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Mike’s Musings: Wanna make millions, become a politician

Like most of you, I chose the wrong profession if my goal was to make a lot of money. It seems the best way to achieve financial success is to run for elected office, in particular a federal office.
It would appear that if you’ve been in Congress for several years, you can retire with a large nest egg. What I haven’t been able to discern if how that possibly happens.
A representative in Congress makes $174,000 a year. It Is true that their benefits are exceptional and they do have an officeholders account that pays for office expenses. It is also true that most of us would give our eye tooth for that large of a yearly salary, but when compared to what doctors, lawyers and other professionals make it is small potatoes.
But I gotta confess my confusion is over the top when I here the worth of some of our career politicians. Take Diane Fienstein for instance, God rest her soul. When she was first elected back in the early 80’s she claimed a new worth of $500,000, When she died earlier this year at age 90, it was pegged at $69 million,
Now critics might say she wrote a book and had numerous speaking engagements that add up to a lot of dough, but really $68.5 million. I don’t think so.
But her story isn’t unique. There are literally more than a hundred lawmakers who have saw their net worth balloon while sitting in Congress.
I have a suspicion they were doing as my old dentist used to do. He would inspect your teeth, then run to his computer to make a stock trade. I always felt he was more interested in the stock market than the pain I was experiencing from a toothache.
Our lawmakers, in my opinion, are more interested in what they are trading in the stock market, than your wellbeing as a constituent. And me also thinks, because of their position, they are privy to stock trading inside information that gives them exceptional odds at making a profit.
A prime example would be Rep. Mike McCaul, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. McCaul is one of the biggest proponents of forcing Tik Tok to divest itself of Chinese ownership. Heck his committee holds jurisdiction over that. Knowing that he may be able to force Tik Tok in to a sale, he has invested six figures in to Meta stock, owner of Instagram which is Tik Tok’s main competitor.
Current laws don’t prohibit him from making that investment, however I’m of the opinion, morally it’s just not right. There are proponents of substantially reducing Congress members ability to do insider trading, but much like term limits, the idea goes nowhere. After all we are asking the very people it benefits, to reduce their ability to earn money. It’s the right thing to do, but it will never pass.
I was always under the impression that becoming an elected official meant you had a solemn duty to represent the people who make up your constituency. You didn’t get elected to Congress, or as president for that matter, to make money. But unfortunately, is this day in age, our politicians, for the most part, would rather make money than help you.

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