We need to remind elected officials they answer to a higher power: us (column) | VailDaily.com

We need to remind elected officials they answer to a higher power: us (column)

Jacqueline Cartier

A federal budget was just passed and both sides are complaining yet thrilled with the results. This dichotomy was amply demonstrated by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who went on an eight-hour rant and stated that she was voting against the budget … the one she helped draft. Senator Rand Paul did his usual grandstanding, although, it was not totally without merit, as capping the deficit is a strong conservative value.

While everyone is complaining, to distance themselves from any accountability, they are careful not to move too far, as to miss the glory of its praise. What makes this budget different?

Democrats are dancing with delight as it is a mega-spending spree, yet so are Republicans — what gives? Well, its focus is on domestic spending, but it's to fund the programs that President Donald Trump promised to implement: defense, infrastructure (bridges, roads, airports, etc.), the opioid crisis, and medical research. The entitlement amounts are primarily targeted for disaster relief, to assist with the three devastating hurricanes and major wildfire damage that ravaged our country, a huge $89 billion, yet avoiding repair endangers our long-term economy.

Republicans are not averse to domestic spending; they simply insist upon securing the funds up front or limiting the debt incurred. Burdening citizens with increased taxes is unacceptable, as it curtails economic growth and hurts most families.

Instead, generating income via a strong business climate increases job growth, which stimulates the economy across diverse sectors, thus expanding our tax base. It is these dollars that the president anticipates, will cover the added expenses to our current budget.

There is validation to Trump's plan, as we have seen record-breaking stock market performance, which, even with the recent sell-off, is still at all-time highs. The regulatory reform, along with simplified tax codes, have enticed the expansion and return of some major corporate players, including Apple, Broadcom, Amazon, Ford, GM, Carrier, Exxon Mobile and many others, totaling billions of dollars of income to our treasury. Will this be enough to cover the approved budget? The anticipation is in the momentum, as successful industries give rise to increased development and innovation.

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The challenge is that the projected income cannot be figured into the current analysis because it is not yet collected. This is where Republicans divide their support, as most demand that spending come from available resources, not projections, which are susceptible to market variables and other influences. But, the landscape is changing, and economic indicators are strengthening, which will certainly increase the bottom line.

Now for Washington's favorite pastime: investigations. The best way to keep the heat off you, is to shine the light on someone else. No one does it better than Congress.

The power and access of politics, along with the nature of secrecy for national security, can tempt normally good people to acts of corruption, especially when they feel threatened. To cover up shameful behavior, absurd excuses and outrageous claims are generated, as the public wonders … Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot.

This conduct is not limited to party affiliation. Career government employees, whose positions extend from administration to administration, can generate a sense of self-importance and immunity from public observation and critique. Yet, anyone who works in a political environment, eventually develops partisan opinions. Since all information is filtered through those views, it can be difficult to remain objective, yet most positions demand impartiality.

For this reason, new leaders bring in their own team. Objectives and strategies often differ from predecessors, thus prior employees may sense torn loyalties. However, when their adverse actions influence the lives of millions, it is imperative that order be restored. Yet, it is often difficult to secure the truth, as it is influenced by perspective and circumstance. This is particularly true of agencies whose primary directives are conducted in secrecy.

Those in the FBI, CIA, State and Justice Departments must be held to a higher standard because corruption within those agencies can create expansive chaos and damage the foundation of our democratic, representative system. Their power often exceeds that of even elected officials, as they transcend administrations, but it does not exceed the power of the people. Even if there were innocent errors in judgment, the integrity of the investigating organizations must never be in question.

Redacted memos, texts, private testimonies and potential collusion, can make the truth difficult to discern, yet it is essential that we keep the pressure on to remind officials that they answer to a higher power: us. Research issues, contact representatives, remain engaged in the process, for dysfunction cannot be corrected without your participation.

Jacqueline Cartier is a political and corporate consultant in Colorado and Washington, D.C. For further information, visit http://www.cartierwinningimages.com. She may be contacted at winningimages.cartier@gmail.com.