Guess who wrote this op-ed??
(Elizabeth Warren has hired a campaign manager and has thousands of volunteers signing up for her campaign for the Senate seat in MA that Senator Scott Brown currently occupies. He has a lot of work to do for this election.)
Guess who wrote this op-ed??
The moment you threaten to strip politicians of their legal graft, they’ll moan that they can’t govern effectively without it. Perhaps they’ll gravitate toward reform, but often their idea of reform is to limit the right of “We the people” to exercise our freedom of speech in the political process.
I’ve learned from local, state and national political experience that the only solution to entrenched corruption is sudden and relentless reform. Sudden because our permanent political class is adept at changing the subject to divert the public’s attention—and we can no longer afford to be indifferent to this system of graft when our country is going bankrupt. Reform must be relentless because fighting corruption is like a game of whack-a-mole. You knock it down in one area only to see it pop up in another.
What are the solutions? We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.
We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren’t really blind because they’re managed by family members or friends.)
No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.
Or, that’s the name that appeared over it, at any rate.
Sounds good to me Rdan. Other than the source do you have any problems with it?
BTW, whats the connection between the quote and Warren?
Islam will change
i agree with sarah. but the only way you get sudden reform is, ah, oh, take Libya for a recent example.
But not Egypt.
Certainly no one in favor of improving the actions and attitudes of our political class would find any disagrteement with that op-ed. That it is credited to Sarah Palin and appeared in the WSJ is mystifying. Is there any record of such ideas having been expressed in Ms. Palin’s run for VP? Is there any evidence in their past editorials that the WSJ genuinely supports the ideas presented in the article? I’ll take them both seriously when they both, Palin and the WSJ, ride this band wagon around the town often enough to gain real traction amongst voters and the Congress.
Classic corruption in which politicians line their pockets is a point of intersection between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements. Everybody hates it, including those who resent having to make the payoffs. As Robert Reich discussed on his blog this weekend, both movements oppose what they identify as a pernicious–but mutually-rewarding!–relationship between politicians and the wealthy. They diverge because one movement targets the government, the other targets the wealthy. (Note that Palin seeks stronger regulations for politicians, not their benefactors.) Each movement essentially believes the other would throw out the baby with the filthy bath water–the baby being either government programs for the middle class, or job-creators, from the respective viewpoints.
i have never objected to a little honest graft. it’s when the bastards demand rules that destroy the possibility of happiness for nine tenths of the population that i get a little angry.
NEVER thought I’d say this: Ms. Palin has a great idea but she’s not aggressive enough.
There’s no reason our public servants, often holding inside information on our behalf, should take personal profit from it. Employees in well-run securities shops have to get pre-clearance before trading, to ensure they aren’t front-running client money with their own, or acting on inside information.
The analogue for Congresspeople, and all accounts, (e.g., their nieces’), that they control, is to give ADVANCE notice of a trade to be made no earlier than 48 hours after the notice is publicly available and no later than the subsequent 5 business days. Notice should also carry an attestation that the Congressperson is not aware of ANY pending legislative effort that would significantly affect the business of that company. The database of notices should be completely available to the public within seconds of the filing.
The latter sounds restrictive (which it sorta is) but if taken at face value should essentially eliminate any price spike that makes the trade more expensive for the Congressperson. If there IS any short-term price spike, well, the Congresspeople are long-term investors, spending 98% of their time on the Public’s business, no?
This has ZERO impact on legitimate investing by securities professionals working at private firms; because this merely gives notice, rather than requiring pre-clearance, it should help show Congress the public’s expectations for honest service.