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Letter to Editor, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021: Stimulus bill has 'pork;' corruption not obvious

Letter to Editor, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021: Stimulus bill has 'pork;' corruption not obvious

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Stimulus bill has 'pork;'

corruption not obvious

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In his recent letter to the editor, David G. Buck writes that he is disgusted with our “corrupt American government,” regarding the 5,593-page long COVID-19 relief bill. Buck pulls out a lone paragraph from a May 14, 2014, speech, that then-Vice President Joe Biden made to Romanian Civil Society Groups and Students in Bucharest, Romania. On that occasion, Biden was lauding Romania for routing out corruption in its institutions and government.

 One definition for corruption is "dishonest behavior by those in positions of power, such as managers or government officials. Corruption can include giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, under-the-table transactions, manipulating elections, diverting funds, laundering money and defrauding investors.” One can complain about the “pork” loaded into this bill, but I don’t see the corruption that the letter writer complains about.

For the future, I would have focused on this particular paragraph from Biden’s speech: “It takes leaders in the business community who recognize that fighting corruption is good for everyone because it improves the business climate and generates economic growth. It takes politicians who understand that government exists not for our purposes but to serve the people. And it takes a free and independent press — under no one’s thumb — with the protections necessary to hold all of us who are leaders accountable. And above all, it takes an active, passionate, vigilant engagement by every citizen, like all of you in this room.”

Joe Shocket.


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