As I prepare my lecture on pubic choice and the failure of democracy for tomorrow's lecture, from today's Washington Post comes a story about how legislators in both the Senate and the House have benefitted from legislation for which they were responsible for getting passed. Of note:
When the House and Senate wrote their first set of modern ethics rules in the 1970s, in response to the Watergate scandal, they expressly prohibited members from engaging in legislative activities that would financially benefit them. But both chambers immediately carved out exemptions to the rule.
The greatest latitude was provided to lawmakers whose business interests aligned with major industries within their home states. “If a dairy farmer represented a dairy farming state in the Senate, and introduced, worked for, and voted for legislation to raise or maintain price supports for dairy producers, he would not fall under the strictures of this rule,” the Senate ethics manual says.
This is why restricting what we achieve through the political process is so important, and why the Constitution is not a "living" document, but has meaning only in the context of limiting powers of those we elect to office.
Democrats never complain about the unfairness of political power and the connections to it - a totally zero, if not negative, sum game - but never cease complaining about successful market entrepreneurs who became wealthy by best serving the interests of their fellow man.