posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 07:02 AM
Abolishment of Campaign Finance in America: The most important issue facing America
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My fellow Americans, I have been pondering for quite a while what would be the greatest gift this generation could bestow upon future generations.
The conclusion I came to is the realization of the gift that our founding fathers always intended us to have, a truly free country. To do this we
MUST completely ABOLISH campaign finance as we know it.
Today, America is not free. Our political system, on both sides of the isle, is wholly corrupt. No politician ever gets elected unscathed. Every
American knows this, yet we sit idly by and allow it to continue. Countless individuals enter the political system with the best intentions. They
intend to make a better world for us to live in. However, what they end up doing is fall prey to corporate interests. Today, in America, it is
completely legal to corrupt, or “lobby, a politician. This is legally done thru our system of campaign finance. Countless attempts have been made
to “clean up” or “reform” campaign finance. All of these attempts at reform have been an abysmal failure. There is always some loophole that
is taken advantage of to circumvent any real change. This process will remain unchanged forever unless something is done. Reform will never
accomplish this task.
Instead, I propose that our only option is to completely abolish campaign finance as we know it today. This means that no individual, group, PAC, or
corporation be allowed to purchase influence in our political system. This obviously begs the glaring questions-Who will pay? How will campaigns get
financed? To me, the answer is obvious.
Given that corporations and individuals already pay for campaigns, I feel that they should continue to do so. However, the change is that they will
not be able to do this directly, thus losing all influence. I am sure most of you understand what I am getting at. I propose that all campaigns
(local, state, and federal) be financed by local, state, and federal taxes.
A study should be done to determine the average amount spent by individuals and corporations to finance campaigns in today’s system. This should be
done for each income bracket for individual citizens and for each sector of industry for corporations. To give some examples; Average amount spent /
donated by low, middle, and high income individuals; Average amount spent / donated by the pharmaceutical, auto, technology, oil, and financial
industries, etc. Once these findings have been calculated and an average obtained, this average should be reduced by 30% and an appropriate tax
amount be apportioned. In other words, the individuals (by income bracket) or industries that currently donate the most, will be taxed the most to
finance campaigns, however they will receive no influence for their new form of donation, the new taxes.
In the end, by reducing this amount by 30%, all of these individuals and industries will ultimately spend less. I would say that all campaigns in
America could be financed for as little as $1 billion dollars per year (really, the figure could be much less). Though $4 million per year is no
small amount of money, it is a miniscule price to have a political system that can no longer be corrupted by the almighty dollar.
Look at it this way; we just spent $700 billion on a bailout for Wall Street. Wouldn't it make sense to spend $1 billion a year on all the elections
held across the country, thus ensuring that our politicians were not corrupted the first day they took office?
Here are the benefits that we the American people would gain from this proposal:
- All candidates would receive an equal amount for their campaigns
- No candidate would owe favors to anyone except the American people
- Politicians would no longer have to spend huge amounts of their time in office pandering for money to fund their next campaign and could instead
spend this time actually working for their true constituents, the voters
- Ultimately, donors would spend less per year on campaigns
- Individuals or corporations who do not normally donate money would no longer have to compete for influence with those who do donate
- We would gain a political system that is no longer corruptible by money
The benefits outlined above would be well worth any cost. The cost like I said would be at most a 0.5-1% increase in your taxes, be they individual
income or corporate. This is a bargain if you ask me for a truly free country. However, this will not be an easy change to see accomplished.
The political establishment will resist this change and the corporations that rely on influence will resist this change. We the American people,
however, should eagerly embrace this welcome change. Only a unified front by all of us could make this change possible. So please, please, write
your congressman, write your senator, write the next president and demand this change. If an abolishment of the current campaign finance system were
to be accomplished by this generation, every generation after us would thank us forever fore we would realize the dream of a truly free country, the
one our founding fathers intended us to have. Essentially we would finally gain a country of, by, and for the people, not the corporation.