The Politics of Money and Favors

by Jack Lee

Cronyism define by Webster’s: the unfair practice by a powerful person (such as a politician) of giving jobs and other favors to friends: partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications

Cronyism and corruption go hand-in-hand, but as bad as these two concepts may be, they are not necessarily illegal and that’s where cronyism thrives. It stays under the radar screen and away from the public’s scrutiny. The politicats in Washington want to keep it that way and they don’t want you knowing anything about this subject!

teaparty34Cronyism, sometimes called patronage, cuts a wide swath across many political activities and that makes it extremely dangerous to our republican form of government. Anytime politicians can advance the power and financial well being of their friends and or factions it comes at the direct cost of the taxpayers. We the people are paying billions more than we should in wasted taxes because of this legal and most accepted practice in Washington.

Ironically, our founders foresaw the dangers of cronyism. We were expressly warned in the government essay by James Madison titled, Summary and Analysis Section II: Advantages of Union: Federalist No. 10. In that essay, Madison observed that corruption in other popular governments of his day was due in large part to their inability to control the officials that used politics to empower those they favored, such as their favored political party, their favored businesses or just close associates or supporters of their career.

Therefore, the proposed Constitution should check the power of factions by balancing one against the other. Madison wrote factious leaders might “kindle a flame” in one state, but would be unable to spread a general conflagration throughout the states, but our checks and balance system would protect us.

Unfortunately, Hamilton, as brilliant and helpful as he was, inadvertently helped to grow cronyism when he crafted a national bank and instituted other political ideas to connect our economy to Washington. His policies were well intended and designed to expressly to create a vested interest in the success of government among creditors and debtors alike. But, this morphed into linking the success of business to the activities inside Washington, thus the [patronage] business was born.

Over time, as our economy grew, politicians were increasingly in a position to offer substantial incentives, to mobilize political factions, to empower themselves, to create jobs, to selectively hand out contracts and to make many other lucrative deals with the private sector. The more government grew, the more opportunity they had offer quid pro deals and bring along those that supported them. The seeds of vote buying were cast in the early 1800’s.

Today, we see the end result in a glaring example, the US tax code. The tax code is so laden with loop holes, exceptions, exemptions, and discounts to factions, businesses and friends that nobody can correctly interpret its the 73,954 pages!

Cronyism is big business in Washington. And the checks and balances our founders thought would hold it back are not working. The lobbyists exploiting it far outnumber those calling for reform. Washington and the surrounding areas are now America’s most expensive real estate, because that is where the money is handed out. Sadly, most of this nefarious activity is technically legal. There’s no headlines to alert us and when there are it’s covered up quickly. So, it goes on largely unnoticed by the public. That’s exactly how Washington wants to keep it and you better believe both sides are playing this game.

Both party’s benefit hugely from cronyism. The Republicans talk a good game about reforming cronyism and corruption, but then they’ve largely held the purse strings in Washington since 1994, so either you must conclude they are grossly incompetent or they are part of the problem. Either way, we lose.

What’s the answer? It’s simple enough, keep informing yourself by reading the truth about Washington. Sooner or later you will get fed up enough to do something about it.

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8 Responses to The Politics of Money and Favors

  1. J. Soden says:

    Unfortunately, we have a scurrilous prez and justice department who willfully ignore some laws and attempt to rewrite others without benefit of Clowngress. Picking and choosing which laws to follow was NOT contemplated by the honest folks who created our country and our Constitution.
    And it won’t change until there’s new leadership in DC.

  2. Tina says:

    Jack this is a very thoughtful piece that brings up a frustrating issue for the American people. In my estimation the most significant factor contributing to this problem came in your seventh paragraph when you wrote: “The more government grew, the more opportunity they had offer quid pro deals and bring along those that supported them.”

    Think about how the federal government has grown since Hamilton’s day! The Constitution grants the federal government very limited powers.

    Words of wisdom from Hamilton:

    “There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.” – (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, #78.)

    “When a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 28.)

    Right now we use words to fight the government. I pray we never have to use weapons. It’s hard to imagine, with all of the socialist thinkers in this country, that we will ever succeed in limiting the federal government and empowering the people and the states as originally intended. The first tool at our disposal is education…or, I must say, “re-education” since our kids have been sold on the socialist lie and were never taught the value and responsibilities of freedom and self governance.

    We haven’t yet come to the place where one group or united groups of people has managed to take absolute control but the hard core radical socialists are working on it.

    Thanks for continuing to put it out there.

  3. Dewey says:

    The web of corruption is long, dark and been around since this country was started.

    However if one overlooks the several Supreme court decisions ending with the 2010 Citizens United decision that have undermined the system. It has been reduced to a 24/7 business where the politicians are bought out. Both Parties are subject and basically President Carter has called it. We have an Oligarchical system.

    Transnational Corporations want to limit the government to rule the world. Fascism is here. Public Libraries, Schools, fire, police funded by taxpayers are in the way. All of those things my friends including the Veterans Hospitals and social security checks are socialist. Democratic socialism.

    Yes we are against a few corporations dictating to the people. Media is no more than Propaganda owned by 6. Retail has gone down to equity companies and hedge fund managers raiding the assets. The banks are buying up property. China is buying up ports ect ect. 1/7th of US assets are foreign owned. Your America is gone. Politicians are selling us off for their donors.

    We use to be a capitalist country balanced by socialism. Now everything is to be for profit and owned by a few corporations. Even the Beer Industry is going down into a Monopoly. There is no such thing as an unregulated free market. The few are buying up everything.

    We will have to use weapons against the fascists and their corporate Military. “War is a racket” But realize they have drones. Build a Southern and northern Border wall and watch the country go into a state of authoritarian capitalism.

    The empire has fallen. United we stand divided we fall.

    This left, right game is all a bunch of crap.

  4. Dewey says:

    Vice President Henry A. Wallace “The Danger of American Fascism” New York Times 1944 –

    The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

    ————read the article some day from a Vice President.

    There is a reason the Koch’s alone are going to spend almost a Billion Dollars on this election. Many others including the wall street banks buying Hilliary are in the game. It is an investment not fine gentlemen supporting candidates. Their returns this time may very well be ownership of all public assets Through writing laws to suit themselves.

  5. Peggy says:

    Ted Cruz just put the IRS on notice. The search for justice isn’t over.

    Sen. Cruz Asks DOJ to Preserve All IRS-Related Documents:

    “The IRS targeting scandal is a serious breach of the public trust

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) preserve all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents and information for investigation under the next administration. Sen. Cruz’s letter comes after the DOJ recently closed its investigation into improper targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

    “Make no mistake: the IRS’s targeting of ordinary citizens for their political viewpoints under this Administration is not a minor issue, and represents a significant breach of the public trust. Even a casual observer of the IRS targeting scandal could not help but come to the conclusion that there is a strong appearance that the IRS, under this Administration’s political leadership, used the coercive tools available to the tax collection agency to harass people with conservative viewpoints,” Sen. Cruz wrote. “It is important for you and other officials in this Administration to understand that this Administration’s decisions to neither continue this investigation nor appoint a special prosecutor do not represent the conclusion of this matter.”

    Sen. Cruz’s letter can be read in its entirety below”

    http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2499

    • Tina says:

      Oh fun…let’s break this down:

      “American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. (Hillary, Obama, Pelosi/Reid to a tea!)

      Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. (Until very recently the media has been in bed with the left. During the reign Of Obama they have helped promote division. Freedom is the only viable front against fascism)

      They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. (Democracy is mob rule…not much better than fascism)

      They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. (Name a few isolationist slogans that have really caught fire recently- name a time when any American of note was in favor of taking control of other nations)

      They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. (Britain has been a close ally; we share common values. Relations with Russia had been moderated significantly until the Hillary reset, ME bumbling, scrapping missile defense in Poland)

      They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. (Hmmm…which party has grown the size and scope of government, is constantly writing new regulations to take control? Hillary and Bernie want government to control preschool and college now…non of this “crap” is Constitutional)

      They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. (The right prefers simplified tax rules ora flat tax with no loopholes. The left wants all the complicated rules, redistribution, and bigger government… WAKE UP)

      Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection. (Welcome to the modern day socialist Democrat Party that just happen to have created tax structures, new regulations and another entitlement program that are forcing monopolies, and putting small independent business out of business. Fascism, Dewey…with George Soros’s billions, big corporations, big education, and big unions all in the same bed )

      Fascism and communism are compared here. The radical left in america embraces both: “Communism stands for a stateless society where all are equal. (This is the so-called goal of racial and gender activism) Fascism pertains to state and it considers state on top of everything (Yep the big government model)

      And you think Bernie Sanders is the man to honor our Constitution?

      Bernie thinks in terms of control…to him the state is EVERYTHING! See here:

      …socialism is based upon political control of the economy. True (or at least original) socialists believe that state agents via the “magic” of their authority should allocate all resources to where there is the greatest need for them. Political representatives, not surprisingly, determine what constitutes the greatest need. The state would take ownership of all factors of production and then wisely determine the needs and how production of goods would fulfill them. … Sanders is promoting a version of the governing models of Germany under Adolph Hitler and Italy under Benito Mussolini. … Like Sanders, Mussolini called himself a socialist and was a leader in the Italian Socialist Party. Like Sanders, Mussolini decried “profiteers” and the wealthy, and spoke out against political corruption. Like Sanders, Mussolini spoke of a larger “national purpose” and sought to harness nationalism as a political force. Like Sanders, Mussolini sought to impose more and more controls on Italian businesses in order to direct production in a way to satisfy political purposes. Like Sanders, Mussolini built political power by appealing to Italian voters by saying that other Italians were well-off because they had gained their wealth on the backs of the poor. … He promotes economic nationalism and has built his campaign upon resentment…

      Dewey I’ve said it before…you are one confused dude.

  6. Pie Guevara says:

    Dewey inadvertently just did an excellent job describing the fascism of the left. When you get down to brass tack, fascism, communism, and socialism are not that much different. Same results, different names.

    Tina, I think even Dewey’s handlers (the folks who have brainwashed him with this heavy load of tortured nonsense) are embarrassed by him.

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