There is cur­rently a move­ment under­foot in Con­gress to rec­om­pense investors in the Bernard Mad­off and R. Allen Stand­ford Ponzi scheme deba­cles. It is couched in the terms of peo­ple hav­ing lost their life’s sav­ings being fairly rep­re­sented and treated but is actu­ally a dis­gust­ing reminder of how those in power con­trol much of our gov­ern­ment now, wheel­ing and deal­ing in the halls of Con­gress to enact hid­den taxes on the Amer­i­can peo­ple. By and large, the investors in these schemes were wealthy indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies who enjoyed years of out­stand­ing returns with lit­tle or no risk, some­thing that should have imme­di­ately raised con­cerns for any nor­mal investor. Instead, they are now try­ing to col­lect money from Wall Street firms based on returns they would have got­ten in the schemes had they been above board.

Should this come into law, it will cod­ify pro­tec­tions for imag­i­nary gains in all kinds of invest­ment schemes. These were investors, mostly all rich, who should have known that out­landish returns had to be highly risky. We should also real­ize that these investors weren’t left out in the cold like so many aver­age Amer­i­cans who have lost sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of their life sav­ings over the last three years. Peo­ple in these schemes were cov­ered under the Secu­ri­ties Investor Pro­tec­tion Corp up to $500,000 towards legit­i­mate claims. Claims that aren’t legit­i­mate include instances where the indi­vid­ual with­drew more money than they paid in. These peo­ple are clam­or­ing for imag­i­nary gains when many of them actu­ally made money on the schemes. This is ridiculous.

What this will turn into is a tax. If it becomes law, the bro­ker­ages will have to pay the fines but they will most cer­tainly pass the costs on to the con­sumers, most of whom are aver­age Amer­i­cans who just hap­pen to have accounts with them. To think that we have Sen­a­tors who are gladly spon­sor­ing leg­is­la­tion to defraud the pub­lic to reward the rich and con­nected is sick­en­ing. But I sup­pose that is exactly where we are these days. Mil­lions of peo­ple are out of work and our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are try­ing to get imag­i­nary returns granted to the already rich and wealthy. Some day, the peo­ple of Amer­ica will get sick of this treat­ment. I have some fear that the response from them will not be quiet and civilized.