Corruption in the Senate
Republican mantra of profits over people is exposed.
By Phillip | 3/22/20
Over the past week, information has come out that has implicated members of the Senate in possible insider trading.
The most egregious of these examples were Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler. Burr sold between $628,000 and $1.72 million dollars worth of stocks (ProPublica) at a time (2/13) when the White House and Burr were playing down the threat of Coronavirus. In fact, Burr had written an opinion piece on February 7th reassuring the public and saying “the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration”(Fox News). In response to NPR’s questions, his spokesperson replied “lol.” Loeffler sold between $1.3 million and $3.1 million (Politico) in late January and early February. Her husband is the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.
These senators received classified information about the threat of the Coronavirus in private briefings. They could have warned the American people. Instead, while the White House downplayed the severity of the Coronavirus until the very last minute, these senators were more worried about their bank accounts. What is most appalling is that Burr outwardly reassured the public, while privately taking care of himself and his wealth.
The backlash has been swift, although muted by bigger stories such as the steep climb of Coronavirus in the United States, and specifically in New York. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Tucker Carlson, both called on Burr to resign. To paraphrase someone on Twitter: “When AOC and Tucker Carlson both agree to hate you, you really screwed up.”
These disturbing reports bring up other questions of decadence and corruption in government. Although Trump promised to “drain the swamp,” his administration has been extremely corrupt, giving massive tax cuts to industries who have lobbyists and CEO’s in his administration and even planning to host the international G7 conference at his private resort. This corruption is not reserved to the Republican party. The median (we use median because the data is highly skewed) net worth of Congress is $456,522 dollars or about 4.5 times the median net worth of Americans, which is $97,300. Only very few senators such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, advocate actively for less corruption and articulate the belief that corruption is holding back our government from doing its job. The result is that today, only 17% of Americans trust the government to do the right thing.
We will be releasing much deeper research into corporate lobbying and other types of Washington corruption soon.