U.S. Slips to Historic Low in Global Corruption Index
America has slipped to a historic low in the global corruption index, Reuters reports, and it is no longer one of the 20 least corrupt countries. The Bernard Madoff scandal, in which the SEC failed to do anything about the world’s largest Ponzi scheme despite multiple warnings, was cited as one of several factors by Transparency International.
The SEC was recently rewarded for its failure with a big budget increase and provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law allowing it to withhold information previously available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department recently paid a Democratic donor to advertise a position for a new bureaucrat with expertise in using technicalities “to withhold information from release to the public.” In the face of public outrage and ridicule from conservative lawmakers, Congress eventually repealed the information-withholding provision in Dodd-Frank, in open-government legislation sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Earlier, the World Economic Forum noted that property rights are deteriorating in the United States, to the point where America now ranks behind third-world countries like Gambia and Jordan. The U.S. ranks 40th in the world; last year, it ranked 30th. Property rights have suffered under Obama. The Obama administration ripped off bondholders in the government takeovers and bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, harming pension funds, and non-union retirees.