Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune ran a little noted editorial on the insider trading scandal plaguing Congress, calling out phony efforts to reform the rules and demanding that we finally put a stop to this outrageous and unethical behavior.
If you haven’t read the editorial yet, I recommend you do because while the professional political punditry class is more interested in superfluous items like the political horse race and candidate attire, the reality is that members of both parties in Washington, D.C., are abusing their positions and ordinary Americans have had enough.
As the editorial notes, “’60 Minutes’ reported that Pelosi and her husband participated in an initial public offering from Visa in 2008, just as credit card legislation started moving through the House. The Pelosis bought 5,000 shares at the IPO price of $44 a share. Two days later, the shares traded at $64. The legislation, which was likely to cut credit card company profits, went nowhere that year. It passed two years later.”
It’s not enough members of Congress make $174,000 a year, some are trading on inside information to use their public service to enrich themselves.
The Tribune is right, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department should be using every available tool to put a stop to this. But they are not. So, Congress needs to pass the STOCK Act as a matter of urgency, to do even more to ensure that this kind of thing is stopped dead in its tracks.
In addition to calling for tough measures to outlaw insider trading by Members of Congress, I’ve called for making Congress part-time, like the Texas legislature, cutting congressional pay in half, and amending FOIA to apply to Congress and the White House.
We have a $15 trillion national debt that is growing by the day, a direct result of establishment, insider politicians who are more interested in constantly increasing their personal power and profit than in reforming the system, bringing spending under control, and doing the work they were elected to do. It’s time to uproot and overhaul Washington. We can start with ensuring insider trading by members of Congress results in prison time, and not unseemly profits.