By Governor Rick Perry
Congress is finally feeling the pressure over insider trading, the practice of trading financial securities based on non-public information available to a select few in government.
After a series of investigative reports, including several here at Big Government, the American people are beginning to realize that what is wrong with this country can be diagrammed on a map, with a straight line connecting Wall Street and Washington, D.C.
Now exposed to the light of day, the political establishment is determined to show the American people it is "doing something" to clean up its act.
This week, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the matter, taking what many observers saw as great pains to minimize perceptions of a systemic and bipartisan problem. But I remain skeptical, as do many Americans, that Congress will actually pass a bill with teeth that requires them to live by the same rules as the rest of us.
The fact is, things will never change as long as the same Washington insiders remain in control. Washington is broken and needs a complete overhaul, but establishment politicians only want to tinker at the margins. This is why we can't ask a Washington insider to fix Washington, because it takes an outsider to overhaul a corrupt culture.
My plan to overhaul Washington starts by creating a part-time Congress. We should cut their pay in half, cut their staffs in half, and cut the time they spend in Washington in half. A part-time, citizen Congress will not only get rid of the permanent political class -- it will restore the vision of our founders and force members to live under the laws they pass with the people they represent.
Second, my plan makes passing the STOCK Act a priority. Any member of Congress who trades on insider information should go to jail, plain and simple.
And third, I will permanently ban all corporate bailouts. We shouldn't be awarding taxpayer-funded bonuses to Wall Street executives who defrauded those very same taxpayers, we should be locking them up.
Americans who are frustrated by the excess spending, our stagnant economy and the corruption that permeates our nation's capital have a clear choice in this election.
We don't have to sit back and take it anymore. We don't have to resign ourselves to replacing one Washington insider with another, or settle for modest reform that amounts to a reshuffling of the status quo. We don't have to tolerate a government that brazenly tells us that all are equal, but some more equal than others.
It's time to clean house in Washington, starting with a real ban on insider trading that forces politicians to live by the same rules as average Americans.