Work for the government! Get paid to surf porn! 

Even at its best and in its most legitimate functions, government suffers from inherent limitations. As Warren Buffet once noted, there was an entire federal agency — then known as OFHEO — whose sole job was to police Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That wasn’t enough to keep the two Government-Sponsored Enterprises from spewing trillions of dollars in toxic subprime mortgages so widely through the economy that they could spring the current economic crisis upon us, without which the Wall Street funny-business currently under discussion in Congress would all be hypothetical.

But then there’s the question of “moral hazard,” so to speak, among government officials, who draw a salary but are not accountable for producing any profitable thing for themselves or their employer.

From the Washington Post:

- A senior attorney at the SEC’s Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office. He agreed to resign, an earlier watchdog report said.

- An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a month from visiting websites classified as “Sex” or “Pornography.” Yet he still managed to amass a collection of “very graphic” material on his hard drive by using Google images to bypass the SEC’s internal filter, according to an earlier report from the inspector general. The accountant refused to testify in his defense, and received a 14-day suspension.

- Seventeen of the employees were “at a senior level,” earning salaries of up to $222,418.

Incredible — this accountant received a 14-day suspension when it was discovered that he was viewing porn for a living. Assuming that he was among those making the big bucks, you were paying him $1.58 for each unsuccessful porn view. Can you think of even one private business that would not fire such an individual just for the time wasted? Instead, he might still be at the SEC.

Sir Porn-a-lot, C.P.A. might just be the guy standing between you and the next Wall Street con-man.

The revelation that SEC employees were policing Internet porn instead of financial markets says all you need to know about the government’s limitations. We may indeed need new laws in the securities industry, but they’re only going to be as good as the people who enforce them.

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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