Just when one was beginning to wonder whether politicians could agree on anything comes the CBS/Washington Post story that shows that the Senate unanimously passed H.R. 471 – Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015, which stripped the DEA of any enforcement capability and greatly fueled the opioid epidemic in our country.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voices his outrage in an interview with MSNBC:
Sadly, the wake up moment for me occurs at about 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the video when Senator Manchin explains the “vetting” process used by Congressmen and Senators to approve legislation.
Basically, the take away from Senator Manchin’s interview (and several others he gave) are the following:
- U.S. Legislation is written by lobbyists;
- Politicians don’t read the legislation that is enacted into law unless one of their constituents or a government agency raises a “red flag;”
- Complex laws are enacted by Congress and the Senate without anyone really understanding the consequences of the proposed legislation;
- Government enforcement agencies are simply a training ground for future lobbyists who march to a different drummer.
Mind you, I doubt whether anyone (other than a paid lobbyist) has the tenacity to sit through 33,000 pages of regulations covered by the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Without getting into the merits of which party has the moral high ground, I think it is fair conclude that our system of government is out of control.
Honesty, how can Congress unanimously pass flawed legislation which directly contributed to the deaths of over 60,000 Americans last year?
Stand for the Troops has long argued that the employment merry-go-round between government and lobbyists destroys the very foundations of our democracy. Wasn’t it President Eisenhower who warned against the evil of the military industrial complex?
Nowhere is criminal collusion any more evident than the dreadful story which documents The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over the DEA.
Over the years, SFTT has highlighted this lethal yet symbiotic relationship between government officials and lobbyists in the following areas:
- military body armor;
- military helmets;
- psychotic drug testing;
- agent orange coverup;
- the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (almost everywhere you turn);
- opioids and PTSD/TBI programs by the VA
I could list another dozen or so conflictive programs, but the fact remains that no one is likely to be held accountable for his or her actions. Furthermore, our government will merrily provide the culprits that fueled the opioid crisis – or stood on the sidelines watching it evolve – with additional money to “fix the problem.”
This closed loop of collective incompetence and culpable negligence is a self-sustaining blight on the lives of so many brave men and women who have served our country so valiantly. I would like to tell you that the public is fed up, but who do you turn to?