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Friday, July 30, 2004

Trying to stop people from spending money in political campaigns is like trying to bail out the ocean with a strainer. The original campaign finance reform law begat soft money. McCain Feingold begat 527s. Whatever is next will beget something new. The money will be raised and spent, regardless of what rules Congress invents.

So, if you think that money in politics is a bad thing, what should you do?

Steven Taylor argues that "this system is an unmitigated joke that causes confusion and does nothing more than provide make-work for a great many lawyers seeking either to guarantee compliance or to find loopholes in the system. The rules do nothing to enhance our democracy. A wholly transparent system that allowed unlimited contributions and immediate and public (i.e., internet-based) system of disclosure would serve us far better."

I agree, but what caught my eye in the article was this:

"[T]he failure of [campaign finance reform] laws should be no surprise: as long as the federal government collects and spends over 20% of the GDP, the concept of "getting the money out of politics" is farcical. Not only is governing dependent on money, so long as the Congress, with the help of the President, is going to determine how trillions of dollars are spend, then the citizenry in its various manifestations are going to care how that money is spent." (Emphasis in original.)

Conservatives and libertarians who want to limit the size of government will, to the extent they are successful, also cause a decrease in the importance of government and thus the amount of money spent on political campaigns to achieve influence in government.

So if you favor campaign finance reform, vote for small government conservatives.



Via MartiniMan, whose blog is on an extended roll.
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