My Solution to Money In Politics
Bill Quick

Michael Kinsley: The solution to money in politics – The Washington Post

Not necessarily. Seen as a bribe, a campaign ntribution isn’t very efficient. A politician can’t pocket it. Some do, of course, but campaign reform isn’t intended or required to snare an outright crook. The rules are made for the rule-abiding, and a rule-abiding politician can use money from campaign contributions only in efforts to persuade the voters. In other words, not only is campaign spending speech — it is only speech. That’s all the money is good for. And the voters have it within their power to ignore this speech and make all that contribution money worthless.

Actually, this isn’t true – at least, not wholly so.  Take Senator Harry Reid, for instance: He’s never held a job other than in the public sector, and yet he’s become a multi-millionaire.  That he’s been able to do so is solely because he has been able to take advantage of his political position to line his own pockets via sweetheart deals, insider tips, and other boodle funneled his way outside the campaign donation arena.

Of course, an absolutely necessary component of this delightful situation (for Reid, at least) is that he maintain his position of power and influence, and for that, he needs to keep on getting elected.

As we all know, elections cost money.  Big money.  So those contributors who fund Reid’s campaigns (and who are also often the same folks who enable his ever-growing personal wealth) are perhaps not bribing him directly, but they are enabling the swelling of his personal pocketbook nonetheless.

And he knows it.  So does Kinsley, although he’s not admitting it.

The real solution to money in politics is to make it less attractive for donors to buy legislators, either directly or indirectly.  So…couple strict term limits with public financing of elections that include level playing field limits on how much politicians can spend on campaigns.  The first would make it less attractive to buy the lawmakers, and the second would remove the special interest money from campaigns.  Between the two, we might see some improvement in the situation.

Posted in Corruption permalink
Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


My Solution to Money In Politics — 3 Comments

  1. So…couple strict term limits with public financing of elections that include level playing field limits on how much politicians can spend on campaigns.


    Pull the other one.

    This would leave the taxpayers paying an equal amount for both campaigns, and the level playing field would be Dem spending, leveraged by free production services for the ads, against equivalent GOP spending, deleveraged by creative agencies charging full freight, plus Dem voter fraud, plus Dem DOJ blind eyes to vote fraud and voter intimidation (like by the IRS). And the DOJ and IRS will be Dem under any administration; they’re union government “civil” “servants”. Yes, I sneer.

    Not to mention the 15% or so vote swing that the left wing media throws in for free. Or the “Don’t be evil” folks doing electronic warfare against GOP efforts.

  2. Limiting funding would be handing most elections to Democrats unless you also address “voluntary” support by labor union members and the influence of the “news” media, and dealing with either of those gets into very nasty issues freedom of speech and association.

    I’d prefer to see no limits on monetary donations, but every cent must be tied to a real person. We’d need very harsh penalties for politicians who knew or should have known about funny business with the record keeping.

    (I typed a lengthy and (for me) well-thought-out comment yesterday, but trashed it through sheer digital clumsiness — the finger type of digital, not the computer type of digital. And was so annoyed at myself that I didn’t retype it immediately, so now, what with my skull being filled with yogurt, most of the points are lost forever.)