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Congress does it again – We are Above the Law

Actually surprised but not really.  Could this be another symptom of the boiling anger America has with it institutions be it Economic, Political or other that fuels movements like Occupy Wall Street?

Just when you thought you had heard it all it appears Congress has created a little loophole for themselves in the Law that would put anyone else in jail.  How would you like to be either responsible for or privy to laws and legislation that was going to affect a business then be able to go buy, sell or option that stock before anyone else knew about it.  That would be a pretty sweet deal except its called INSIDER TRADING and its ILLEGAL for everyone unless you are a member of congress.  Can you believe that?  Should you accept that?  This kind of garbage just fuels the fire of distrust and disrespect.  Congress has developed cancer and it’s been slowly and steadily eating away at the healthy organs it was founded upon resulting in the hideous morass of corruption, insincerity, self-serving, self-enriching, biased activity we have found ourselves with today.  Congress as it exists today can’t fix this mess because they are too deeply intertwined and a part of it.  Too corrupt and beholden to deep pocked donors agendas that don’t weight the greater public good only the elite individual enrichment and longevity.  Very sad.  How to fix it?  To be fair a few congressmen have consciences and have tried to enact change but they’ve been ignored because those with the power squash their voice before it can affect their own wealth and powers.

Read, or better yet watch the report on 60 minutes about the insider trading law that doesn’t exist for members of congress and tell me if your jaw doesn’t hit the floor in disbelief.

Oh, and don’t tell me your waiting for congress to fix the deficit, wall street, health care and social security…..ha ha.  Get a grip on reality folks.  Stop living in denial.

November 13, 2011 7:06 PM

Congress: Trading stock on inside information?

Watch the Segment »

Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution says the most valuable intelligence is often traded behind closed doors.

(CBS News)

Washington, D.C. is a town that runs on inside information – but should our elected officials be able to use that information to pad their own pockets? As Steve Kroft reports, members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate. For now, the practice is perfectly legal, but some say it’s time for the law to change.

The following is a script of “Insiders” which aired on Nov. 13, 2011. Steve Kroft is correspondent, Ira Rosen and Gabrielle Schonder, producers.

The next national election is now less than a year away and congressmen and senators are expending much of their time and their energy raising the millions of dollars in campaign funds they’ll need just to hold onto a job that pays $174,000 a year.

Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don’t always apply to them.

Questioning Pelosi: Steve Kroft heads to D.C.
When Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and other lawmakers wouldn’t answer Steve Kroft’s questions, he headed to Washington to get some answers about their stock trades.

Most former congressmen and senators manage to leave Washington – if they ever leave Washington – with more money in their pockets than they had when they arrived, and as you are about to see, the biggest challenge is often avoiding temptation.

Peter Schweizer: This is a venture opportunity. This is an opportunity to leverage your position in public service and use that position to enrich yourself, your friends, and your family.

Peter Schweizer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. A year ago he began working on a book about soft corruption in Washington with a team of eight student researchers, who reviewed financial disclosure records. It became a jumping off point for our own story, and we have independently verified the material we’ve used.

Schweizer says he wanted to know why some congressmen and senators managed to accumulate significant wealth beyond their salaries, and proved particularly adept at buying and selling stocks.

Schweizer: There are all sorts of forms of honest grafts that congressmen engage in that allow them to become very, very wealthy. So it’s not illegal, but I think it’s highly unethical, I think it’s highly offensive, and wrong.

Steve Kroft: What do you mean honest graft?

Schweizer: For example insider trading on the stock market. If you are a member of Congress, those laws are deemed not to apply.

Kroft: So congressman get a pass on insider trading?

Schweizer: They do. The fact is, if you sit on a healthcare committee and you know that Medicare, for example, is– is considering not reimbursing for a certain drug that’s market moving information. And if you can trade stock on– off of that information and do so legally, that’s a great profit making opportunity. And that sort of behavior goes on.

Kroft: Why does Congress get a pass on this?

Schweizer: It’s really the way the rules have been defined. And the people who make the rules are the political class in Washington. And they’ve conveniently written them in such a way that they don’t apply to themselves.

Read the full report here.


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