Dear WSJ: Congressional Oversight is No Accountability
Editor, The Wall Street Journal
To the Editor:
You report that "Politicians Butt In at Bailed-Out GM" (Oct. 29). Most people - including opponents of bailouts - react to this news by noting that companies that ask for and receive taxpayer money must be held accountable to taxpayers.
This reaction is mistaken. While corporations on the public dole SHOULD be accountable to taxpayers, Congressional oversight of subsidized companies does not promote such accountability. Because, as your report makes clear, politicians are accountable to special-interest groups rather than to the general public, politicians claiming to hold these companies accountable to taxpayers are in fact only using these companies to further harm the public.
When one unaccountable group (politicians) oversees another unaccountable group (subsidized corporations), the result isn't greater accountability; it's greater unaccountability.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.