Free Markets, Free People

Old Habits? Or Business as Usual?

Please ignore the outrage you hear from Congress about Citi almost buying a new airplane. Apparently that’s an inappropriate expenditure, but this is appropriate:

New York’s Charles Rangel and five other Democratic members of the House enjoyed a trip to the Caribbean sponsored in part by Citigroup (see above) in November – after Congress had approved the $700 bailout for financial firms (including Citigroup).

The members no doubt will object to the terms “junket,” but that shoe fits. The National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group, has asked Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to investigate the Nov. 6-9 excursion to the island of St. Maarten.

It was called the Caribbean Multi-Cultural Business Conference, but “the primary purpose … for most participants appeared to be to take a vacation,” said the NLPC. And not only was the timing lousy, but “corporate sponsorship of such an event was banned by House rules adopted on March 1, 2007, in response to the (lobbyist Jack) Abramoff scandal,” the group pointed out.

Joining Rangel on that trip were Donald Payne of New Jersey, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Donna Christenson, delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Your “most ethical Congress ever” hard at work watching over those Wall Street fat cats.

Hope and change.


5 Responses to Old Habits? Or Business as Usual?

  • There seems to be a new methodology here for avoiding corruption, which is to make corruption the ground state. So, you have tax cheats running the Department of Treasury and the House Ways and Means committee. You have a tax cheat and debauched Catholic inventing a new healthcare system. You put a proven political bagman in charge of the Justice Department. And you put a team of international influence peddlers in charge of the State Department.
    And deviation from these norms, such as an outbreak of public integrity, would call the whole thing into question, so it can’t be allowed to happen.

  • Hope and change.

    I begin to sense a theme…  🙂

  • The Rangel Rule will expand from being just about I forgot to pay taxes to I can go anywhere and do anything without accountability.