Once again our elected officials go above and beyond the call of duty. No really, they go above [the law] and beyond [all moral credibility].
STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, is the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act. It tries to keep Congressional members from using their insider knowledge to buy and sell stocks.
My initial and less than thought out response to this is [fist pumping] “YEA!”
But when I took a few seconds to actually think about this, I said to myself, “Huh?”
This is a morally unthinkable thing that is happening. Our Congressional members, their families and friends are doing what, in the real world, would be punishable by hundreds of thousands of dollars and actual prison time. Something that they know they should not be doing. Yet do it anyway. And now that it has been exposed, they want to create new legislation – legislation that already exists for the rest of us – and hail themselves as some kind of heroes to the people.
But that can't be the end of it for our government representatives. They have to amend and expand and add upon this legislation – this law that would mean they must follow laws like the rest of us – and make it bigger, grander, more expansive.
Section 6 of the House bill would require financial analyst register as lobbyist. This is a copy of the amendment introduced in the Senate by Sen. Grassley (R-IA). Financial analyst regularly – in the performance of their jobs – communicate with members of Congress about upcoming legislation that may impact the stock market and their clients. They do NOT lobby. They gather information and then are able to advise their clients – you know, us – about the possible impact of upcoming legislation. These are the guys who find out if Congress is going to pass a law that, say, restricts how much pretax stock you can buy in your 401k, lets us know and then we don't get screwed at tax time.
It is almost like Congress, caught with its hand in the cookie jar, wants to get someone else – who hasn't done anything wrong – in trouble, too. They can't just “man up” and say “sorry, America, we've been bad boys” and let already existing laws deal out their punishment. No, they want to craft new laws, all the while not getting punished for breaking the ones in place.
And they want to act like, “oh look how great we are for protecting the public from our lying, cheating asses.” They want you to see all their chest thumping and admire their strength to stand up for what is right. Yet the whole time they are squirming, finagling, dancing the proverbial sidestep, avoiding the consequences of their illegal actions. AND writing even MORE laws that are covered by OLD laws.
We need them to be moral, responsible, grown up representatives of the people. You know, the JOB we voted them in office for in the first place. While they do this wasted chest thumping, we're starving out here. While they hide in the ivory columned walls of DC, we struggle with real issues that have real consequences. While they argue who is the best candidate or the best President or the best whatever, we go from the shining city on a hill to the darkened alley in the slum.
I don't think that Lincoln or Reagan or Washington or Jefferson or any of those figures from our past that the politicians quote so often, would really be proud of the job ANY of them are doing.
I have always said that there are a few good people in Congress and we should concentrate on just weeding out the scum. But at this point, they ALL have to go. And with the clean sweep of the halls of power in DC, we need to add the fresh air of term limits. If these jackals only have so many years to do the job, maybe they would do the job and stop lining their own pockets and stop worrying about their upcoming re-election and stop mucking about in the cesspool of self interest. Maybe they would go back to the idea that they represent us and are all about serving the public.
You may disagree with any of all of my assertions above. Most likely you never got past the same initial response I had and thought about it for a few seconds. You may agree wholeheartedly with everything I have said here. But either way, I am not looking for your agreements. I am looking for your to think for a few seconds. I want you to read about what is going on and form an opinion – YOUR opinion – and not that of the politicians, SPIN doctors or talking heads. Hell, I don't even want you to take MY word for anything. But just STOP BEING SHEEP and learn to AVOID THE SPIN! With every right comes a responsibility. The rights granted you by the Constitution come with the responsibility to be active in the government “of the people, for the people, by the people.”
But hey, this is just me, after all, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.