Since the beginning of time, money has been known to evaporate into thin air. There’s a saying: “Time is money.” It was originally said by managers to their subordinate laborers in order to urge them to work faster. What the manager didn’t reveal was that the money he referred to belonged to the owners and shareholders, not to the workers. Their wages remained the same regardless of the speed of their toil. Mathematically speaking, the faster they worked, the lower their real wages, because they accomplished more in the same hour for the same amount of cash.
Denial of remuneration to labor for its increased productivity in the latter-20th and early-21st Centuries was the most widespread case of disappearing money since the advent of paid labor. Like most mysterious disappearances that negatively affected the living standards and buying power of labor, rather than injuring the wealth accumulation of the ruling, owning, and speculating classes, however, it has never been the subject of a paranormal investigation.
This story is not going to change that.
Case in point: The National Republican Senatorial Committee, or NRSC. It was later renamed the Nuanced Rick Scott Committee, which allowed it to retain the same initials. The name-change was counter-intuitive, since being named after Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott had long been considered a public relations negative. Even Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott was known to agree with that assessment.
In 1987, Senator Rick Scott was on his way to becoming a big deal in the movement of private buy-up of healthcare services. Ten years later he’d become the CEO of the Hospital Corporation of America, one of the first private hospital companies in the legendary empire known as the United States of America. However, after only four months he had to resign as CEO of HCA due to a federal investigation into Medicare and Medicaid fraud at the company.
The fraud was so fantastically huge that HCA was eventually forced to pay the government 1.7 billion dollars in criminal fines, penalties, civil damages, and other settlements. Many of the fraudulent actions the DOJ found had had to have been signed off on by CEO Rick Scott himself. A lot to accomplish in only four months as CEO.
Maybe because he was so accomplished at fraud, the GOP made Rick Scott chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and allowed him to name it after himself. Whatever the reason, they may have rued that decision.
In the highly fraught election cycle of 2022 of the Common Era, the NRSC had raised a respectable 173 million dollars to be used for Republican Senate campaigns. By July of the same year, that money had dwindled to less than $28.4 million, a reduction of about 83% of their so-called war chest.
Where had all the vanishing money gone? To quote a story in the Washington Post:
“The NRSC’s chairman, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, has taken heat from fellow Republicans for running ads featuring himself on camera and releasing his own policy agenda.”
The obvious conclusion was that Rick Scott had used the funds for his own purposes. Given his shady background in the healthcare industry, not to mention his unfortunate resemblance to what scholars believed the then-decades-deceased Klaus Barbie would have looked like after a month in one of his own Vichy concentration camps, it’s easy to see why suspicion would fall on the homely Floridian.
But the details painted a more nuanced picture. (This is why investigators of the paranormal always look at the details: in case they help explain things by way of painting pictures possessed of lots and lots and lots of nuance.)
Let us remember that Rick Scott had never been found to have embezzled money from the Hospital Corporation of America. He was not a common thief or even an uncommon thief. The stain on his reputation came from his association with the nuanced crime of fraud. An uncommon amount of fraud. Lots and lots and lots of nuanced fraud. 1.7 billion dollars’-worth. Billion with a “B.” To call him a mere fraudster would have been to oversimplify the matter. 1.7 billion dollars’ worth of nuanced crime is not simple. It’s major-league. It’s top of the heap. It was not just a stain on his reputation. A stain that big was pretty much the entirety of his reputation, and certainly overshadowed anything else he’d done in his life.
It also may have explained why the NRSC changed its name. With 93% of its campaign funds devoted to highlighting Rick Scott and his unpopular policies, changing the name, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to the Nuanced Rick Scott Committee was simply honest. It was almost certainly done to thwart the media’s linking them with their chairman’s over-shadowing reputation as a titan of nuanced fraud. “There’s no fraud here,” they seemed to be saying, “We are honestly fraudulent. We’re named after our famous chairman! Like if Communist China had changed its name to ‘Mao Country.’”
So the mystery remained a mystery, as so many remaining mysteries do. Can money simply disappear without a trace? This wouldn’t have been the first time. $23 trillion dollars of defense spending went missing in the violent destruction and failed nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st Century. And who knows how many trillions had been stolen over the years from the United States’ working public, not to mention the public at large?
But who cares about all that? No one. We’re talking here about money meant to retain wealthy elite incumbent Senatorial seats or turn Republican challengers into wealthy elite United States Senators. As vanishing money went, this was vanishing money that really mattered.
And as a mystery remaining a mystery of vanishing money that mattered, it will remain, until further investigation, a mysterious matter of SuperTruth®.
And this has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!