Former President Donald Trump took aim at the entrenched Washington swamp by promoting three major reforms while kicking off his 2024 campaign for the White House.
Trump officially announced his candidacy on Tuesday during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
The 45th president renewed calls for congressional term limits, campaign finance reform and a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and Cabinet officials.
“To further drain the swamp, I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress,” he said. “It’s time.”
That suggestion immediately drew a standing ovation from the audience.
“And I will ask for a permanent ban on taxpayer funding of campaigns, a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and Cabinet members,” the former president said.
“I see what they make when they leave the White House or they leave Congress and they’re paid millions and millions and millions of dollars a year. No, you have to have a ban.”
Trump added: “We want a ban on members of Congress getting rich by trading stocks with insider information.”
TRUMP: “I will push a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress. I will ask for a permanent ban on taxpayer funding of campaigns, a lifetime on lobbying by former members of Congress.. a ban on members of Congress trading stocks on insider information” pic.twitter.com/l0cb5Ufhbq
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) November 16, 2022
In theory, these are great reforms to run on. When Trump first ran for president in 2016, he made draining the swamp in Washington a top priority of his administration.
However, his efforts were met with revulsion and resistance from the establishment class — not only from within the bowels of the entrenched D.C. swamp but also from its corporate media allies and minions in academia and Hollywood.
Little did any of us realize just how insidiously the establishment class had burrowed itself into the deepest recesses of our political machinery and of society itself.
Instituting congressional term limits and stemming the abuse of insider trading information have been bandied about for decades — to little effect. People in power don’t want to give it up — it’s that simple.
Even the laws currently in existence to prevent some misdeeds are either not enforced or the penalty for violation is so minimal that they have little deterrent effect.
As an example, in August, it was discovered that 71 members of Congress had violated a federal law aimed at preventing senators and representatives from using inside information to enrich themselves.
Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, members of Congress are required to report financial trades worth more than $1,000 that they, their spouses or their dependent children made within 30 to 45 days of the transactions.
However, a bipartisan group of 71 legislators failed to properly report their trades, in violation of the STOCK Act, Business Insider reported.
In many cases, the lawmakers either reported their transactions late or failed to report them altogether. The stock deals they made ranged in value from five figures to millions of dollars.
Many members of Congress simply don’t feel a sense of urgency about complying with the STOCK Act because the penalty for violating it is usually a nominal fine.
Trump’s proposed reform agenda is a great idea, but it’s an uphill battle — as all reforms are in the Washington swamp. But that doesn’t mean we should give up trying to clean up the crooked government apparatus.
While we’re still reeling from another murky election cycle that has raised even more doubts about the integrity of the U.S. election system, Trump urged his supporters to rally behind him again and the vision of a better America.
“This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign all together,” Trump said.
TRUMP: “This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign all together. Because the only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we are up against is you, the American people.” pic.twitter.com/ShFBEywaTb
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 16, 2022
“Because the only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we are up against is you, the American people.”
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