Public Enemy had it right. Congress is shamelessly crooked. This also explains why they behaved in such a shamelessly slavish manner towards Wall Street when their supposed masters, the American public, were vehemently against TARP and the bank bailouts:
An extensive study released Wednesday in the journal Business and Politics found that the investments of members of the House of Representatives outperformed those of the average investor by 55 basis points per month, or 6 percent annually, suggesting that lawmakers are taking advantage of inside information to fatten their stock portfolios.It's that last sentence that shows America is not only dead, but well into a state of rigor mortis. Congressman are not only breaking the law, they have openly declared themselves to be above the law as well. And they are getting away with it.
“We find strong evidence that members of the House have some type of non-public information which they use for personal gain,” according to four academics who authored the study, “Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
To the frustration of open-government advocates, lawmakers and their staff members largely have immunity from laws barring trading on insider knowledge that have sent many a private corporate chieftain to prison.