I know Congress is out of session right now, but Washington is very quiet. Not a peep. No one trying to put a feather in their cap. But why the silence?! There is an industry that just recalled a half a billion eggs for salmonella contamination! The problem is a hazard to the nation’s health! Where are the Congressional hearings so members of Congress can berate the CEO of the egg producers?! Where’s the calls for a national egg producing program and fingers pointing at how privatization has failed the egg industry?! Silence.
I’m being facetious of course. Congressional hearings are nothing more than an opportunity for members of Congress to get some soundbites (like Nancy Pelosi wanting to investigate the mosque opponents) and prop themselves up as actually “helping” and ensuring that whatever happened will never happen again. But the question remains, why is Congress quiet about the egg salmonella situation?
The answer in my opinion is that the egg producers are not in competition with federally owned egg companies. Take a trip down memory lane, and you’ll see that when Toyota had their little accelerator problem, Congress reacted like Chicken Little.
But Toyota was purposely covering up the accelerator problem and therefore deserved the criticism it received from Congress, remember?. Sure, Toyota might have known about a possible problem, but when the government tried to reproduce the problem, we find this:
From the L.A. Times: Toyota data recorders reveal no new causes of sudden acceleration
From CNN Money: Toyota probe: drivers may have botched the braking
From New York Daily News: In Toyota crashes investigated most drivers did not hit brakes, preliminary government t report shows
From the Wall Street Journal: US study indicates driver error in most Toyota crashes
Despite the findings, Toyota got the BP shakedown for $16.4 million and received a damaged reputation on top of that. All because Congress saw an opportunity to take a Government Motors competitor down a notch and make some good TV.
Then we have the whole BP incident. It’s no secret that the Obama administration wanted to prove a point about off-shore drilling and fossil fuel usage. The hole is plugged now and with a $20 billion payout fund extracted from BP, the government can show it’s favoritism again. Now it seems the government is changing the rules regarding payouts from the fund. If you live closer to the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana, you get a better chance at getting some money. Restaurants and other businesses that have taken a hit from the spill further inland will have a much harder time collecting money. I hope someone will keep track of how much money gets paid out to different Congressional districts. Sorry if I’m so distrusting of my government, but their track record to this point warrants it.
Another reason why there will be no egg salmonella hearings by Congress is because it is not politically expedient and nobody likes to see a Midwesterner get berated in front of Congress. It just doesn’t make for good TV. As a result, there are no calls for the egg producer CEOs to resign or “commit suicide“. No calls for stricter government regulation. In the end, like the canceled Obamacare v. CEOs Waxman hearings, you won’t hear a clucking thing about a Congressional investigation regarding the egg salmonella recall….and thank God for that.