I have to confess. As dumb and corrupt as spending a lot of money flying back and forth to California every weekend on DoD transport (Panetta) or holding a conference in Vegas and attending a junket in Hawaii (the GSA) is for public officials, these are hardly the most significant scandals to me that have occurred. I find them almost amusing in their petty flavor (were they to occur at a local level like this, I'd care a lot more I suppose) . I favor looking at lack of investigation and prosecution on torture, the continuing aggressive prosecution and militarization of the drug war (especially so in states that have more tolerant laws) and especially the gun running scandal associated with this, and then weird industrial policy implementation for things like Solyndra. And at the low end is the continued obsession of the TSA to advertise its ability to confiscate soup. As though this was somehow making us all safer.
All of these things cost the public potentially billions of dollars. Billions. With a B. Not hundreds of thousands wasted, billions of dollars. Billions. I feel this is important to note that it's really a lot of money. Some of them even have obvious villains who can be easily held personally accountable, as in these cases. In some cases there are actual human beings being killed and assaulted. Nope. Nobody cares. We are talking about these little bits of fiscal mayhem instead. It's not like these other stories don't get covered. The gun-running scandal in particular had news coverage and congressional hearings involved. But I don't see it still getting covered or talked about as a political point. You'd think during an election year that sort of thing could be constantly distorted.
Ben Bernanke on the secular stagnation hypothesis
15 minutes ago