The twelve members of President Obama’s supercommittee on deficit reduction are open for business. Do you have piles of cash and an interest in making sure that the “wrong” federal programs don’t get cut? The cash windows are open, and operators are standing by.
…at least nine members of the 12-member supercommittee…have scheduled fundraisers this fall, putting them in a position to take money from industry donors at the same time they are helping to decide what to cut from government spending.The unusually powerful committee, comprising six Democrats and six Republicans from both chambers of Congress, is tasked with finding up to $1.5 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years by Thanksgiving…The scale of the cuts has set off a frenzy among lobbyists on K Street, including nearly 100 identified by The Washington Post as former employees of supercommittee members.
But that’s not all. Not only will various PACs and businesses be able to buy a little influence on the supercommittee (what a great term, by the way), they’ll be able to keep it secret until after the cuts have been declared.
Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, noted that contributions given during the time the supercommittee is meeting will not be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission until January — well after a final decision is made.
The founding fathers believed that a certain amount of civic virtue and self restraint was necessary to make the republican form of government work. George Washington would have made these hacks feel two inches tall by the time he got through telling the country what he thought of this outrageous behavior. Thomas Jefferson would have run for the hills expecting the dissolution of the republic any day. Andrew Jackson would have caned them in the street. (Duels were reserved for the honorable; poltroons get the cane.)