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Campaign Finance Reform BS

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Posted in Politics by Joel Gross

The whole concept of “campaign finance reform”- limiting cash contributions to political campaigns- is complete garbage. ‚ In a free country, I should be able to spend my money however I please. ‚ If I wish to get drunk daily and ride roller coasters, I should be allowed to do so. ‚ If I wish to try to help a candidate get elected by giving him money or effort, I should be allowed to do so.

Limiting my ability to spend my money on issues I care about is a direct attack on my freedom of speech. ‚ Many people are not very eloquent and so wish to throw their weight behind someone who is well spoken that believes like they do. ‚ It also makes it much more difficult for people who work a lot of hours to have influence on the political process- effectively leaving them much less represented than other groups.

Campaign finance reform is one of the major driving factors behind the socialization of America in recent years. ‚ Businesspeople, entrepreneurs and professionals have lost the ability to use their primary tool to defend their freedoms and it is now much easier to pass senseless regulations and special interest laws than it was before.

4 thoughts on “Campaign Finance Reform BS

  1. Taking the libertarian side on campaign finance reform is, for a pragmatist, a slippery slope. Why? Money can and does have a corrupting influence on politics. If you have public financing of campaigns (the other big ideological movement in CampFinRefrm) though, and potentially give parties/candidates the same-size budget, then you’re putting candidates on equal footing, when in reality they have differing levels of public support. That’s unfair, being so populist/socialist. Is there a ‘best way’ for campaign finance? Probably not. But surely, there is room for improvement.

  2. Cameron, What is a “corrupting influence”? The fact that some campaigns receive much more funding than others is not necessarily a negative. However, you are right that problems can arise. In my opinion, politicians have too much flexibility and power… if the Constitution & Amendments more strictly regulated what powers are available to lawmakers we would see less vote buying. Also, the real problem that comes with public financing of campaigns is who determines who gets that public financing? Will it only be the big parties? What about smaller organizations? Will the public be forced to support the KKK? What if I myself choose to run? The person/group that decides who gets public funding will have enormous power over the rest of us.

  3. When I say “corrupting influence” vis-à-vis unregulated campaign financing, I mean that a self-interested party (an individual/corporation/association) could have an easier time buying votes, or lobbying with dollars, on their pertinent issue(s). This could have potential negative side effects. Of course, we currently have an imperfect system. It’s futile to say “unregulated campaign financing would be bad” because our current system has so many flaws. The real question, then, should be: ‘Does unregulated campaign financing have MORE flaws than our current system?’ We need a head-to-head comparison to see which has the better net-benefit.

  4. Good point, Cameron, an objective comparison between both systems would be ideal. Doesn’t this come back to the more fundamental debate about free enterprise versus state regulated economics though? When in doubt, I think that policy makers should default to giving people more freedom instead of less, especially on issues where there is no clear violation of rights.

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