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You get what you pay for.

I’m a greedy bastard and I want to pay more taxes. I want you to pay more taxes too, $25 a year should do it I think. Now before you dismiss me as crazy let me explain myself. All these political post have stirred up resentment inside me. I like nice things and I’m willing to pay for them. I like sheets that are made out of Jersey or Flannel, I hate those cardboard sheet sets they seem to sell everywhere. I like that if I call someone to to come clean my carpets they show up and clean my carpets not my neighbors, I will have to pay for the service but I will get the service.

So a big corporation pays campaign money for the politician to represent someone else... I doubt that. How much would I have to give to have a politician represent me... Probably a lot.

I’m a fixer. I enjoy fixing things. I come from a family of fixers. My dad fixed cash registers and printers, my brother- cars. Mom was a nurse she fixed people. It’s in my blood. I would love to fix American politics but have no desire to jump into that cesspool. What I see one of the main causes for corruption is the way money is handled for Politicians. They have to spend time courting companies and making alliances to get campaign money.

What if all politicians got money for their campaign and they all got the same amount for their level? Obviously presidential candidates would get more than Mayor or senator candidates. What if the people paid for these campaigns? What if the politicians weren’t in the pockets of corporations and special interest groups? What if you were actually represented by your representative? Would that be worth $25 a year?

I dare to dream.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
outherelistenin
Jan. 10th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, when you pay your taxes, you're always asked if you're willing to earmark $3 of your taxes for a public election fund. Basically, someone's tried to make this work already.

The problem is that to enact campaign finance reform, you'd be taking money out of the pockets of the very people who'd have to approve the legislation. And if placed on a level playing field, I suspect very few people in Congress would still have their seat. Once in a while, some maniac or another (McCain/Feingold) will try it anyway.

At least we've got Mitt Romney to prove that no matter how much money you throw at your campaign, you can't force people to vote for you. I.e., you can't bribe people, even if you've proven, time and time again, that you can be bribed.

Edited at 2008-01-10 09:31 pm (UTC)
monkeyx3
Jan. 11th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
but if politicians are still allowed to accept bribes from corporations what's the point. I guess I should have put in there that their sole source of campaign money should come from the people.
outherelistenin
Jan. 11th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
That's the goal. Molly Ivins had a lot to say on the topic. A lot of the yibbling about "soft money" back around the 2000 election was about elements of this kind of campaign finance reform, drawing boundaries around what politicans can and can't accept. It's an incremental process, taking away one form of money at a time.

But even discussing "hard money" versus "soft money" is missing the point, which is to fund elections exclusively with public funds. I think it's probably the single most important political issue of 21st century. It's also the one that sends me into fits, since the Catch-22 there is so glaring.

Part of the process, I think, is that advertizing costs so much. The price of a national presidental campaign is insane. I don't know what a presidental campaign would look like if it were limited to public funds.

I do think that your estimate of $25 is a lot closer to reality than the $3 currently alotted. I also don't like that the $3 thing is an opt-in; each taxpayer has to read and understand that line: it doesn't raise your taxes owed or reduce your refund; you're just earmarking three dollars for public elections. I'm guessing it's set up that way so fewer people will opt-in. After all, the people who write the tax code don't want to see genuine campaign finance reform happen.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )