Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lip Service Accountability Or Unaccountable Government


Molly the Robin

My name is Molly and I am an American robin. I learned to think by seeing myself in car door mirrors. I am a mother who has had several broods of hatchlings. A fellow wrote about my story in Animal Park. He only got half the story right as most people do. I use public school libraries which are often closed. I usually find windows or openings into schools. I only have to perch on a tree or bush or deck to watch television news, which is hardly worth the trouble most of the time.

There is an expression going about now that one of the reasons for all these government financial bailouts is that the companies are too big to fail, the consequences are too dire for the country. Maybe your government is too big to succeed. Maybe your government is too big to succeed in making food and drugs safe, maintaining the infrastructure of roads and bridges and developing high speed rail service to mention a few things. Your government is failing at these things and where is the accountability? In our bird world we would never have allowed things to get so out of hand.

There is so much talk and even scores of articles on accountability in your government, but hardly anything changes. The cost of government continues to rise while more of your citizenry struggle more and more to survive. Accountability is enshrined in your Constitution with the balance of power among your three branches of government. If your Founding Fathers had known that two political parties would dominate to such an extent that once one party had both the executive and legislative branches they would collude to side step and avoid accountability they would have outlawed political parties or allowed many political parties to participate in the electoral process without any hindrance.

Who is accountable when tainted food emanates from factories never inspected that kills many people every year? Who is accountable when drugs, especially anti-depression drugs, are allowed into the market place that
have side effects that cause countless suicides? The lack of oversight and supervision of the Food and Drug Administration ought to be laid at the feet of members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats. These elected officials prance around as if its got nothing to do with them. It is their job to make sure federal agencies are operating effectively and efficiently for the American people so that food and drugs are safe. When have the public airwaves, especially television networks exposed this national ongoing and continual negligence? Maybe your country has entered the Accountable Free Zone, the effects you are witnessing daily.

Politicians of your two major parties have taken the country to a disastrous and costly war in both human and financial ways, yet there has been no accountability for those who voted for the war. There has been no accountability for those who voted for removing restrictions on the financial industries causing the economic meltdown of the country. The penalty for for democrats and republicans for wrecking the economy and starting an unnecessary and optional war: nada, nil, zilch. Some were even appointed to high office. Your form of politics is as close to foolproof as possible to avoid blame of any kind.

Where is your accountability? I think I know what it is. It is lip service accountability. Your politicians talk about responsibility and accountability, but nothing changes. There are no concrete sanctions and repercussions involving accountability. They are seldom answerable for their actions. With a 98% re-election rate for members of Congress accountability becomes just lip service.

Since money is the key for everything in government I think the citizenry ought to prevail in having financial sanctions against politicians. At least remove a substantial portion of their pensions for their upkeep when they start an optional war which becomes a catastrophe. Instead of rewarding them with future higher appointed posts and heavily laden pension packages, bar them from becoming a candidate by mid-term referendums, requiring them to get a majority of votes to continue in office. Change, change, change. Change how politicians are elected and continue in office. Everything is changing except your politics. It is the same or worse than it was in the past. What is wrong with change for your politicians?

When government agencies fail glaringly like the FDA, it is not solely the failure of the agency. It is a failure of both the executive and legislative branches of government. It is a blunder, breakdown and omission of the presidency and members of Congress. It is their collective job besides fighting over money and where money should be spent to provide the oversight and supervision of all government agencies. If they are unable to provide effective and efficient oversight over each federal agency the government is too big, too unmanageable and too unweildy. If the elected representatives cannot oversee the government and provide effective and efficient oversight it will not get done. If the elected members of Congress cannot devise a system to provide for oversight, the government is too bloated to be effective.

Accountability is just lip service by democrats and republicans as they merrily make their way around the country and overseas while at the same time simulating accountability in mock and pseudo and sham sessions of accountability because nothing changes or there are no major improvements in legislation or governing to make a more effective and efficient government for your people.

I'll be going off now to my park where things make sense and my flock never behave so badly or so reprehensibly.

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