Senators Ignore Their Own Deceit While Condemning Corporate Deceit

August 18, 2002

by Mary Mostert, Analyst - Banner of Liberty

On Wednesday, in Milwaukee, President George W. Bush talked about there being "…a new culture in this country. We’re ushering in a period of personal responsibility. People are responsible for the decisions they make in life." Bush first brought up the need to restore "personal responsibility" during his presidential election campaign in 2000.

However, he seemed to link the need for "personal responsibility" with his decision to not spend $5.1 billion in additional money (mostly pork) appropriated by Congress. This money was in the guise of a bill that was supposed to be the "Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States."

Bush observed: "Congress sent an emergency spending bill to my desk, and that was good. It’s called a supplemental. It’s money for the war on terror, it’s money to defend the homeland, it’s money to help rebuild New York City. But interestingly enough, they put $5 billion additional dollars in there, about $5 billion that I didn’t think was an emergency."

Since none of the reports I have read on this issue tells the public what the $5 extra billion included, I looked up the bill (H.R. 4775) and spent several hours reading it. Actually, it took quite a bit of reading before I could find ANY expenditures that might reasonably be considered emergency spending for "Recovery and Response To Terrorist Attacks." There is about $33 million for rebuilding in New York City in response to 9/11, but there is also $75 million in the bill for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

There also is $833 million to "…carry out the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965," which includes "extra money for after school activities" in listed school districts in Vermont, (Sen. Leahy - Socialist), California (Sen. Feinstein and Boxer - Democrats), South Dakota (Sens. Daschle and Johnson -Democrats) and about $44 million for various agencies in Washington, DC, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Do these sound like emergencies caused by the war on terror to you? They didn’t sound like it to President Bush either. To force the President to help finance these pork-barrel programs to help get more Democrats elected this fall, the Senate inserted in the law a provision that the President must spend ALL the money or none of it.

This bit of financial deception at the expense of the taxpayer took place soon after Congress, with much breast-beating about corporate deception, passed the "Public Company Accounting and Investor Protection Act of 2002.

If businesses are fraudulent and deceitful, they will eventually go bankrupt. When politicians are fraudulent and deceitful, they tend to get re-elected. Yet Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) fought an amendment that would have extended the "Accounting and Investor Protection Act" to labor unions, which, of course, contribute heavily to his re-election campaigns, saying it would, "…subject small local unions the same SEC reporting requirements" as the corporations they negotiate with.”

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from Rochester, New York, argued, on corporate dishonest: “The outrage of our constituents is real. They are fed up with corporate fraud and abuses...”

Of course, Louise Slaughter, Ted Kennedy and most of Congress participated in fraud and deceit in their passage of the supplemental bill that was supposed to, but did not, actually pertain to emergency appropriations needed to combat terrorism.

Louise, I have news for you. The public is even more fed up with politicians who deceitfully spend their tax money than they are with corporations.


Mary Mostert was writing professionally on political issues as a teen-ager in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s. In the 1960s, she wrote a weekly column for the Rochester Times Union, a Gannett paper and was one of 52 American women who attended the 17 Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to ban testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere. She was a licensed building contractor for 29 years, as she raised her six children. She served an 18 month mission as Public Affairs Director for the Africa Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1990-91. In the 1990s she wrote a book, Coming Home, Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America, edited the Reagan Monthly Monitor and talk show host Michael Reagan’s Information Interchange for seven years. She now operates the website, Banner of Liberty.

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