The US Government and Corruption

Corruption is present in American politics and it is bad. The problem is that no one is doing anything about it. A poll released by Chapman University in 2017 points out the US public fears corrupted government officials the most, even ahead of the commonly discussed “polluted drinking water” and insufficient money for the future. The Pew Research Center study revealed that the trust of the public on their own government is now in the historic lows.

Corruption all around

The list of corruption at the current time is huge. The Trump administration was forced to admit that Kellyanne Conway has push-sold the clothing line owned by Ivanka Trump, and Scott Pruitt, the administrator of Environmental Protection Agency, has taken cheap housing from the spouse of an energy lobbyist. Things are now so bad that Mick Mulvaney, the Director of Office of Management and Budget, has admitted taking meetings exclusively from those lobbyists who had made a contribution to his own Congressional campaigns.

Even with all these evidence, nobody in Washington is interested to overcome the subtle and loud presence of corruption in the American political system. A large number of think tanks expend energy and money on tax policies, libertarianism, world peace or human rights among many others. Anti-corruption activity is related to only a few scholars who recycle near identical ideas about the campaign finance reform which have been around for decades. Think tanks which specialize in global corruption tend to project it as a non-US problem.

False perceptions and rectification

The perception of corruption as a foreign problem is no accident. Think tanks themselves need funding to sustain themselves and to influence political processes. Many of the worst corruption scandals during the last couple of years have included think tanks using their reputations to assist corporate donors. Thankfully, these are getting noticed.

Rohit Chopra, the slated federal trade commissioner, writing a policy proposal from the liberal-flavored Roosevelt Institute is the maiden exhaustive effort to assess the federal anti-corruption policy in many years. Chopra has not focused on elections and campaign contributions. He took a look at the methods through which special interests have undue influence over federal bureaucracy. He also examined the manner the think tanks cast its shadow over Washington's wider policy debate. He points out there is no point to discuss money in politics, but it is important to discuss money influencing government. Chopra believes that the present anti-corruption mechanisms are too compromised, diffuse, and weak.

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