This dollar bill was handed to me as change the other day. Stamped across Timothy Geithner’s name are the red words TAX CHEAT. It’s a reference to the fact that “investigators discovered that Geithner owed $35,000 in back taxes from unpaid social security taxes, which he repaid only after he learned that he was to be nominated. At the time, his critics questioned whether someone with this record of tax avoidance should oversee the Internal Revenue Service.” (Forbes 1/17/13) Clearly someone was making not only a political statement, but a statement about integrity.
It’s no wonder that Americans are losing confidence in their government. USA Today recently reported that more than half see government as a threat to their freedom. Consider the recent list of government representatives doing one thing but saying another:
- Governor Mark Sanford was censured by the General Assembly (CS Monitor)for misuse of state funds during an affair.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren claimed Indian heritage (NY Times) she was unable to prove
- Congressman Anthony Weiner (WSJ) sent inappropriate photos to six women online.
- Lisa Jackson (EPA administrator) was found using a false name email (Washington Examiner) account to avoid the governments open records law
- CIA Director General David Petraeus (CNN) resigned over an affair.
The new normal is to expect hypocrisy and a lack of integrity in our elected leaders. That’s really sad. Join me in a call to honor and value integrity in our elected leaders. Make INTEGRITY your new political battle cry.