It was 1970 when Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Though it was originally intended to destroy the Mafia, as with most laws passed by Congress, the RICO act was not confined to that one, or any, recognized criminal organizations. In fact, it has almost never been applied to Mafia activities.
RICO has, however, been used to indict individuals and enterprises involved with or engaged in murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, embezzlement of pension and welfare funds, unlawful debt, obstruction of criminal investigations, obstruction of law enforcement, peonage, retaliating against a witness and various other nefarious activities.
For the RICO Act to apply to a person or enterprise, the entity must have committed any two of the 35 crimes the law encompasses. We have in the United States of America, right now, a minimum of two such enterprises. Those enterprises would be Congress (the Legislative branch of our government) and one of like ilk would be the Executive branch.
Taking a quick look it is easy to see how and why I conclude that the RICO Act is applicable to these two government branches.
1. Extortion – Congress forces the citizens to pay them money for such things as working (employment and income taxes) under threat of fines and/or incarceration.
2. Bribery – We have seen this take place through out our lives. Both houses of Congress use the tax money collected from the citizens to pay for votes from other congressional members to get bills passed. Our elected officials might actually vote their mind and principles (had they had any of either) if not for the purchase of their votes.
3. Embezzlement of Pension or Welfare funds – This is also done, and has been done by both houses and the Executive branch. The Social Security system that we are forced to pay into through payroll taxes (extortion) has been commingled with other funds to balance budgets for years. The supposedly secure funds have also been used as matching funds on more projects than could ever be covered even if the money hadn’t been embezzled.
4. Income Tax Evasion – Per capita, more people in the higher levels of office could be found guilty of this one crime alone. Because of their elite positions, they are often offered the opportunity to amend the lies originally presented on form 1040 with no penalty. Google Timothy Geithner for more information on this one area.
5. Unlawful Debt – Originally applicable to gambling activity, this section of the act could also be argued for the way Congress and the President are incurring debt on future generation who have no ability to either grant or deny the use of any real or potential earnings. Causing yet unborn citizens to begin life beholden to the government can only be seen as creating “unlawful debt”.
6. Retaliating Against a Witness – Directly applicable to cover whistle blowers within the government. Instead, those who come forward with inside information about criminal activities are most often threatened, intimidated and/or bribed to remain quiet, comprising both Obstruction of Law Enforcement and Obstruction of a Criminal Investigation.
Can you see two or more sections that might be applicable to our government officials either collectively or severally? The major problem, as I see it, to applying RICO to our government is that charges would have to be brought by the Attorney General. He would be calling for investigations of racketeering and other criminal activity in which he is most likely also guilty. It’s a real fox and hen house situation.
Take a minute to think how applying the RICO Act to our elected and appointed officials could make life in the United States and your life better. While you’re reflecting, you might also try to identify the best venue for the next American Revolt. Boston worked once, but now we need a much, much larger stage.