Throughout its history Congress has had plenty of moments that are cringe-worthy
and fully deserving of the American people’s contempt. Most of us fundamentally understand that despite the fact that Congress is elected to represent us, they are NOT us. Why do I say that? Because they are supposed to be held to a higher ethical standard but it often appears that they are not required to follow the same rules as everyone else. Case in point: the revelation that insider trading — the very same thing you and I can be arrested and imprisoned for — is something that is perfectly legal for members of Congress. WTLF? Huh? Really?
Members of Congress can legally trade shares in companies based on information to which the general public is not privileged enough to have access. It’s bad enough knowing that Congressional representatives have job perks that most of us can only dream about
especially since their inertia is keeping many people unemployed but having the ability to unfairly line their pockets is enough to make my arse itch annoy me. To be clear, it doesn’t bother me that they have plenty of job perks (how many normal people would want to subject themselves to persistent public scrutiny without perks?); it bothers me that so many representatives do so little to earn those perks and often do the opposite of what their sane and fair constituents want. The STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act is legislation that has been presented to curb our legislators from taking advantage more than they usually do of their position of power. It was introduced by Senator Gillibrand (D, NY) but hasn’t received full support from all of her colleagues. What a big shock!
It makes me
choke with disgust laugh when I hear that there are representatives who seem so clueless as to why the public has so little faith in them. I find it surprising that they have to be told that accountability and transparency is a good thing — but I’m never surprised by their hypocrisy and consistently self-serving behaviour. Sheesh!!
A good House (and Senate) cleaning is long overdue.