Taxes, bonuses and the crisis in leadership

Driving home last night, I listened to a San Francisco talk radio program dissect the the tax problems plaguing the Obama administration.  There are many perspectives floating around.  Sneaky politicians and lobbyists.  Arrogance.  Elitism.  Poor vetting.

I think it's a much bigger issue:  that the party which began in 1990s Washington and had satellite orgies in major financial centers also had an impact on the conscience, and thus the quality, of our nation's leaders.  We need to wrap our heads around the fact that the most professional administration we've had in two decades still cannot manage to find people with leadership credentials who have not ignored their responsibilities as far as the IRS is concerned — and goodness knows what else.

That's not to say that these tax snafus were deliberate attempts to steal from fellow taxpayers — which is what makes the whole situation even worse.  It's this:  our focus on ourselves and our own wallets and our own prestige clearly has made us sloppy and ignorant of the details that define ethical behavior.

This is why I strongly support the curb on executive pay for the confounded bunch that have just gotten truckloads full of taxpayer cash.  They clearly do not understand the correlation between their stratospheric living standards and the failure of the institutions which they lead.  So a grownup, in the person of no less than the President of United States, is finally stepping in to teach the schoolyard bullies, snobs and ignoramuses in the bunch just where to start in cleaning up the mess they made:  by looking in the mirror and learning how to live within a new mean.

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