EVANSVILLE, IN — Upon reading a column by an old colleague, Allan
Brownfeld, entitled Democrats
and Republicans are Co-Conspirators in Back-Room Deals and Government
Cronyism (Or Politics as Usual),
I was reminded once again of the culture of Washington.
His main argument in this column bemoans export-import bank lending
and how government picks and chooses winners and losers to qualify
for these federal low-interest loans. Loans extended by this federally-funded
agency supports the manufacture of goods produced by domestic manufacturers
destined for exportation to foreign markets.
In most instances these loans go to huge, Fortune 500 corporations
at the expense of similar small businesses.
On another day, I could just as easily read on another news service,
an equally eloquent argument extolling the virtues of export-import
bank lending and how many jobs these loans create for American workers.
Herein lies a major fallacy of what transpires on a daily basis within
the culture of Washington, D.C.
Having lived in the D.C. area for nearly 10 years and having visited
some of my old haunts last summer on a brief visit to our Nation's
Capital, it is hard to approve of much of what transpires there on
a daily basis. As one treads the familiar sidewalks and streets of
the well-kept neighborhoods of Washington, one cannot help but contemplate
the lives and motivations of the residents of this city who at times
seems totally disconnected from the grim economic realities of the
average American citizen.
On virtually every public policy issue — be it regarding domestic
or foreign policy initiatives of the federal government — there
exists a phalanx of well-financed interest groups, lobbyists, law firms,
public relations operatives, pollsters and media figures on both sides.
Focusing upon Congress and the appropriations process, the regulatory
process of various federal agencies, decisions of the Supreme Court
or lower federal court rulings or policy decisions intimating from
the White House, the cacophony of voices largely drowns out sweet reason
and in most instances prohibits the adoption of decisions which are
in the best national interest.
But the essence of the problems lies much deeper than that and has
much to do with the type of people who largely inhabit Washington.
Many — if not the predominant majority of local residents — are
liberals or globalists who remain a part of the institutional scheme
that makes up most of what is termed "Official Washington."
Regardless of which party controls Congress or the Administration,
many of these people ride the revolving door in and out of succeeding
administrations only to find safe harbor among the myriad nonprofits,
foundations, universities and familiar interest groups when the party
out of power waits for the next election cycle.
More times than not, this monstrous Leviathan of interest groups adopts
positions and policies which are more directed toward institutional
survival rather than what is in the best interest of the American taxpayer.
The prevailing mindset of these people is, Washington knows best — we
declare what is in the best interest of this nation — be it bailing
out Wall Street banks, drone strikes over Pakistan, troop levels in
Iraq or a submarine exercise in a strategically important region of
the world. We declare what types of food Americans should eat, what
types of drugs are safe for human consumption and even whether or not
a person can come into this world under the federal abortion laws.
As my old friend Brownfeld suggested, more times than not, the system
synthesizes a decision which agrees to increased federal spending and
borrowing, regardless of which party is in power. This has led to a
situation where our nation confronts yet another debt limit increase
this year which will exceed some $16 trillion — more than the
entire gross domestic product of the U.S. economy.
The average person in Evansville, indeed throughout the entire state
of Indiana or any of the surrounding states, has little or nothing
to say about this outrageous behavior. The culture of Washington, responding
not to the people but to the rotten system which surrounds the policy
process, in no way reflects the culture of Main Street America.
Herein lies what largely motivates the Tea Party faithful across the
country. They are sick of being ignored and left out of the process.
They read nothing about entitlement spending in the Constitution of
this nation. However, they realize that federal politicians have bought
so many votes for so long that they are willing to risk the solvency
of our nation and the Federal Reserve to maintain the status quo.
Many activists are now involving themselves in local party operations
and seek to exert their influence where they can, at the state and
But the anger continues to build at Washington and the rotten culture
of expediency. Those who are running for federal office ignore these
people at their own peril — in many instances they will decide
the outcome of the November elections.
Can Such Things
by David Coker and the Fitzgerald
All rights reserved. Editors may use this column if this copyright information
A version of this article appeared in the Evansville
Courier & Press.
The Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation needs your help to continue making
these columns available. To make a tax-deductible donation, click