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1. CBS’s “60 Minutes” caused a stir with its report Sunday, based on a forthcoming book by Peter Schweizer, about members of Congress who may have traded stocks based on insider information to which they were privy because of their elected offices.
2. Many members of Congress are desperate to raise new revenues any way possible, in the name of stopping our borrowing binge.
4. In light of the revolving door in Washington — in which politicians and their appointees leave public service and then cash in by lobbying or otherwise working for the companies they used to regulate — the law professor and proprietor of the Instapundit blog, Glenn Reynolds, has proposed “a 50 percent surtax on any earnings by political appointees in excess of their prior government salaries for the first five years after they leave office.”
Voila! How about a 50 percent tax on financial transactions by members of Congress and their staffs while they are with the government, and for five years thereafter?
Let them trade all they want on the knowledge they gain as public, ahem, servants. Just make sure that half of the proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury. Heck, this is one case where I’d be completely in favor of a deeply progressive tax: 50 percent for the first $10,000 profit; 60 percent for the next $90,000; 75 percent on the $250,000 after that; and 90 percent on everything above that.
We could call it the Insta-Tobin tax. Or the Nancy “You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it (for me)” Pelosi Honorary Tax.
Either way works for me.
– By Kyle Wingfield