Which is more important to America: Barry Bonds’ steroids or 9/11?
The answer is seemingly quite simple: 9/11.
It was one of the most horrific days in my life and when you ask any American most of them will agree.
It is a defining moment in history and has altered the world forever.
It has created a cultural, economic and political footprint that will last a lifetime.
I fully support using whatever means necessary for our federal government to bring those responsible for those heinous attacks to justice. I also fully support efforts from the federal government to find out what happened on that day, what led to that day, and how we could have handled it better (e.g. 9/11 commission).
Yet in our federal government, we don’t always have our priorities in place.
You would think that with the legacy of 9/11, the immediacy of a financial crisis, and a looming government shutdown that our federal government would have it priorities in place.
In the midst of all of the aforementioned situations, the government thought that it would be important to prosecute a baseball player named Barry Bonds that everyone knew took steroids.
Well, after eight years of investigation and prosecution, which only yielded an obstruction of justice conviction because he was evasive in answering questions, a shocking piece of information has been revealed.
The United States government has spent over $75 million of taxpayer money to prosecute Barry Bonds for taking steroids.
News flash: We all know that he took steroids, and none of us care.
Even the most ardent baseball fan would agree that Barry Bonds did not need to have an eight-year federal criminal investigation to find something out that we already knew.
For baseball fans, knowing that Balco, the lab that manufactured and sold the steroids, was shut down and that Major League Baseball has identified all of the steroid users and put policies in place to make sure that it does not run rampant again, is enough.
But here’s the kicker, the United States only spent between $12 million-$20 million (varying numbers from the government, just shows you how good our accounting is) on the 9/11 commission.
That’s right. We spent almost four times as much prosecuting and investigating Barry Bonds than we did find out the truth on the single most important event of the last 50 years.
While I am proud to be an American, I am not proud of the Americans who wasted $75 million of taxpayer money on something most Americans don’t care about.
I’m sure that millions of unemployed Americans out there could have used a job that could have been created with that money.
And even if you believe that Barry Bonds should have been criminally prosecuted, there has to be a way to do that for less than $75 million.
Others will say that we’ve spent billions in more defense and intelligence spending since 9/11, and we’ve spending hundreds of billions in Iraq and Afghanistan. So in actuality Barry Bonds’ $75 million is a relatively paltry sum and it’s not fair to compare what was spent on Barry Bonds to what was spent on the 9/11 commission.
I don’t care.
In the grand scheme of priorities, 9/11 is more important than Barry Bonds and all of his steroids.
There is just no discussion, no debate.
Maybe if the federal government cared about the 9/11 Commission as much it does
about Barry Bonds and his steroids, we might have Osama Bin Laden captured and have all of his co-conspirators put to justice.
But unfortunately our priorities are in the wrong place.
Instead of demanding our elected officials and our federal government to deal with the problems that face our society such as the economy, health care, retirement, security, etc. we continue let the federal government waste our tax dollars year after year with no recourse.
Who prosecutes the people that wasted $75 million of taxpayer money? Do they get fired for wasting the people’s money? What happens to them?
The answer is nothing.
Government is so big it has grown beyond control. There are so many people involved in government waste that you can’t always pinpoint just one person or one group and hold them accountable.
When our federal government bureaucracy has grown so big that it feels it can waste the people’s money with no recourse, the only option is to get rid of the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats.
Maybe if they felt that was a real possibility, they might get their priorities in place and stop wasting our money on things like Barry Bonds, and start focusing on the things that do matter to Americans.