With the finest health-care options, lucrative pensions, a lifestyle of privilege and comfort, and enough staff to attend to their every whim, our national legislators are doing just great. When you add in not having to worry about those pesky insider-trading rules and other statutes from which they are exempted, Congress should be the destination of every ambitious young go-getter. Why toil in the business world when you can have a life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams on the Potomac? Does this mean that every congressman lives like Louis XIV, or abuses his office? Of course not. But even one is too many, and the count hasn't been at one since before Daniel Webster graced the Senate.
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In addition to the tab of the taxpayers, our long-suffering public servants also get to enjoy the loopholes of the so-called congressional gift ban. Enjoying a lavish meal with a lobbyist friend is no-no, according to congressional rules, but declaring the repast a fundraiser opens the cornucopia floodgates. A lobbyist risks breaking the law when he orders a $500 bottle to go along with that kobe beef steak, but once a fundraiser has been declared, corks can pop open, along with the envelopes bearing thousands of dollars in contributions. For every rule, there is a fitting loophole.
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