The Washington Times-Herald

December 4, 2011

Integrity before money


Joplin — Which should come first, money or integrity?

Lately there have been a lot of media reports of how people in Washington, D.C.. enrich themselves, personally, through the legislative process. Lobbyists continue to place huge pressure on any congressional actions that might influence their clients, usually very wealthy clients.

Congressmen seem to accumulate personal wealth, perfectly legal for now, by trading stocks based on nonpublic information available as a result of “behind closed door meetings” as new legislation is considered.

There are now reports of the Federal Reserve providing additional loans to big banks in December 2008 far beyond the bailouts provided from legislative action passed in the fall of that year when markets were crumbling.

There is increased pressure on state governments to continue to provide services with limited growth in revenues and decreasing federal support from Washington. For example, the National Governors Association believes Medicaid funding from states will increase by 29 percent as a result of decreasing federal aid for that program alone.

The incessant political debates around the country today are all about how to find the money to pay for governments — federal, state and local.

And where exactly does such federal money go, today? Take a quick tour of Northern Virginia and see the explosion in construction and infrastructure. Note that area has an unemployment rate of just over 6 percent as well. Probably more so than any other area of the country, the evidence of federal largesse is apparent right there, while the rest of the country struggles for crumbs.

Spending scarce federal dollars must be done with the utmost integrity. It is what is best for all Americans that counts. Those in D.C. need to put integrity before money.

The Joplin Globe

Joplin, Mo.