False savings.

The English have a saying: “Penny wise, pound foolish.”.  The implication is simple to understand: to worry so much about saving on one thing that you end up spending far more. As a resident of Illinois, I’m getting a chance to see the saying in action.

Rod Blagojevich was once the governor of this state until he was impeached for trying to auction off the US Senate seat vacated by Barak Obama. The feds indicted him for this neat little bit of corruption, and after a long trial and a near-as-long jury deliberation, he was found guilty of one of the24 counts brought against him. The jury voted 11-1 in favor of convicting him on the other 23 counts, but one lone juror, for reasons I will not speculate on, voted no to these other counts. Almost as soon as the verdict was brought in, the federal prosecutor announced that he would retry Blagojevich on those 23 counts.

Shortly after that, the proof of that old English saying began to be demonstrated.

You see, federal trials aren’t cheap. How much they cost is open to debate, as the prosecutor’s office usually doesn’t break out how much individual cases cost. Blagojevich’s defense team, in one of their many press conferences both before and during the trial, threw out a multi-million dollar price tag for a retrial. That was enough to get the tax-protesting dopes to crawl out of the woodwork.

Within a very short time, you began to hear how a retrial “wasn’t worth spending the hard-earned taxpayer dollars” on. They should just let it drop, let a crooked politician walk with almost nothing against their name and what amounts to a slap on the wrist as far as actual jail time goes.

Aren’t these the same folks who howl, loud and long, about how we need to “hold politicians accountable”? If they aren’t willing to something like this, then how do they expect to punish other corrupt politicians, by simply waiting for the next election and (hopefully) voting them out of office?

That’d be sincerely stupid.

If you want criminals to pay for their crimes, you send them to jail, you fine them, or whatever. Any of these require you to take them to trial! Trials, in turn, cost money! (DUUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!)

Blagojevich is, by all accounts, a criminal. Try him again, send a message that if you’re thinking about becoming a crooked politician, you’d better be worrying about how well you’ll do in prison. Above all, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re saving money by letting someone like this walk away, to get off scot free. Sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there’ll be some other scumbag who’ll come along and try the same thing all over again, maybe more successfully. If that happens, we all loose, and a lot more than money, we loose any chance at an honest government. So don’t save a penny now so we can pay out in ponds later, just try Blagojevich again and send him down.

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