When a big corporation is charged with antitrust or regulatory violations, and fined billions of dollars, have you ever wondered where that money goes? You might assume that it is deposited in the United States Treasury, for general purposes, or that it goes to victims of the companies’ misconduct. In some cases, you’d be right, but it turns out an awful lot of that money is being funneled straight into progressive non-profits, at the express direction of the Department of Justice.
According to an exposé in the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ often mandates as part of settlements that the defendants pay a certain share of their fines to non-profit organizations. Looking at the list of these organizations, a certain bias becomes apparent. Some of the names include the National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, and Neighborworks America, all of which promote causes of the political left. It’s unclear whether any right leaning organizations ever benefited from this program.
To make matters worse, the DOJ incentives these donations by weighting them double. In other words, if a company owes $100 million in fines, they can pay $50 million to liberal groups in lieu of the full amount. In this way, the government funds its own supporters to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
There is a tendency to forget that government bureaucrats are people like you and me, and like all people, they possess political opinions and bias. The idea that a person collecting a government paycheck is motivated by an urge for public service rather than advancing his own ends is a myth perpetrated by those who don’t want too many questions asked about the locus of political power.
Even those of us who accept that government officials will always be incapable of true impartiality may have underestimated just how partisan and unjust some of their behavior has become. We were shocked when we discovered that the IRS had been abusing its power to target political non-profit groups, potentially ensuring Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012, but we shouldn’t have been. It was merely the actions of self-interested people, acting as self-interested people will when given too much power over their fellow man and stripped of all means of accountability.
This new scandal is perhaps even more upsetting. The discovery that the Department of Justice—that name rings awfully hollow now—is outright funding organizations sympathetic to its agenda using the legal authority of the federal government is disgusting on a visceral level. Imagine the outrage if the situation were reverse; if the DOJ was collecting fines and funneling them to churches, the National Rifle Association, and FreedomWorks instead of these bastions of progressive thought. Democrats in America would go on an all out rampage over such a miscarriage of justice, and they would be right to do so.
Instead, all we’ve heard from the mainstream media—with the notable exception of the Wall Street Journal—has been silence. It’s vital that we shine a light on these corrupt practices and make it clear that the American people will not tolerate such a blatantly partisan use of the Justice Department. This is just one more example of how the Obama administration has usurped power from Congress, and twisted the law to promote itself over the well-being of the Republic.