Source:  New World Reporter

by R.F. Goggin (Contributing Author)
(NWR) – It would seem that our federally elected politicians in the U.S., have not been financially afflicted, much like the bulk of Americans since the economic downturn of 2008. No big surprise there, perhaps, but let us ordinary citizens hopefully realize that if things keep going as they are, these very same Washington D.C. officials will be telling us all that we need to make sacrifices for the greater good of the country. They will suggest such things as cutting food stamps for the poor or struggling, medical care for the elderly, etc., and likely seek to introduce a variety of new austerity measures, depending on how poorly our economy performs.

Figures from The New Center for Responsive Politics (a respectable, non-profit research group located on-line at paint a revealing picture of just how well politicians are doing compared to just about everyone else in America. One glaring example is that of Representative Ed Pastor (D. AR), who upon entering Congress In 1991 with somewhere around $100,000 in savings; being roughly about the same amount that he was indebted to banks or credit card companies, etc., has somehow since become just one more within the crowd of 250 millionaire members of Congress.

The divide between the financial security of our lawmakers in the nation’s capitol and the average American is reaching an epic and ridiculous disproportion. Significant enough to make any reasonable citizen suspect that their federal representatives can’t possibly be interested in changing a status quo of which has been making so many of them so much money. In case it may come as news to some folks, 47% of people serving in Congress are millionaires or multi-millionaires. Suffice as to say, one is not going to bump into any Washington politicians trying to save a buck at Wal-mart anytime soon, unless perhaps they are Presidential candidates seeking votes.

How is it then, that Congress people prosper while in office? One way, according to the convicted former lobbyist and government insider, Jack Abramoff, is to trade stock with the foreknowledge of privileged information that will have some effect on the exchange market. Opportunities made possible, because the United States Congress for some unfair, inexcusable and ungodly reason – is exempt from insider trading rules and regulations. Go figure?

Now, I don’t know much about lawmaking myself, but it would seem an enormous imperative to me that the very lawless situation that I speak of here, would be a really good place to enact a new statutory or two, to add to the 40,000 new laws which were passed upon the people of the U.S. during 2011.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Cornelius Tacitus (55-117 A.D.)

And Mr. Tacitus, one might imagine, ought to have some idea how politicians tend to behave, having been one himself within the Roman Senate.

It’s not only stock trade or manipulation which might land a lawmaker a financial windfall; there are secretly privileged business deals to consider to boot.

Dennis Hastert (R. IL), the 59th Speaker of the House, serving from 1999 to 2007, for example, earmarked funding for a federal highway project on land that he owned, which he later sold for $2 million.

I am obliged at this point to ask my fellow countrymen, if we have all just figuratively fallen off the turnip truck? And just how it is perfectly okay for a federal politician to make use of taxpayer money to build a highway on property they own and then subsequently sell off their land for an outrageous profit, soon after retail blocks are established at the end of their exit ramp? This, but sheer corruption of the public trust, I suspect (as I believe most Americans also might at this point), simply has got to be running rampant in quiet corners of the halls of government in Washington D.C., – what with all the lobbyists and/or hangers on milling about. Politicians, one would think it needless to say by now (thanks to our silly, over-zealous mainstream media types), are celebrities as well.

For the record, Congressman Hastert has twice endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential nomination. Is it Romneyland then, and the love of cold, hard cash, perhaps, that is where we are all heading? Not that I’m off on some insignificant-seeming political bent on such matters, but I’ll tell you what, screw that.

Another former Speaker of the House, and the current occupant of that lofty office, have recently both been implicated in misuse of their public trust in the guise of well-timed business deals. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner. Pelosi reportedly participated in eight IPO’s (initial public offering of stocks), which included companies with business before her reign in the House of Representatives. While Boehner, bought health care stocks, before killing off the public option of the so-called ‘Obamacare’ initiative during his tenure.

Seems it’s not a terribly new practice for a Washington politician to line their pockets in unethical ways. Former Senator Bob Dole – bought between $30,000 and $100,000 worth of stock in Automatic Data Processing and AT&T, just four days before George H.W. Bush signed a bill of which included new military data processing rules that benefited such companies, the Defense Reauthorization Act. Not to be outdone, I suppose, a current Republican Presidential contender, Newt Gingrich, bought Boeing stock prior to the company securing a lucrative contract, by helping to kill amendments to cut the International Space Station funding.

Does anyone see a pattern as yet which has taken shape with respect to the practice of personal enrichment which has in fact been going on in the midst of our human race since time immemorial? Gingrich, Pelosi and the others whom I have mentioned (and all those likewise guilty) can claim that they have done nothing illegal under the blessed and righteous shield of capitalism until they are blue in the face, but that hardly makes their ill-gotten gains acquired by manipulating our system of government – acceptable behavior.

There are more than a few Americans, who I suspect are aware that what I am reporting has been printed elsewhere, and especially here on the Internet, but are you equally cognizant of the fact that if we all just sit by and condone or brush aside such selfish endeavors on the part of those elected to advance the welfare and interests of their constituents – only, then for all intents and purposes, we are doomed as a republic and nation?

Who then is watching those of whom are so intent on watching us, I would ask the average American? Who will police the Congress of the United States if not the people they represent? Who will pass laws which will affect them? Certainly not the Commander and Chief, who needs their purse to operate a military, nor a Supreme Court, which lacks the teeth of enforcement? Surely, curtailing the most irresponsible institutional occupation ever conceived of, will eventually become necessary or required?

‘Occupy’ Wall St., or the like, it seems to me, simply has got to succeed in its objective to force a new structural change in America – not just in the manner of how we operate as a societal institution, but also within the psyche of the human mind itself, and/or its conditioning. In the way that we conduct ourselves toward one another. Competition among our species, will only take us so far before it turns back in upon us to our ultimate detriment.

Republican politicians will tell U.S. citizens that Democratic politicians force big business to go beyond our borders to operate, while, Democratic politicians will say that Republicans are just vassals of the rich and powerful. Yet the fact of the matter is that the desire for and accumulation of wealth itself, has outlived its usefulness on this Planet Earth, and our animal greed is a vicious tendency that can only be controlled or tamed for a limited time, indeed, through social revolution. This is not something new I am raising. Our species has endured such scenarios before. Just the same, I hardly claim in any capacity to have the answer or alternative to a monetary-based civilization or society; an issue, likely insolvable during my existence on this sphere, but I can gladly advise any soul reading my words here that there is no solution which will so much as begin, minus charity and/or compassion. And that there is little to no hope at all for humanity as a whole, without a serious virtue and pursuit of selflessness.

History, of course, does quite clearly tell every one of us homo-sapiens what is to inevitably take place, and even perhaps during the coming – American Spring – of the notorious and most fabled year of 2012. Our past reminds us, that corruption on a governmental scale, has not once to this date ever prevailed.

Apparently having addressed this type issue with equal or more thoughtfulness and confidence as I might, Thomas Jefferson, once said:

“Once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

Well, ‘wolves’ gather as equally to protect each-other, as they do to hunt prey.

Therefore, in addition to the generous regular salaries of Government officials listed below, let’s also take a look at what just some of our most dedicated citizen representatives are worth these days, shall we?


President: $400,000

Vice President: $230,700

House Speaker: $223,500

Senate President Pro Tempore: $193,400

House and Senate Majority and Minority leaders: $193,400

Senators and Representatives: $174,000

Supreme Court Chief Justice: $223,500

Associate Justices: $213,900

Federal Court of Appeals Judges: $184,500

Federal District Court Judges: $174,000

Estimated Net Worth Of The Top 10 Richest Federal Politicians:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R. CA): $451.1 million

Rep. Jane Harman (D. CA): $435.4 million

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R. FL): $366.2 million

Senator John Kerry (D. MA): $249.9 million

Rep. Jared Polis (D. CO): $285.1 million

Senator Mark Warner (D. VA): $283.1 million

Senator Herb Kohl (D. WI): $231.2 million

Rep. Michael McCaul (R. TX): $201.5 million

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D. W VA): $136.2 million

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D. CA): $108.1 million

by R.F. Goggin

(Contributing Author)