More government hypocrisy

I've been picking on Kevin Drum a bit in the past few posts, so I'll note some agreement with his latest post, revealing that senators' stock performance beat the market by 12%, and senatorial stock picks included stocks that did nothing prior to purchase, then soared, as well as stocks that were flat until sold by a senator, at which point they dropped like a stone.

Kevin dances around the conclusion, but I'll just go right out and call bullshit. This is the same house that made the rules under which Federal prosecutors are trying to crucify Martha Stewart for insider trading, and make it illegal for anyone to trade on knowledge that everyone doesn't have (even though information assymetry is the one of the fundamental reasons a stock market exists), who are obviously and blatantly trading on insider information. They don't even need to get tipped off, either- they can, by legislation, make a company's stock rise or fall at a whim!

Another case of the political class exempting themselves from behavior they condemn for the 'masses.' How's about trusting the "people, not the powerful", and level the playing field between you and the rest of us, eh guys?

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There's some discussion over

There's some discussion over at the Reason blog of a similar double-standard regarding campaign finance laws. Since they don't interfere with free campaign advertising the political class gets in the news every day, their real effect is just to strengthen the power of the incumbency. I propose the following, to even things out:

1) every politician who appears in the news (including our beloved Commander-in-Chief) is automatically billed at the going advertising rates;
2) every public appearance like the flightsuit or Turkey Day photo ops must be followed by a voiceover: "paid for by the Bush-Cheney 2004 committee"; and
3) abolish the franking privilege.

I like #1 and #2, but #3

I like #1 and #2, but #3 would end up being a wash, in that 'franking' *is* part of the job description (to tell constituents what is going on), and so without the privilege they'd just vote themselves budgets to send out the mail anyway.

I think announcing a

I think announcing a politician as "the thief and likely murderer Honorable Representative..." would be fine.

- Josh

What if we capped franking

What if we capped franking at, say, one mailing per constituent per month? I'd also favor a rule that suspends the frank for 60 days before an election. That way, politicians could fulfill their duties to alert their constituents to important issues, but wouldn't be able to waste millions bombarding them with junk mail designed to make incumbents look god.

One quibble...IIRC Martha is

One quibble...IIRC Martha is being tried on obstruction of justice charges, not insider trading.

But yeah, something looks really fishy here.