Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thomas Knapp: Raise Congressional Pay — And Tax the Rich!

“Young investors have a new strategy,” National Public Radio’s Tim Mak reported on September 21:  “Watching financial disclosures of sitting members of Congress for stock tips.”

Under the Stock Act, members of Congress must disclose their own stock trades, and those of their spouses, within 45 days. One member of a TikTok investor community refers to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as the “queen of investing” due to lucrative trades made by her husband.

The obvious implication is that members of Congress often engage in “insider trading,” using information they receive pursuant to their duties, or information concerning the likely effects of upcoming legislation, to buy and sell (or have family members buy and sell) profitably and mostly with impunity (there’s an occasional ethics investigation, but seldom serious punitive action).

No wonder Congress is one of the wealthier groups in America. A majority of its members are millionaires, and their median net worth exceeds $1 million. And many of them seem to rack up a lot more wealth while actually serving in Congress (as opposed to before running for office) than the $174,000 base salary would account for.

There’s a way to fix that. Don’t hold your breath awaiting its adoption — the very members of Congress who benefit from insider trading would have to pass rules implementing it — but it’s still worth suggesting.

First, preemptively raise congressional pay: In addition to the base salary, generous allowances for dependent spouses and children (let’s say $50,000 per dependent). Not that $174,000 per year isn’t sufficient to support a family of four, but let’s head off any complaints about that.

Second, require members of Congress to put their FAMILY wealth into “blind trusts” so that they don’t know how the money is invested. Of course, congressional spouses aren’t automatically bound by congressional rules, but members could be given the option of convincing their spouses, or resigning, or being sanctioned by losing committee seats, being barred from leadership, or even being expelled.

Third, tax those blind trusts at a rate of 100% for all gains above and beyond the inflation rate. After all, the rich should pay “their fair share.”

Finally, forbid moonlighting. Congress is supposedly a full-time job. US Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) should have to choose between serving in Congress and knocking down  book advances larger than their salaries, as both did in 2020.

Would these measures eliminate corruption in Congress? Not even close. Among other tricks, they’d still be able to sell their influence in return for cushy think tank positions or “private sector” lobbying jobs once they leave office.

But it would be a start. The goal here is for no one to leave Congress wealthier than he or she entered it.


Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

20 Comments

  1. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly January 31, 2022

    I’m telling Dan Behrman that Thomas Knapp wants to raise taxes!

  2. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman January 31, 2022

    Here’s a little tidbit you probably don’t know about Dan Behrman: he says it’s ok to be white, if you know what I mean.

  3. Andy Andy February 1, 2022

    “Nathan Norman
    January 31, 2022 at 23:44
    Here’s a little tidbit you probably don’t know about Dan Behrman: he says it’s ok to be white, if you know what I mean.”

    If he said that I’d be a bit surprised since he is Jewish.

  4. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 1, 2022

    “he says it’s ok to be white, if you know what I mean.”

    I don’t. Please provide additional details. What exactly did he say and where did he say it. If he literally just said it’s OK to be white, or answered yes to a question “is it ok to be white” then duh…of course it’s OK to be white, just like it’s OK to be black, brown, etc. Yes, it’s code that white racists use, but it’s also a statement that literally true and that everyone agrees with except for a few anti-white bigots and self-hating white people. Despite the paranoid fantasies of white racists, most non-whites are not anti-white bigots and very few whites hate themselves for being white.

    “If he said that I’d be a bit surprised since he is Jewish.”

    Most people, including most Jews, consider most Jews to be white. The only people who don’t are a few white nationalists, white supremacists, or whatever you want to call them. Besides, you don’t have to be white to believe that it’s OK to be white, if that was literally all he said. At this point we don’t have enough context.

  5. Andy Andy February 1, 2022

    Ed Johnson said: “Most people, including most Jews, consider most Jews to be white.”

    I have heard MANY Jews say that they do not consider themselves to be white, or, that that they are only white when it is convenient to be white.

    Many Jews are mixed people who do have some white ancestry, some have so much white ancestry that they look very European, but I have even heard some of these Jews say that they are not white, they are Jewish. There’s even a song about it.

    I’m Not White, I’m Jewish

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p26xGXbam_w

  6. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 1, 2022

    Some Jews do not consider themselves to be white. But most of the ones I have met do consider themselves to be white, and are considered white by most people, including most other Jews and most non-Jews. Most non-Jews I know also consider them to be white. That includes a lot of whites and a lot of non-whites. The vast majority of Jews are officially white according to the US Census and state and federal records and statistics about who is or is not white. Most Arabs and Muslims consider most Jews to be white and often refer to Israel as a European colonialist nation. Black and Hispanic nationalists usually consider the vast majority of American Jews to be white.

    Most typical people of all backgrounds, Jews and non-Jews, whites and non-whites, who are not racial/ethnic nationalists, consider most Jews to be white as far as I have ever seen. The only exceptions are most white nationalists and a minority of Jews.

    Which should all be irrelevant because we have yet to get any context that would show that Behrman allegedly said “it’s OK to be white” as white nationalist code, rather than merely acknowledging that it is actually OK to be white, which it is. BTW, not that it matters but just out of curiosity, did Behrman say he is Jewish, or are you assuming he is because of his last name? The name could also be German, or he may have been adopted, ect.

  7. Andy Andy February 1, 2022

    “Ed Johnson” said:” BTW, not that it matters but just out of curiosity, did Behrman say he is Jewish, or are you assuming he is because of his last name? ”

    Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman said that he is Jewish. I heard him say it more than once. I know one time he said it was when he was interviewing Jeremey “Spike” Cohen.

    Interestingly, Jeremy “Spike” Cohen identifies as being Jewish, and he was apparently raised Jewish, but technically speaking, he was born of a Jewish father, but not of a Jewish mother, so under Jewish Rabbinical Law, he is not Jewish, because they only consider people who are born of a Jewish mother to be Jewish.

  8. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 1, 2022

    Yes. I tried to do the OK emoji but IPR doesn’t allow emojis.

  9. Andy Andy February 1, 2022

    “Nathan Norman
    February 1, 2022 at 15:05
    Yes. I tried to do the OK emoji but IPR doesn’t allow emojis.”

    I watched a bunch of his videos, and I met Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman in person at the Libertarian Party of California Convention in 2020,
    which was held in Culver City, and I’ll have to say that he sounded good to me.

    When I spoke to him in person, one thing we discussed was immigration policy, and he actually sounded like he agreed with me, in that he agreed that if we were transitioning from our current government to a libertarian society, that it would be a disaster to rip the borders open before a lot of changes were made beforehand, like ending the welfare state, repealing forced association laws, and basically eliminating coercive government as we know it, and privatizing everything.

  10. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 1, 2022

    So, Behrman identifies as both Jewish and white, or at least is not offended by the fact that someone would consider him to be white. So what? Most Jews either identify as white or at least are not offended by the fact that most other people think they are white. He’s also a male and hates taxes, which is not news to anyone who has heard of him.

    He either didn’t notice the hash tag or took it at face value instead of it’s much more obscure coded meaning where “ok” stands for KKK, or where the alleged Jewish powers that be are making it not ok to be white. Since he is Jewish, it’s pretty unlikely that he is a fan of the Klan or of white nationalists, who generally do not think Jews are white.

    As I suspected, a failed attempt to make something out of nothing. I’m also male, don’t enjoy paying taxes, and don’t have anything against white people as a group. Does that make me a racist or a fan of the Klan? Hell no.

  11. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 1, 2022

    OK doesn’t stand for KKK. It stands for “it’s okay to be white”, which seems to trigger anti-whites who hold the globalist viewpoint.

  12. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island February 1, 2022

    Taxation is Patriotic

  13. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 1, 2022

    The ok hand signal is used by racists to signal wp for white power. The three fingers make the w while the two fingers making the o extended with the edge of the hand underneath make the p. It started as a meme/joke called operation o-kkk on 4Chan. Look up “ok sign kkk” for details.

    If you weren’t trying to.imply that Behrman meant something more by it why did you say “if you know what I mean?” . At most, he agreed literally that it’s ok to be white. So what? I agree with that too. It’s no more or less ok to be black, brown, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or whatever else. It’s also quite possible that he missed the hash tag altogether when he liked your post.

  14. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 1, 2022

    Tony

    Maybe in some other countries that weren’t founded in a tax revolt?

  15. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 2, 2022

    According to the globalists it is not okay to be white. One reason is because white people demand higher wages. Corporations don’t want to pay it. Another is because they hold “unacceptable views” such as due process, free speech, and gun rights. They are too difficult to control.

    As a result, the globalists have waged a campaign to shrink the population of whites. They foster the opiate crisis by flooding white communities with fentanyl. They encourage unlimited immigration into traditionally white nations to change the demographics. They promote interracial relations to breed out whites. They use affirmative action and quotas to lower the white standard of living. They teach CRT, BLM, and white inferiority to break the spirit of white children. They encourage white homosexual relations to decrease white births. They encourage whites to take hormones and mutilate their genitals to make it impossible to reproduce. It is working since, for the first time, the 2020 census showed a decrease in the white US population from ten years before.

    All this favors the CCP. The globalists work for them. The lab leak furthers their goal and I find it more likely than not that that was an intentional act.

  16. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 2, 2022

    I don’t feel like taking the time to explain why I disagree with most of that. Maybe later if I don’t fall back asleep first, but I doubt it. One example: fentanyl is hitting black communities really hard right now. One thing I do agree with you on is that the CCP is looking good for intentional biowarfare with covid. The circumstantial evidence is pretty strong. If they weren’t a sovereign state, it would be good enough for a search warrant.

    In any case it’s pretty unlikely that Berman was signaling his agreement with your white genocide / racial replacement conspiracy theory by liking your post. He basically just said that he’s not offended by being called an angry white guy who hates taxes, and maybe that it’s ok to be white (presumably, he also thinks it’s ok to be any other race) if he even saw that part. I’m going to guess that like Andy, you probably don’t think he’s actually white since he’s Jewish, but maybe you didn’t know that he’s Jewish (I’ll take Andy’s word that he is).

  17. Jared Jared February 2, 2022

    Tony: “Taxation is Patriotic.”

    Is the government patriotic for demanding a cut every time money moves or stands still, or are We the People patriotic for handing over all the protection money demanded of us?

    To quote Samuel Johnson, 1775: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.