Or… How to put the money back in the hands of the people.
I don’t even really know what brought this post on, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for the past week or so. There isn’t really anything in the news about it even, but for some reason, it’s been gnawing away at me like last week’s 11 PM pizza run.
The Canadian Government says there’s no money. No money for the farmers who are faced with their third or fourth drought year in a row. No money to pay doctors and nurses. No money for wildlife programs. No money for police officers. The list goes on and on and on.
And who suffers for it?
You and me. The little people.
You can bet your kid’s college fund – that’s right, the one that’ll get you a couple Slurpee’s and an Oscar Meyer over at 7-11 – that it’s not the politicians suffering – they’re living in the lap of luxury on the backs of yours and my hard work and tax dollars.
The number of instances where our so-called “leaders” are making like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible and pulling off the heist of the century have been well-documented throughout the media. Most recently, the Gomery Inquiry (Sponsorship Scandal) has opened our (or at least my) eyes to these people who are doing their best to hijack my money and line their own pockets with it. Here’s just a couple highlights of the Scandal:
- That Canadian racecar driver Jacques Villeneuve was secretly paid $12 million from the sponsorship fund to wear a Canadian logo.
- Don Boudria was minister of public works for five months after Alfonso Gagliano was appointed ambassador to Denmark. He was removed from the post after it was revealed that he had stayed at a luxury chalet belonging to the owner of Groupe Everest, a Quebec firm that did millions of dollars in business with the government.
- Head of Communication Coffin, a small Montreal advertising company. The company handled sponsorship deals on behalf of Public Works Canada between 1997 and 2002, worth $3.4 million. The RCMP charged him with 18 counts of fraud for allegedly submitting $2 million in fake invoices to the government. According to Elections Canada, Coffin’s company donated $13,000 to the Liberals in 1999 and another $11,000 over the next two years.
And our Government PAYS these people. We have two kinds of financial idiots in our Government. Those that use their status to help their friends in return for Party donations, and those that choose to help themselves – with our dollars.
What can we do? First, we need to fire all the paper-pushing, unwashed losers that make up our offices and blindly sign anything shoved in front of them for a lift of the skirt or the wave of a wad of cash. Replace them with people who actually READ invoices, monitor our public contracts, and actually CARE about doing the right thing and have the brass nuts to actually QUESTION something put in front of them they think is wrong.
But what about the other kind of idiot? The ones that use taxpayer’s money to take extravagant vacations, take limo trips hundreds of miles, or like our FORMER Prime Minister Jean Chretien, purchase executive jets rather than retrofit our Atlantic Coast’s aging Emergency Response helicopters?
These people obviously have a license to spend money for business purposes, but what we need is a more responsible and ACCOUNTABLE process. Don’t just let them hand in a receipt and pay the bill, or turn over a Parliamentary credit card with a limit so high you’d have to leap off of Mount Everest to reach it. These people – our politicans, our elected Members of Parliament – those we elect to represent ourselves – make a truckload of money for doling out opinions on issues that can be bought and sold like a pack of gum – and we pay for it.
It’s time to make THEM accountable. Have your meetings in your office – during work hours – not at the most plush private golf course wooing a potential donator, or dining on veal at the most lavish restaurants – all on my dollar.
And when you DO need to purchase something/have dinner/get your back waxed/whatever, PAY FOR IT OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET, and submit a form to get reimbursed for it. Have someone audit these submissions, and if they’re ludicrous – like a $10,000 limo ride – REJECT IT!!!! Don’t just put it on the taxpayer’s tab. It doesn’t work that way.
Run the country like a frigging business, not a charity case!
If we do this, maybe – just maybe – the Canadian Government will stop handing out money to itself and their friends, and giving it to those that need it the most.
The people that put them in office to begin with.