I am sick and tired of politicians impugning the ethics of private individuals engaged in commerce. There are certainly a small minority of fraudsters in the world of business, but there is a supermajority of unethical people in Congress, arguably approaching 100%.
My latest evidence for such is this article in the Washington Post about the ethical bankruptcy of the Federal budgeting process. It is impossible to excerpt, but here is a representative example:
At the Census Bureau, officials got credit for a whopping $6 billion cut, simply for obeying the calendar. They promised not to hold the expensive 2010 census again in 2011.
By law, the next census is not until 2020. There was never, ever going to be a census in 2011. But Congress claimed $6 billion in savings for not having one none-the-less. Here is more:
In the real world, in fact, many of their “cuts” cut nothing at all. The Transportation Department got credit for “cutting” a $280 million tunnel that had been canceled six months earlier. It also “cut” a $375,000 road project that had been created by a legislative typo, on a road that did not exist....
Today, an examination of 12 of the largest cuts shows that, thanks in part to these gimmicks, federal agencies absorbed $23 billion in reductions without losing a single employee.
You can impugn business ethics all you want, and I can add a few stories to yours, but I have worked at fairly senior positions in two Fortune 50 companies and as a worker bee in a third, and in all three it would be a firing offense to engage in this kind of Charlatanism.