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Don't Let This Opportunity Pass You By


According to an NPR story, Insider-Trading Ban Passes Congress, But Some See Missed Opportunity, Senator Charles Grassley was unhappy with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act recently passed by Congress because it didn’t go far enough. NPR reports that the Act, passed unanimously by the Senate, gained its political momentum from a 60 Minutes story exposing the double standard of Congress exempting its members from the regulations it imposes on others.

Sen. Grassley thinks an opportunity was missed to include a provision requiring workers in the political intelligence industry to register as lobbyists. But why stop with chicken feed like banning Congress from insider trading, forcing it to pay minimum wages, or even making it conform to the host of other anti-social rules and regulations it imposes on the rest of us. Why not ride the wave of public sentiment against flagrant violations of a basic principle of justice all the way to the shore? Introduce the Stop Congressional Theft Act barring Congress from taxing us, the Stop Congressional Kidnapping Act barring them from conscripting us, or cutting to the chase, the Stop Congressional Legislation Act barring Congress from writing law. Congress, undoubtedly, would think that's taking justice too far, but as Rothbard might have said (adapting the famous line of Mises), "there cannot be too much justice."  

Jeffrey Herbener teaches economics at Grove City College and is chairman of the economics department. He is assistant editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

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