Plenty of cheaters, including government

For years now, everyone seems to be blaming the federal government for being financially wasteful. Well folks, let’s turn that gaze on the true cheaters in this country.

People blame President Obama for too much money spent on social programs. They blamed Bush for too much money spent on military spending. The people always seem to blame the party in charge, however, it’s not the party in charge that should shoulder the blame. It’s the American people.

Let’s see, who cheats? Everyone who holds back anything on taxes, anyone that receives insurance benefits they don’t deserve it, everyone who is happy to get wrong change in the market, people who don’t put money in parking meters, people who have driving tickets and try to get them “fixed.”

Do you want more? Spouses who cheat on spouses, workers who play on the computer on company time, businessmen who pad their expense budget, gas stations that gouge consumers, corporations who fix prices and overcharge consumers, mechanics who don’t really fix, teachers who don’t teach, government officials who go to work as lobbyists for companies who they gave benefits too, generals who now work for mil. hard ware companies, banks that charge rates for money that are absurd, wall street brokers who almost brought the system down.

OK, enough examples of cheating. We start this early when we cheat on tests in school or copy someone else’s work. There is in America an all consuming ethic that says, go ahead, get ahead, never mind the ethics.

Is everyone guilty? Probably not. But we get the political leaders we deserve because they – like Pogo said – are us. We are amazed when someone is honest and returns money or a lost wallet or ring. Honesty is more news than theft and dishonesty.

Why should we be so amazed at this or that politico who lines his or her pockets. That is what goes on in this country. From the welfare cheat all the way to the corporate heads who steal billions, there is a sense of morality that has taken a back seat.

I venture to guess that if we the people were more honest we might have the right to be outraged at political money wastefulness, but as long as we take, as long as we fudge the return, as long as we turn a blind eye, to the cheating, how can we expect more?

Warren Beyer is a Mayville resident.