CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Why It Matters How Ex-Presidents Make Their Money.
If President Obama had collected a $400,000 fee from the founders of Solyndra, the failed energy company that left taxpayers liable for $535 million in federal guarantees, the corruption would be obvious. But because he is taking money from companies that benefited from his policies in less obvious ways, we assume no corruption has occurred.
And maybe it hasn’t. Maybe Obama never made a decision while he was president in which he considered how it would affect his future finances. But even if he didn’t, he’s sending a signal to future presidents (just as Bill Clinton did) that if you play your cards right, your tenure in the White House is an assured path to multi-millionaire status.
This is also why former U.S. military generals should not be accepting “speaking fees” from foreign countries. Even if Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn did nothing wrong in collecting $45,000 for giving a speech to a Russian propaganda outlet, he set a standard for those who will come after him. If you believe there’s the potential to someday get rich off your country’s adversaries, then you may be tempted to promote policies that are in their interest and not in the national interest of the United States.
The signals we send matter, especially to politicians and government leaders. And if we signal to them that intertermporal corruption is a shrug-worthy offense, we should expect to see more of this type of cronyism in the future.
Trump should propose a 90% excise tax on speaking fees for former Executive Branch officials — including ex-Presidents. And when people point out that that’s easy for him because he doesn’t need the money, he can say “exactly.”
Make that tax 90 percent, and the dynamics changes. To give Obama the $400,000 he’s earning from this speech, they’d have to pay him $3.6 million. That’s talking about real money. Stockholders will have every right to get ticked off.
I’d add one more clause to that excise tax. Money so spent cannot be considered a corporate expense. They have to pay that $3.6 million and the taxes on it as if it were profit. Oh, and encourage states to also levy a state income tax in the state where the speech is made.
You want honest government? Make corrupt government painful for all involved.
RIGHT AFTER OBAMA BLASTED FOR MASSIVE FEE, HE PULLS SHOCK MOVE… BOTH SIDES STUNNED
Jack Davis for Western Journalism reports, Former President Barack Obama took a shot at President Donald Trump on Thursday while earning $400,000 for an appearance, according to a new media report.
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