Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama Says He'll Sign Bill Banning Insider Trading on Capitol Hill

As many of you are aware, Peter Schweizer, Governor Palin's adviser and an editor for Breitbart, has been leading the fight in exposing the insider trading and abuse of power by the nation's lawmakers. To the surprise of many of us, President Obama took up the issue of insider trading on Capitol Hill in last night's State of the Union speech.

Consider me skeptical, yet encouraged by Obama's statement on this particular issue. The other 99% of his speech was just more of the same class warfare, leftist drivel that we've come to expect from the current commander-in-chief, and thus, not very encouraging at all.

Via BigGovernment:
In a State of the Union speech devoid of clarity or specifics, President Barack Obama offered but one shining exception: a direct call for members of Congress to send him a bill to ban congressional insider trading.

“Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress and I will sign it tomorrow,” President Obama said to applause. “Let’s limit any elected official from owning stock in industries they impact.”

Since the release of “Throw Them All Out,” Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer has been a one-man battalion fighting for members of Congress to abide by the same insider trading laws that apply to all Americans. President Obama’s speech Tuesday night is evidence that Schweizer’s battle against congressional insider trading and cronyism has scored a critical victory.

“It appears that our message has finally broken through,” said Schweizer in an interview Tuesday night with Breitbart News. “Thousands of citizens across America have called and written their representatives and the White House demanding a ban on congressional insider trading. The President’s speech tonight is proof that their efforts were not in vain. Now is the time to apply maximum pressure and get behind Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) RESTRICT Act. It’s the best proposal I’ve seen to date.”

The RESTRICT (Restoring Ethical Standards, Transparency, and Responsibility in Congressional Trading) Act (H.R. 3550) would require members of Congress to either establish blind trusts or submit to a three day public disclosure of any and all investments. According to Schweizer, the bill is preferable to other bills, such as the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act, which Schweizer believes do not go far enough to remedy the problem...

“There’s still much work to be done,” said Schweizer. “We need to get behind Rep. Duffy’s RESTRICT Act and let our leaders know that we will not stand idly by as members of Congress profit off of access to material, nonpublic information.”
You can read the entire piece by Wynton Hall here.

While this is indeed a "victory" in the fight against corruption in government, I'll believe that the president is serious about signing a bill when I see it. I'd also like to read any bill he does sign if it ever does land on his desk. Obama is good at selling one thing as another, and since the media rarely calls him out on this, why wouldn't he be?

One last thing that struck me about the president's comments was his sheer hypocrisy. Towards the end of the clip above, he says:
Let's make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can't lobby Congress, and vice versa – an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.
Yes it does, Mr. President. However, the same should apply to the executive branch, shouldn't it? If you recall, Obama's bundlers were at the heart of the Solyndra scandal.

From the Washington Post:

A major Obama fundraiser strategized with one of his associates last year about how to get White House and Energy Department assistance for a solar company in which his family funds had a substantial interest, according to e-mails released Wednesday by House Republicans.

Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser advised on how to press officials for federal contracts and additional loan assistance for Solyndra, the failed solar company that left taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in federal loans, the e-mails show...

Kaiser was a bundler for Obama’s 2008 campaign and has been a frequent White House visitor, using meetings with top officials to seek stimulus funds for Tulsa-based projects and to discuss his charitable projects, he has said. His family foundation was the biggest investor in Solyndra, but he has denied that he had any involvement in discussions of Solyndra’s 2009 federal loan...

The new e-mails suggest more contact between Solyndra officials and White House officials than was previously known. They suggest that Kaiser and his advisers had hopes that Solyndra would secure a second federal loan.

I do commend Obama for talking about the "corrosive influence of money in politics," I also recognize that the current administration is just as 'corroded' as Congress. My advice to voters is to do as the title of Schweizer's book suggests and "throw them all out" come November, and that includes Obama.

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