A call for more regulation

| Staff Columnist

In an act of unusual brilliance this week, the U.S. Senate passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, a law to bar members of Congress and their staff from acting on private information in regards to trading financial stocks. Some would consider this a long overdue dose of common sense, while members of Congress consider themselves saints for forfeiting their ability to profit off of inside information. Regardless, Congress should continue attacking the most despised institution in the country—itself.

While believing it must wipe our butts and tuck us into bed every night, Congress expects a tremendous amount of trust from the American people. The same institution that dictates what we can put into our bodies, whom we can marry, how we can conduct business, and how schools are run expects citizens to believe they won’t abuse power. The irony would be humorous if Congress didn’t try to run our daily lives. In an ideal situation, Congress would affect the day-to-day aspects of Americans about as much as the winner of a football game.

Rather than cutting aid to the poor or raising taxes, Congress should continue stockpiling regulations over their public offices; spending cuts would be an added bonus. Legislators don’t need pensions, should receive smaller salaries, can cut back on their staff, and should be term-limited. Members of the Tea Party and Occupy movements would both rejoice.

These are not ideas that would dramatically reduce the debt or solve major problems such as healthcare, foreign policy or the economy; they would merely signal that Congress is getting out of the way and allowing Americans to choose their own paths in life. In an election year, controversial legislation will be minimal as both sides attempt to gain momentum heading into November. Finding common ground in reducing the power of an overreaching federal government would be the bipartisanship Americans crave.

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