Stock trading by Congressional Insiders is nothing new. It has been going on for years now and one must ask the question how our Representatives and Senators have been able to get away with it for such a long time. On tonight’s 60 Minutes on CBS, Steve Croft will examine the issue and hopefully do a good job explaining something that even though it would land you and I in jail for years, it seems to be fully legal for Congress to get away with.
Several years ago Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas bought stock in a dairy company and then sold it 10 months later. And don’t think it is only democrats who are getting away with it. Republicans as well have acted on insider information on company stocks. Senator Bob Dole purchased stock in a data processing company just days before George Bush number 1 signed into law a bill that changed the way the military processed their data. Newt Gingrich also got in on the action when he purchased stock in Boeing just before killing a bill that would have cut funding for the International Space Station.
It is not clear whether these Senators and Representatives actually benefited from these transactions, but regardless of this fact this is exactly the kind of information that sent Martha Stewart to jail for almost 6 months in 2004 and early 2005. It is very questionable as to whether Martha Stewart actually did anything wrong, but she went to jail none the less for almost 6 months. But the big question is, why do members of Congress get away with actions such as this and the those that elect them to office don’t?
Why is what is good for the people not good enough for the United States Congress and why don’t our legislative leaders have to follow the law? Oh yes, it is legal for Congressmen to engage in insider trading because they have not actually made it illegal. But this is just a formality. If it is illegal for you and, why don’t members of congress have to follow the same rules you and I do? Are they above the law?
With approval for Congress at an all time low, I’m sure this report on 60 Minutes tonight will drop their likability factor even lower. It will be interesting to see who is involved and how they have benefited from information not available to you and I. Both John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are said to have been involved in insider stock trading information. It will be interesting to see else is involved? Watch 60 Minutes tonight and find out.