By Jim Lexo
President, Moore County Republican Men’s Club
I lived in the Swamp for decades and didn’t know it. Out of college, I moved to Washington, DC, and ended up working in Congress for 12 years in the 1970s and ’80s, and stayed in the area until five years ago.
I watched Congressmen and Senators serve a half century or more on Capitol Hill. Those who lost their elections, or retired, just moved downtown to K Street in DC to join lobbying firms. As former Members, they have access to the floor of the House and Senate and, of course, they have a network they developed over time. Members do other Members favors because they know it might be them asking some day, or they want them to attend various fund raisers.
Let me say there are many Congressman, Senators and lobbyists who have good ethics, work hard and have the public’s interest at heart. However, there is enough back scratching and quid pro quo that things become terribly “out of whack” in the hinterlands (outside the DC bubble). Take the U.S. tax code. It is now up to 9,000 pages because a lot of corporations, nonprofits, unions and other organized entities hired lobbyists to get special provisions inserted into the code. The same is true for all of the appropriation bills, and on and on.
After a hundred years of this, life in the Swamp became very good for all of the swamp creatures, but not so much for Joe Lunchbox. We went from a government providing for our necessities to an uncontrollable behemoth. When I moved to Moore County to retire, I looked back at the Swamp and realized how wrong all of it is. We need to drain the swamp, I often thought. When I first heard a group of people outside Trump Tower chanting, “Drain the Swamp”, I thought, wow, these people are on to something.