How corrupt is this?
Many members of Congress – those people who make decisions about wars – own stocks in businesses that make military weapons.
I signed this petition and hope you will too.
The excellent non-profit organization Project on Government Oversight (POGO), www.pogo.org) monitors government corruption. They sent this e-mail in mid-January 2020:
The American people have spent a lot of time talking about our wars with Iraq and Afghanistan—and rightly so. They’ve cost so many lives and trillions of taxpayer dollars. But what would you say if we told you that members of Congress actually stand to profit from war?
It’s unsurprising that members would, like many Americans, own stocks—even stocks in defense contractors. The difference is that not many Americans are elected officials endowed with the authority to declare war. When Congress declares war, the immediate economic consequences are clear: Defense contractors suddenly have much more demand, making their stock prices soar.
And that’s a clear conflict of interest. We can’t be sure that lawmakers who stand to make a profit from war are deciding, without bias, whether to put our brave service members in harm’s way. That’s why we need at least 1,200 people to sign our petition—will you be one of them? We need to tell members of Congress to divest from all investments tied to their congressional responsibilities and avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest or ethics dilemmas. Sign our petition to stop Congress from further entangling the country in these dangerous conflicts of interest.
Glen, not only do our lawmakers have the sole authority to declare wars, they also must approve the budget for the United States to finance those wars. So this isn’t just about making a profit—it’s about lawmakers’ choices to spend taxpayer dollars on a vast scale to pay the very defense contractors that they’ve invested in.
If that doesn’t sound like corruption, I’m not sure what does. That’s why we need you to sign our petition to protect our taxpayer dollars, our service members, and our national security from these serious conflicts of interest. Add your name to stand with POGO. We need your help to keep our eye on Congress—our job as citizen watchdogs is never finished.
Thank you for standing with us.