The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 28, 2013

Your View: No surprise

By David Turner
Special to The Globe

LAMAR, Mo. — I was somewhat amused by the Globe editorial (Jan. 24). The Globe team expressed dismay that smoking was allowed in Missouri legislative offices while being widely banned across the state.

The point was correctly made that laws do not seem to apply to those who enact them.

My point is that the practice of exempting themselves is commonplace among the members of Congress. A few examples: 1) It was recently debated in our U.S. Congress whether insider trading should be made illegal for its members. Of course, it has been illegal for the rest of us for many years. 2) While the general public is forced to contribute to the Social Security “retirement system,” Congress is exempted and “participates” in its own unique pension that is generously funded by the public (you and me). It has been correctly stated that the only way to fix Social Security is to force Congress to participate. And the most egregious of all is 3) that while oaths of office are made with hand on the Bible and sessions of Congress are opened with prayer, our schoolchildren are prohibited from even mentioning God in their commencement speeches. Inconsistent? You bet. But given the behavior of our legislators over the past 40 years, we should certainly not be surprised.   

Charlie McGrew