Not restricted to the city of Bell CA

The Associated Press reports on the extremely high pay that three “public servants” earned working in Bell, CA.

Suffice it to say that if one were to tour every city in Main Street USA, Bell would not be alone in this salary crisis.

Nor would it be limited to those working for a city.

Investigative reporters across the country should blow the lid off of how much money taxpayers shell out to everyone on “our payroll.”

In a city of less than 40,000 people, even having built a surplus of over $22.7 million when other cities may be suffering, the Chief Administrative Officer should NOT be making almost $800,000 with a retirement package to be paid from the state of California of about $650,000 annually for life (as reported by the Los Angeles Times). See the full article here: Bell Salaries.

That is, simply put, criminal.

While the AP article compares the Bell CAO salary as twice that of President Obama, there are millions more in benefits when one serves as #1 in the USA. However, that Bell CAO salary is far higher than any pay reported for any Governor in the country, though it is not as high as some tenured professors in universities.

This AP article begs the question: How can any city allow salaries of their officials to achieve such stratospheric heights? (As this certainly did not happen overnight.)

Asked another way: How Big Can Big Government Get?

Food For Thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street USA

Earmarks Are Corrupt

Two-hundred, thirty-four years ago, our Founding Fathers signed a document declaring that a people are free to determine their government and that, in fact, government is only allowed by the will of the people.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

One very key ingredient in the quest for freedom was to break away from an oppressive government in order to establish one which derives its power from the people.

To wit: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

The word consent was fittingly and justly utilized by these astute men.

Though not a perfect foundation, as women were not afforded these same rights and all men (people) were not treated as equals as some were still enslaved.

However, their perception of government was remarkable.

These very learned men knew, through study of history, what a government must and must not do and should and should not do in order to survive.

And so, these 13 individual states united together to establish and form a democracy giving only certain powers to the federal government while keeping anything not specifically granted it to the states and to the people.

As the decades progressed, however, the federal government has grown to the point that individual liberty and the rights of states and citizens have been eroded and become limited.

That is exactly what the Founding Fathers did not want and, in fact, warned against.

America is still a truly great nation.

However, it is a nation where the will of the people is not followed. It is one where special interest groups wield unusual power over decisions affecting every person living in Main Street USA. It is one where back room deals in the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill decide the most crucial of actions and where billions upon billions of dollars are added to legislation to capture votes.

If pork and earmarks are needed to garner the necessary number of votes in order to pass then must not the legislation be flawed? Is that not really embezelling from taxpayers? Is that not really corruption?

It must be, because it is not “the art of compromise” to use “other people’s money” to buy votes.

The taxpaying citizens of these United States of America desire a “more perfect union,” not a larger federal government where their voice is no longer heard.

In order to achieve this end our elected public servants (not public rulers as some have tried to become) would be wise to re-study the very documents that were written and are the foundation for this nation and to then act as statesmen, not as politicos whose main objective is to become re-elected.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Who Regulates Government?

The Federal Government is attempting to gain more control of the financial market with the recently-passed Senate legislation regarding Wall Street.

According to President Obama, “Our goal is not to punish the banks, but to protect the larger economy and the American people from the kind of upheavals we’ve seen.”

This may be a moderately true statement.

However, government regulation and intervention does a couple of things to the free market. First, it does limit free market practices and, potentially, expansion. Next, it increases the size and scope of government.

There is a definite need to derail criminal activities in the private sector. The same is true for the public sector. And who watches over these people?

In just the past several months Main Street USA has seen the Social Security Administration throw a lavish, by any standard, management getaway, only to be topped by the Federal Aviation Administration’s 5 million dollar bash. Taxpayers have also heard about Department of Veteran’s Affairs employees obtaining, if not illegal, unethical loans and other monetary benefits for themselves and family members as well seen evidence that state pension funds face a trillion dollar deficit. More recently, it was exposed to the public that many high-paid Securities and Exchange Commission executives spent their 8-hour day doing anything other than their assigned tasks.

In these days of relatively low-cost video conferencing (especially when compared to what the SSA and FAA spent), coupled with the economic reality of the times, how can the White House, Capitol Hill, state governments, etc., allow such unethical and immoral behavior (i.e., corruption) in their own sphere?

Thus, the question to ask is, as government continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, who will be the watch-dog over the supposed overseers, as well as our own elected officals?

True, the election process does allow citizens to boot those they feel have violated the public trust (though having to wait two to four years may not be appropriate justice), but what disciplinary action do non-elected officials face?

Before throwing stones at the private sector, the public sector needs to ensure that each and every nook and cranny in their own house is in order. America is not a “do as I say not as I do” mentality.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Regulation, Who Needs Regulation?

Those citizens of Main Street USA who would like to approve national healthcare reform as it has been presented in the House and Senate, with its One Trillion Dollar (minimum) price tag (to be paid by we taxpayers) and a government-run plan, may want to look at a couple of other sectors of government before casting their final ballot.

It was just over four weeks ago that the Social Security Administration threw a weekend bash (excuse me, their motivational management conference) at a plush Arizona resort costing we, the taxpayer, a cool $700,000.

This in the midst of the, as has been described by the media, worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

And, yes, the Social Security Commissioner did know of and approve this lavish meeting even though the SSA is, itself, reportedly bankrupt.

Back when that story broke I made mention of the fact that it would be nice to hear about other areas of government and what they are doing with OUR hard-earned dollars.

Next up, the Veteran’s Administration.

According to the Associated Press, over the past two years (2007 and 2008) more than $24 Million has been paid in bonuses to people who work in the VA.

I do not have anything against people working anywhere earning bonuses, as long as they are based upon actual production of that individual. And, as long as everything else has been taken care of first.

Yet, it seems bonuses were being paid even though there were U.S. Veterans who had been waiting for their first disability check during that same time. Some have tried to blame this problem on the transition of records between the VA and the Pentagon.

That does not add up.

However, there has been more than just bonuses being paid when business at hand was not under control.

The VA Inspector General evidently uncovered some very damaging internal dirt.

There have been improprieties such as relatives paying additional money (bonuses) to relatives (i.e., nepotism) within the VA and managers inappropriately paying for college tuition for many family members.

As well, one lower level VA employee was having an affair with a higher level VA official and we, Main Street USA, paid $37,000 for 22 flights to and from, for their lover’s tryst.

The list goes on.

And the main response to this outrage thus far has been the top Republican on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Steve Buyer (IN), who had this to say, The “VA must appoint honorable individuals to these critical positions.”

Profound, truly profound.

So, I ask you, Main Street USA…how is it that you want the government to set up and administer broad national health care, those who are chastising and tearing apart financial, commercial and industrial America, when they cannot, under any circumstances, it seems, keep their own house in order?

Over For Now,

Main Street One