Mike’s Musings- Who is looking out for our money- It’s not the IRS

Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

Seeing a couple of ragged souls on McEwan St. this week, waving their placards and asking passersby to honk if they dislike President Obama’s job performance, made me start to think whether I agreed with the protestors.

It didn’t take long to come up with an answer. I do. President Obama has been a huge disappointment. I had so many high hopes when he was first elected to office, but like many politicians, his rhetoric far outweighs his substance. And like many second term presidents, without the fear of facing another election, he seems half the man he was on the campaign trail.

What irks me the most is he doesn’t seem to have much of a handle on the everyday workings of government. If I were president, I would demand accountability from my cabinet members meaning we would meet everyday, and every minor issue would be discussed.
I would sign off on all federal invoices. That might seem like micromanaging, but hey, taxpayers deserve accountability, and the buck should stop with the President. No more IRS, of for the matter, any department being able to spend as much as they want on lavish parties and conferences.

I’m appalled to think that people the scrutinize my tax returns, and continuously ask for more money, have spend $50,000,000 on parties and conferences from 2010 through 2012. I can’t comprehend $50,000,000, let alone spend it. Some of the expenses were outrageous. One of the top dogs stayed in a Presidential Suite- which cost nearly $2000 a night. They made stupid videos- one was a Star Trek parody with the top IRS official playing the role of Dr. Spock.

Readers, this is our money, and the people in charge of our money for the federal government, spent it like it was play money. And that’s the problem. To many in federal government, our money is their personal play money to do as they please-

The executive branch, ie. the President, should be in charge of spending our money, but they really could care less. They are too busy squabbling with Congress or other world leaders. Imagine having endless suitcases full of cash, and no one telling you where and how to spend it. That’s how I view some of these government agencies.

Congress could demand accountability as well, but have you seen all the perks members of Congress have. Let me review with you, the pay and perks the 535 elected representatives are entitled to:

-$174,000 yearly base pay. But wait, there is also a separate kitty known as their allowance. This funding generally goes toward maintaining their offices and employing an entourage. This allowance is approximately $1.2 million a year. Additionally they get franking priveleges, which means they can send mail to constituents free of charge.

-The $1.2 million is for members of the House of Representatives. If you happen to get elected as a senator that number now becomes on average- $3,300,000 yearly.

-Oh and I almost forgot to mention, their office space is free. They are, allowed to rent an unlimited number of offices in their home district, as long as they don’t exceed 8200 square feet. And the furniture- up to $50,000 is free as well.

-Then there’s down time. Lately, the Senate has averaged about 3 working days a week, the House, 3.5 days. That’s when they are there. They are off for extended breaks during President’s Day, a spring break, a Memorial Day break, a 4th of July break, and a summer vacation. Additionally they adjourn in early November for the rest of the year, so members can campaign. Of course if you’re a member of the Senate, you only campaign once every six years, so it’s simply more time off.

-Then there’s the free health insurance, pension plan that is the best in the world, 401K etc. etc. It’s mindboggling, the perks we give our federally elected officials.

So to expect them to keep an eye on spending is the biggest folly. They can’t control their own spending. How they going to be our watchdogs for federal bureaucrats?

I gotta throw up my hands. The President is all talk. Congress could care less. What can we expect when no one is watching who’s hands are in the cookie jar?

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