A fix for political corruption?

The Fair Elections Now Act could do it.

By Jack E. Lohman

Some people just don’t get it.

When you are digging yourself into a hole, the first rule is, quit digging. Unfortunately, our politicians are digging and don’t want to stop.

In my 2006 book, pictured on the right, I projected that if we kept going in the current direction we’d ultimately see anarchy. I did not expect it to occur in 2009. I did not expect it in my lifetime.

But a look at the European demonstrations and the ire of American taxpayers is not encouraging. We are treading dangerously close to rebellion; the little people against the elites. It has happened before and it can happen again.

This may get the attention of the politicians. That is, if the taxpayers can be made to understand the problem first.

Our nation’s problem is corruption, and the worst of it is with our politicians. And until they are forced to change the system, expect more of the same. The Fair Elections Now Act (S.752 and H.R.1826), sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) can get us heading again in the right direction. It will provide optional public funding of campaigns.

Corrupt politicians have destroyed many governments, both past and present, abroad and at home. And the US is not immune, as the recent trashing of the economy attests. Campaign cash (bribes) bought de-regulation in 1999 for the banks and financial companies, and it’s been downhill ever since.

So as the unemployed are scatching scratching  for food for their family, the rich are hiring security guards to protect their families and going to work in jeans so as not to be recognized. Isn’t our free-for-all system of unfettered capitalism great?  

Tidbits

— That the government backed off in the Ted Stevens case doesn’t mean that he wasn’t corrupt. Only that the prosecuting attorneys blew the case. Isn’t that reassuring?

— Corporations like Microsoft can lay off 16,000 people and then lobby for H-1B visa replacements in the same breath. Why? Because a worker glut drives wages down and profits up, along with executive salaries.

— But who will be left to buy their product? The long term problem simply doesn’t matter to short term executives.

— Folks, if we can continue rewarding politicians for failure, why not also the bankers? Yet the corrupt politicians are calling on the carpet our corrupt CEOs?

— Don’t even think about seeking Jim Sensenbrenner’s support. He claims the new bill violates Buckley-Valeo, which it does not. Yes, mandating public funding violates the Supreme Court decision against limiting freedom of speech. But the new bill does not do that. It is 100% voluntary on the part of the candidate. He can opt in or opt out, thus it is constitutional. It expands speech rather than limits it, but Sensenbrenner is grabbing at anything he can to vote against this.

— And like it or not, the one thing that would have limited the recent carnage in Binghamton NY is a concealed carry law. This wacko may never have gotten his second shot off.

4 Responses to A fix for political corruption?

  1. And incidentally, the costs of public funding is $1.7 billion and will save over $300 billion in special interest government spending. That’s a savings most of us could live with.

  2. HaroldK says:

    So, do you really think they’ll vote for something that benefits the public over their own interests?

  3. No, I don’t think so. They have a 95% re-election rate under the current system. They do not want “change.”

  4. The Greeks of Classical Athens governed themselves through the use of a political system called “demarchy” where representatives were selected by a lottery open to all “citizens”. Other historical societies have used similar ideas to select their representatives. One major advantage would be of course that the selection process eliminates political parties. It also eliminates the influence of “money” in the political process to a great degree. True, bribing of representatives was still possible, but at least it eliminates the high cost of running a campaign for elective office. No doubt certain “requirements” as to age, education, no felony record would be necessary, and unlike jury duty, you’d have to “volunteer”, but it does offer in my opinion a solution to at least some of our problems today. My post “Do We Have Representative Government” on my blog at “www.muskegonlibertarian.wordpress.com” is my opinion on this topic.

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