The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the Office of Management and Budget for threatening an inspector genera l that if he did not keep quiet regarding slashes in his department's budget "they'd make life miserable for him."
The inspector generals are federal watchdog officials who are supposed to ensure the honesty and integrity of other federal officials. In this case, Patrick McFarland , inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management, received a "not so veiled threat from the OMB" about telling Congress of concerns over its budget.
A 2008 federal law allows inspectors general to inform Congress if they believe their proposed budgets would inhibit oversight duties. The law was designed to protect watchdogs from top agency officials that might cut watchdog budgets in retaliation for hard-hitting investigations.
The inspector generals watch to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and honestly, that rules are followed, that government power is not used for improper ends (such as partisan politics). The fact that the Obama administration, addicted to vast deficit spending, has chosen to slash spending for internal watchdogs is very revealing. The most honest and open administration in the history of the world wants to eviscerate the one department charged with ensuring the integrity and honesty of the federal government.
There is a greater rationale to increase funding for our nation's inspector generals given the orgy of spending that the Obama administration is undertaking to make sure rules are followed and money is tracked.
Instead, the inspector generals are now seemingly being treated as enemies of the Obama team - joining an ever-expanding list. We have seen hits before by the Obama team-against Inspector General Walpin, who was investigating improper activities by Sacramento's mayor (a Democratic and political ally of Barack Obama's) and who was fired and subject to rounds of public abuse and criticism. The Walpin affair came amid other allegations of political interference at other agencies and even the Library of Congress.
The Chicago Boys play rough. They do not want the media keeping an eye on them (see Fox News) and they do not want federal officials monitoring them, either. So they manipulate the budget to cut one area where an oversight is desperately needed as trillions of tax-payer dollars are spent.
They also could care less about pledges of honesty and openness that were made in 2008, 2009, 2010. Words Matter, according to Obama. But those were just words after all.