No Oversight, Chaos, and Breathtaking Sums of Money

February 15, 2009 at 10:48 am

“You had no oversight, chaos and breathtaking sums of money. And over all of that was the notion that failure was O.K. It doesn’t get any better for criminals than that set of circumstances.” – Senator Claire McCaskill describing the operation to rebuild Iraq.

I was glad to see the Justice Department and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction are looking in to what happened to the $125 billion which was supposed to go to help rebuild Iraq.

Senator McCaskill’s statement, however, not only seemed to apply to Iraq, but characterizes the conservative movement over the past 30 years.

How? Conservatives have pushed for years to drown the government in the bathtub.

You hear it in many forms from their marketing department: smaller government, let the markets work, the private sector creates jobs, etc.

These are all nice sound bites to help them achieve their overarching goal of destroying the government.

The trouble is that once they get into government, this leaves them no incentive to do a good job.

The more they screw up the government, the more they can make the case to destroy it.

In conservative speak, it’s a win-win.

This is why conservatives have no qualms about:

  • Deficits – If the government goes bankrupt, conservatives win. Meanwhile, while we’re in charge, let’s give the money to our big industry backers.
  • Nepotism/Favoritism – Qualifications don’t matter to conservatives so much as whether you are a believer in the conservative cause because if you fail in government, you really succeed.
  • Lobbying – You’ve got to pay to play and if this is the way business is conducted, then it is the way business is conducted.

In this respect, when McCaskill says it doesn’t get any better for criminals, she might as well be comparing the conservative free market to a black market.

This is the end goal conservatives have in mind: a black market with no oversight or government regulation.

Is it any wonder salmonella is turning up in peanut butter, a coal ash flood occurred in Tennessee, and a staggering amount of toys made in China are being recalled due to lead paint and other safety concerns?

These are natural consequences of destroying the government and letting industry govern itself.

The role of government, contrary to conservative opinion, should be to make sure there are sensible regulations in place and that these are enforced. This is one way to ensure that capitalism works for all.