Did you know that our Federal lawmakers are exempt from insider trading laws? According to the report on 11/13/11 CBS 60 minutes lawmakers can and do buy stock and real estate based on secret inside information, in some cases information that they are privy to because they serve on special private committees. If anyone else traded stock based on the same inside information, and were found out, they would be prosecuted as felons, pay fines and go to jail like Roger Blackwell. Those in the House and Senate are not only legally permitted to do so, they do it all the time, and often become multi-millionaires. More information is forthcoming from Peter Schweizer’s soon to be released book “Throw Them All Out.”
Watching the November 6th 2011 broadcast of CBS’s 60 Minutes, interview of Jack Abramoff, I was shocked with the reality I feared to be true: large corporations, political and industry associations, through lobbyists, have bought and paid for those we have elected to represent us in Washington. If you don’t remember who Jack is, he is the former lobbyist and businessman sentenced to several years in prison. Listen to the interview yourself to see if you conclude or wonder if all politicians are or will eventually become corrupt Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist’s playbook.
So lets see our law makers make decisions based on bribes they get from lobbyists, and they also make decisions about industry and companies and then turn around and make stock trades based on that information. The lawmakers and industry get richer, wealth is extracted from our country and put in the hands of a few powerful rich people, and decisions are not made because of integrity. Most of this is to the detriment of average middle and lower-income people.
When corruption and injustice of those in power, have so much power, those lacking integrity will often prevail over those of honor in politics and industry. When this condition exists for a long time, and during economic recessions like we are experiencing now, isn’t protest inevitable? Interestingly, some have actually contributed to the recession, may have financially benefited from it? Now seems to be the time to put severe limits on the lobbying industry and stock trading of Federal lawmakers.