Senator Rand Paul is upset.
The scandal of certain folks in the IRS targeting Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status has gotten the Senator to the point that he's screaming for justice in the form of jail time for the offenders and a genuine crack-down on political use of our tax code. Right on, Senator Paul.
Like Senator Paul, I feel that if you want accountability, it's got to involve more than a slap on the wrist, especially for egregious flaunting of the law and what we say America represents. What I also say, however, is that it's not only people in government who should be treated this way.
I'd like, then, to ask Senator Paul, what was his stand when.......
........prominant figures in the banking industry, especially from firms like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase cost millions of people their homes and often their life savings through irresponsible and often illegal manipulation of complex financial instruments that even the people authorizing them did not fully understand? Did Mr. Paul call for jail time for those who admitted wrong-doing instead of fines that were little more than a cost of doing business? Did he speak out against the huge sums which these people were rewarded?
.......lax administration resulted in the deaths of oil rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico and the contamination of a vast stretch of America's coastline, to say nothing of disrupting the llives and livlihood of thousands of workers? Did anyone go to jail? Were the billions in costs to the oil companies nothing more than a punishment to the millions of stockholders and pension funds that working people depended on?
.......fellow members of his political party constantly demanded cuts in spending for children's health, education and greater income inequality while defending every nickel kept by the wealthiest Americans, regardless of their effects? Did Paul demand accountability for nutritional damage, crime or environmental degradation? Was there even an investigation into the results of greed?
I believe there should be accountability and people, if found guilty, should go to jail. But I disagree that the only ones who should be pounding rocks are people in government. I'd like to see a few CEOs with the hammers, too. Maybe a scattering of hedge fund managers. Perhaps a lobbyist or two - or a hundred. Let's stop slapping wrists and get serious about our democracy - not only that the IRS shouldn't be used as a political weapon, but greed, graft and bribery shouldn't be just another tax write-off.