Your government at work:
Four government auditors who monitor leases for oil and gas on federal property say the Interior Department suppressed their efforts to recover millions of dollars from companies they said were cheating the government.
The accusations, many of them in four lawsuits that were unsealed last week by federal judges in Oklahoma, represent a rare rebellion by government investigators against their own agency.
The auditors contend that they were blocked by their bosses from pursuing more than $30 million in fraudulent underpayments of royalties for oil produced in publicly owned waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The agency has lost its sense of mission, which is to protect American taxpayers,” said Bobby L. Maxwell, who was formerly in charge of Gulf of Mexico auditing. “These are assets that belong to the American public, and they are supposed to be used for things like education, public infrastructure and roadways.”
The lawsuits have surfaced as Democrats and Republicans alike are questioning the Bush administration’s willingness to challenge the oil and gas industry.
Just another example of political appointees subverting or ignoring the law.
The irritating thing about all this is, quite simply, the arrogance and the lawlessness of this gang of crooks. I probably would tend to agree with many anti-tax arguments, and might be sensitive to many arguments that the way royalties are collected should be looked at and adjusted. But the way to do that is to make an open proposal, use the appropriate venues, and change the way royalties are collected.
Not to act as lawless brigands, making things up as you go.