While the White House and Congress go back and forth over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, I have to wonder if it’s all just a money-making ploy. I have often heard that people make money so that they can have power. But what do people in power want? More power? Possibly, but I don’t think that gets to heart of what is bothering me about the political brinksmanship that is going on now.
Congress has a pretty good deal. Decent salary, good health care, lobbyists paying for lunch and dinner and drinks and maybe even breakfast. Staffers paid by the government to do their bidding. There is a lot of power there. But as I’ve talked about before, Congress has one thing that the rest of us can never get: carte blanche to trade on inside information. Not to mention that their policies have the ability (and often do) to control how the capital markets perform.
So my question is this: How can we allow this to happen? The President of the United States is required to put his assets in a blind trust. For very good reason. When the President speaks, markets can move. As members of Congress, and in the age of twenty-four hour news television, what they say can have tremendous influence upon the markets.
It’s a good bet that most of these members of Congress know what they are doing. Are they buying on these dips after “A DEAL CANNOT BE REACHED” is put out in the press because of posturing by either side? Maybe they know they will pass it. I think that’s likely. Unfortunately, I find it very difficult to trust what our leaders say (Democrat or Republican) and so have a hard time reconciling anything they say now. They could know they are going to pass a resolution to raise the debt ceiling (or not) and make a fortune either buying as the market drops, or shorting it entirely.
Financial regulation reform left their pocketbooks largely untouched. The rest of us, as usual will be the ones who pay the price.