We're From the Government, and We're Here to Help Ourselves


In 1996, Congress created the Telecommunications Development Fund, a quasi-public, quasi-private effort to help telecom companies get off the ground. Since then, the Center for Public Integrity reports, it "has paid more than $7 million in executive salaries and other expenses while investing only $9.4 million of seed money in start-ups." Meanwhile,

Though TDF claims it is a completely private corporation, officials from the FCC, the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department have sat on its board of directors. Federal statutes prohibit sitting government officials from serving on corporate boards. Violations of those rules can carry a penalty of as much as five years in jail and $50,000 in fines for each count.

Yet in some ways, TDF acts more like a private entity than a part of the government. For example, it has hired two different Washington firms to lobby Congress on its behalf.

There's more. As the saying goes, read the whole thing.

NEXT: The Beast in the Stadium

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. …well, at least you can depend on SOME things in life, like those in charge of money that isn’t theirs helping themselves to it.

    If nothing else it shows that you can’t check human nature at the door of the halls of government, which is precisely the sort of fallacy so often exhibited when the proposed solution to some matter of human nature is to put the government in charge – seing how as the government is neccessarily run by people, our robots not yet developed enough to take over such complex tasks as forming committees, that’s a rather circular argument indeed.

  2. Do you know what ACTUALLY happened on September 11, 2001?

    Five dozen nuclear bombs exploded on all continents and blew civilization to smithereens.

    But since no one ever really dies, our consciousness interpreted the catastrophe as simply “something terrible that happened in New York.”

    Yes, you are dead.

    The news you’re reading everyday (such as the daily blogs here and elsewhere) are simply Post-9/11 nightmares.

    The world we all knew before ain’t no more. (Sorry.)

  3. So what we have here is a non-profit that is completely funded by Government revenue (interest from spectrum deposits), with absolutely no incentive to spend this money wisely (i.e. not on themselves). Such blatant chicanery makes me want to give up and move to Niue.

  4. Absit omen may the omen be absent – May this not be an omen

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.