Politicians do it their way

Columnist Diana French talks about a few words of wisdom from retired reporter Charlie Reese.

In his last column before retirement, Orlando Sentinel reporter Charlie Reese makes the case that politicians are responsible for making the decisions that affect every one of us every day. If the country is in a mess, they are to blame.

I’d never heard of Mr. Reese but a friend forwarded the column and it’s worth sharing. Mr. Reese was talking about U.S. politicians but the shoe fits our bunch too.  He says “politicians are the only people in the world who create problems, and then campaign against them.”

If both Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, he asks, why do we have deficits? If politicians are against inflation and high taxes, why do we have inflation and high taxes?

He says if taxes are unfair, it’s because politicians want them to be unfair. “If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Army and Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan … .”

I don’t have space to note all his comments, but you get the idea. The small group of people we elect to govern us do it their way.

***

Auditor General John Doyle has blown the whistle on the provincial government’s shortcomings when it comes to monitoring mining activities, managing our forests, and most recently on the matter of keeping the books. He disagrees with Finance Minister Kevin Falcon’s deficit figures (he says it’s $520 million higher) and he lambasted the all-party legislative assembly management committee (LAM-C) for failing to keep a proper account of how millions of public dollars have been spent. The  LAM-C bookkeeping has been called a “fiscal farce.”

Mr. Doyle is up for re-appointment soon. Children’s Advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond was reappointed in spite of her criticisms of government practices. Taxpayers should hope Mr. Doyle will be too.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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