Angle Asked the Right Question, Reid Dodged, The Media Ignored

Posted by on Oct 15th, 2010 and filed under Defense. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site

During Thursday’s debate, Sharon Angle asked Harry Reid the question that Americans should be asking ALL politicians.

Angle: “You came from Searchlight (his hometown) to the Senate with very little. Now you’re one of the richest men in the U.S. Senate. On behalf of Nevada taxpayers, I’d like to know, we’d like to know, how did you become so wealthy on a government payroll?”

Reid: “…that’s really kind of a low blow. I think most everyone knows I was a very successful lawyer. I did a very good job in investing. I’ve been on a fixed income since I went to Washington. I’ve lived off of what I made in the private sector….So her suggestion that I made money being a Senator is simply false, and I’m really disappointed that she would suggest that.”

While it is true that Reid was a lawyer prior to entering politics in 1966, it is this “good job in investing” that has made him one of the wealthiest politicians in Washington.

Reid’s “disappointment” and feigned indignation aside, it seems curious that men and women in Congress, who so inadequately manage the finances and investments of this country and their individual states have so much success in personal investment. But then again, politicians often don’t have the risk factor associated with the stock market. They have the benefit of investing in sure deals.

Most people, even those who don’t consider themselves financially savvy, have heard the term “insider trading.” Essentially, buying or selling stocks based on information that is not publicly available to all investors is illegal. The fictional character Gordon Gekko in the film “Wall Street” and even domestic goddess Martha Stewart, went to prison for insider trading. Designed to protect the market from stock brokers or corporate executives who would gain an unfair advantage in the market through privileged information, preventing people from using information to control the markets is a fundamental component of the free market and a cornerstone of American finance.

Except for Congress.

Senators and Representatives have blanket immunity. That means that members of Congress can and do use their positions to influence the stock market and make millions for themselves, friends, and family, and staff in the process.

Members of Congress sit on various boards. These boards determine how much money is spent on education, military, health care, etc. These same members of Congress are NOT bared from investing in stocks in the same companies that would benefit from federal funding.

  • Two days before the bailout of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac was announced, Nancy Pelosi staff members traded their Fannie & Freddie stocks, making huge profits.
  •  While actively lobbying to prevent regulation of Freddie Mac, which helped to create the current economic disaster, Barney Frank was living with a Freddie Mac Executive.
  •  Between 2001 and 2005 while she was the chairperson of the Military Construction Appropriations committee, Dianne Feinstein funneled billions of dollars to defense contractors controlled by her husband, Richard Blum.

In fact, in 2007 over $18 billion in federal funds went to companies with Congress members or their spouses as either board members or major investors.

The Wall Street Journal reported that since 2008, 72 top congressional aides have benefited from trades in companies controlled by members of Congress. Both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s top aides have profited handsomely on information available to them through secret meetings or briefings where major projects are discussed and financial contributions are determined.

Of course this isn’t just a Democrat problem. Tony Rudy, a top aide to then Republican Majority leader Tom DeLay, made an estimated 500 trades worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, on his office computer between 1999 and 2000.

When cornered, members of Congress often attempt to down play the effects of profiting from their insider trading. However, ObamaCare is the perfect example of why the blanket immunity should be lifted. Members of Congress collectively hold an estimated $27 million in health care assets that are directly affected by ObamaCare. This certainly helps to explain why Nancy Pelosi would say “you have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” What’s in it is personal, financial windfalls in the millions of dollars for Congress.

Harry Reid is one of those who financially benefits from ObamaCare. But he is happy to pass the knowledge and the wealth around. Harry Reid’s “good job in investing” earned his top energy policy advisor, Chris Miller a fat payout when Reid sponsored legislation that funneled money into Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.

The Bible says, “No servant can serve two masters..” First and foremost, politicians are the servant of the people. When they seek to serve their own financial interests, they place those interests above that of the people. This is the case with ObamaCare, it is the case with the bailouts, it is the case with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and it is the case with almost every facet of Washington. 

Until we make it illegal for Congress and their sucklings to personally, financially gain from the work that they are supposed to be doing to our benefit we will never have representatives in Washington. We will only have appointed parasites.

1 Response for “Angle Asked the Right Question, Reid Dodged, The Media Ignored”

  1. Jon says:

    Geat article exposing the wealth building in Congress while our 401Ks became 201Ks. It is very irritating that Congress and especially their staff are immune from prosecution of insider trading and privileged information when the rest of us are charged with a crime. I still remember Robert Toricelli, a disgraced Senator from NJ, who would be given large amounts of stock in banks ready to go public. The banks would issue him shares at BELOW market rates offered to bank customers thus generating an automatic profit plus the number of shares had no restriction. Today Toricelli lives off campaign donations that should have been returned to donors or donate to charities. Anyone looking to make a movie this character will be the ideal “fictional” model to follow instead of greed on Wall St. we have greed on Capitol Hill.

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