Blogs at: and gives free Seminars in classical economics to groups around the country.

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