Lanterns: Show me the money

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Show me the money

Some may recall that back on January 28, 2017, President Trump announced an Executive Order that banned Whitehouse staff and members of Congress from becoming lobbyists for five years once they left the Whitehouse or Congress. The reasons are simple-- they sell influence and connections for profit. It's a legal kind of insider trading if you will. 

One of the biggest pork belly items is the Department of Defense, and even the Democrats love this one. The DOD has an annual renewable budget of 600 billion dollars. It covers the five branches of service, all the areas of support with the DC paper pushers, contractors, and all the equipment needs. The equipment and support are very good at fattening the wallets of the morally, if not legally dishonest. 

Unless Article V term limits come to fruition, I don't see Congress passing actual legislation on this anytime soon, which means never. If they truly wanted to represent the needs of the people, they would pass this legislation. This is why Trump issued an executive order.

So, how are they able to continue doing it? 

First, keep in mind that many who make budget spending decisions are also on the executive boards of the contracted companies that supply the equipment and/or services and impact the prices that are charged. They can also have stock in those companies. Much of the ordered equipment is not wanted or needed. 

Some are former contractors or DOD officials who are now contracted to assist others in competing for those DOD contracts. This is similar to insider trading. A few phone calls and a few whispers in the right ears and boom, instant contract. 

Now we get to my favorite scam, or more specifically, legal graft. We have Congressional and Senate Defense Committees with about a dozen members from both the Republican and Democrat parties. They each have a committee chair. They all get huge campaign contributions--  on the average of 430k with the chairs understandably getting a bigger slice of the pie, all from defense contractors. Dick Durbin, a Democrat out of Illinois, chaired one of those committees, but I’m sure he’s honorable, right? Another example is Democrat, Jim Moran, who arm twisted for contractors and then left Congress and was immediately hired as a lobbyist for those same defense contractors. 

Is this a coincidence or even an uncommon occurrence? Think again. Taxpayer money going to the corrupt is all this is. They even tell us whom they are by joining these committees; however, there are other committees and other lobbyist groups.  

Written by Steven Troisi

I'm a Husband, Father, Christian, Veteran & Patriot and don't tolerate foolishness.

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