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December 30, 2011

Are we asking the right question?

Recently we have learned that Congress has exempted itself from rules that apply to the rest of us.  The Wall Street Journal today published an article indicting that “…members of Congress make common mistakes despite their seeming advantage of possessing advantages of possessing information not readily available to other investors.”  One example is a Senator that only “…earned more than $1 million … but would have doubled that total…”
Maybe it is my legal training, the professional attitude of a CPA, a child of parents with a strong emphasis on ethics and integrity, or maybe common sense.  If you allow yourself to be in a position to appear to have a conflict of interest, then there is a conflict of interest.
The question is not if you profited from the situation but does it appear that there is a conflict of interest.  What does it tell us if the members of Congress have not benefited from the information they have that the rest of us do not have?  Maybe we are not electing people that are wise enough, smart enough,or competent enough to represent us?
 Are our members of  Congress held to a lower standard of conduct than those that elect them.  Should they be held to a higher standard?  Should we expect them to put our interests before theirs?

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