It is a real hoot observing the hypocritical, self-righteous posturing in Congress over the Enron thievery these days. The pot calling the kettle black is the least – or perhaps the best – that can be said.
Top management at Enron and Anderson LLC were obviously an elitist, self-serving bunch of thieves, but my point is that Congress, almost to a man, wrote that book.
Space allows discussion of three direct parallels, all of which involve specific knowledge and fraudulent intent by each group:
1. Enron grossly overstated revenue (profits) and understated expenses and costs.
2. Enron hid liabilities in the hundreds of millions via “off balance sheet ” sham partnerships.
3. Enron corporate crooks declared a moratorium on the sale of stocks for everyone but themselves, and unloaded shares in wholesale fashion, pocketing staggering gains.
COMPARE THIS TO:
1. Congress perennially uses grossly inflated revenue predictions to justify ever-larger budget excesses, thus creating the facade of a “balanced budget.”
2. Congress hides overwhelming liabilities of the federal government by calling them “off budget,” i.e. Social Security obligations, military pensions, federal government employee pensions/retirement benefits. All of the above, which if placed “on budget” where they unarguably belong, would more than quadruple the federal deficit.
3. Congress can’t restrict our sale of stock, but it forces all citizens to “contribute” to the Ponzi scheme called the Social Security Trust Fund which, more than incidentally, is legally a voluntary program. This is not even a separate fund, much less a “trust” fund.
So, can you tell me which is the pot and which is the kettle? Sorry, but I can’t. Whatever you decide, just remember the Congressional shell game has been going on ever since FDR days under the guise of “law” and with much chest-pounding and palaver from members of Congress both back home and on the hill. And with our consent, folks. Evidenced by the virtually universal re-election of representatives and senators year in and year out.
Hence – is it too much to ask that our vaunted leaders appear during their coveted TV sound bites at least with tongue-in-cheek?
There is not one single member of Congress who is not consciously aware of these deceits. This is why the posturing is so maddening. And should any Congressperson be called upon to testify to explain and defend these deceits, she or he would make Messrs. Lay and Skilling look like choir boys. The depth and breadth of the Congressional frauds are just so vast, they pervade the daily lives of every single American.
But you can rest assured that that will never happen. Congress has been allowed to skate on these and countless other sleights of hand for decades now, because we no longer have an unfettered press. The press is fettered not by anything except its own greed and cronyism, but that is a subject for another time.
And speaking of hoots, isn’t it also one to see the Global Crossings scandal – the fourth largest bankruptcy ever filed in the United States – all but ignored by the media? Many, many similarities and very big numbers as well.
There is one HUGE difference, though. You see, the Global Crossings crooks are almost all Democrats, not just about half as in Enron. Very few, if any, Republican fingerprints on this one. Therein lies the explanation of the deafening silence in the liberal media.
And all those Republican fingerprints on Enron also explain why Enron has now become in the media the engine for every imaginable ill now besetting this country. The economy, the stock market, capitalism, democracy and etc., ad nauseum. I haven’t read yet how Enron caused the Rams to lose the Superbowl, but I’m sure it’s coming!
The Enron debacle is bad enough, but even worse is the fact that Enron and Global Crossings are likely only the very tip of the iceberg. Many other companies have been accused of “creative accounting,” and IBM is one of them. The mere size and stature of an IBM lends much credence to the iceberg statement.
The investing public now knows all that glitters is not gold. Accountants aren’t really accounting, boards of directors are not directing, analysts are not analyzing, stockbrokers are not evaluating and so on. This state of affairs is most assuredly not new, but the public is now aware of the kind of stuff that has been going on since dirt. Kind of like the O.J. trial exposing the folly and injustice that pervade the legal system – also since dirt.
And but for the staggering losses suffered by all the little people (more on this next time) at the hands of the bigwig crooks at Enron and Global Crossings, the expose of the methods and consequences of “pumping” stock prices has been rather good medicine.
All of the above having been said, it is also necessary to say that the whole subject matter is really none of Congress’ concern. Who did what to whom, and how, has nothing to do with the nation’s business. But, alas, it is an election year.
And speaking of elections, why not ask Scott McInnis to explain the difference between Enron and Congress? But wait for the cameras, please.
Thanks for listening. .
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Editor’s note: The Post Independent, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, continues a monthly series of profiles about people in our community who meet challenge with courage and perseverance.