“No matter what your social issue, if you want to solve it get the money outof politics. Only then will lawmakers vote for their people rather than theirpocketbooks. ” Jack E.
Lohman. Money corrupts politics, and when contributionsare being made to candidates it is not in the best interest of the Americanpeople. Campaign Finance is out of control in today’s political races. Candidates are taking money from wherever and whoever they can get it. Softmoney is flowing through elections without care or caution. People who makethese contributions do not share the views of the average citizen, sopoliticians end up representing the wrong people.Order now
Money decides races, sometimesleaving the better man but lighter spender out of a position. Candidates makedecisions based on what will help them financially that what is better for thepeople. Contributions by industry are made not in the interest of the people,sometimes hurting them in ways they don’t even know. No matter what theopposition may say campaign finance reform is needed urgently to keep ourdemocracy as our founders intended it. People and corporations that make thelargest donations to campaigns do not share views with the general population. Politicians will listen to those who give them money so that they can depend onthat money being there again when it is time for reelection.
Yet individualdonors making a $200 dollar or more contribution make up only . 33% of thepopulation. This extremely small percentage of mostly wealthy individuals gainthe power to influence politicians to their liking. The idea that these peopleshould have power to affect government more than those with less money goesagainst the concept of equality for all, which is what made this country great.
People who make large donations do not share the same views on most issues asthe general population. Robert L. Borosage and Ruy Teixeira report that while 53percent of voters want stricter regulations on businesses and corporations, togive workers a fair salary and working conditions, 58 percent of campaign donorswant to see less control over the businesses and corporations of America. Donorsalso want less government spending with lower taxes, while the majority ofcitizens want a larger, more powerful government. A very tiny part of ourpopulation is giving money to campaigns telling candidates what they have to doto continue getting campaign contributions, yet these people do not representthe ideology and sentiment of the people as a whole.
There must be a change inthe way that campaigns are financed if democracy is to survive. If we do notreform campaign finance we will have politicians working only for those who canafford to contribute. Money is the major factor in any political race. It cansway a decision very strongly depending on how well it is used.
In the House,the candidate who spends the most money on his or her campaign wins 92% of thetime. Things are no different in the Senate, here 88% of the time the biggerspender wins. Incumbents are usually the tip money spender, because they raisemore money. Paul Starr, writer for The American Prospect , estimates that itwould take $1,000,000 for a challenger to defeat the incumbent. The only way achallenger could get this kind of money would be to appeal to big business andthe wealthy, who have radically different ideas about government than thegeneral public. A challenger, to even have a chance, would have to turn tobusiness and wealth to win.
With this great difficulty to de-seat an incumbent,turnover in congress drops, and members become stagnant, winning on name alone. All the while, they are giving breaks to the corporations and wealthy people whogot them there. With campaigns finance reform, we could get challengers andincumbents on a level playing field so that the candidate with the better ideaswho will honestly help the majority will end up the victor. It would not mattermuch where candidates got the money from for their campaigns except that whenelected, politicians act on in accordance to the wishes of those who have madedonations. 71% of citizens say that a politicians choices and votes are made onthe basis of money. 61% of donors agree with this.
Its been explained that asmall percentage of people make donations, and these people do not represent thepopulation as a whole. If politicians make decisions based on this small groupof people they are not representing the entire population ,or doing what is bestfor the majority, as they were hired to do. Politicians realize where they getfunding and work to please those with the money. Robert Reich estimates thathalf of all Americans with a million dollar a year income or greater have hadtheir picture taken with the president.
All this attention is going to a groupthat consists of less than 90,000. This cannot be healthy for a government thatis supposed to work for all Americans. When congress persons make decisionsbased on whether it will fill their campaign fund, it is not representative ofthe people that they should be representing. The decisions that they make may beharmful to the people, but that does not matter to some politicians. All thatmatter to them is dollars. The people don’t know this though because thosedollars are spent trying to convince everyone that their representative did agood job and worked for their best interest.
Money does matter to politiciansand they remember and reward those who get them into office. Donations made bycorporations often hurt individuals either financially or even medically. Corporations make up a large portion of the groups that give generous donations. These corporations do not care what is good for the people, all they care aboutis their own bottom line. If this means shipping unsafe or unhealthy products,that is what will be done. Food companies have donated $41 million dollars onthe promise by candidates, that once in office, will not make stricterregulations on e-coli protection.
E-coli is a deadly bacteria that infectsnumerous people every year. But as a result of donations by food companies, governmentwill not regulate these companies to protect Americans. Food companies are notalone, the cotton industry is also at fault. Safety standards that somecompanies include on night wear voluntarily because of the great risk of burns,are not national law. The cotton industry gives generous contributions toCongress in hopes that any legislation concerning safety standards will be shutdown.
These are safety standards that have already saved dozens of lives andcould save many more. Campaign money from industries stops laws that would helpout every American. New drugs are released into the market for public useeveryday. The company that originated the drug holds a patent on that drug foran amount of time, after this time any company can make this drug and offer itat a competitive price. Competitive prices would be of great help to those whoare on a fixed income, such as the elderly population, and cannot afford thehigh price of medications. Contributions of !8.
4 million going to campaigns and8. 4 million in soft money from medicine developing companies have influencedpoliticians to lengthen the amount of time that patents on drugs last, costingAmericans millions. These are just three examples of how industries hurt thepeople of America by donating to campaigns. There are many more hurting averagecitizens everyday, without them even knowing it. In the end taxpayer pay forthese contributions that hurt them so much anyway.
When a large business makes adonation, they must make up for the lost money. They do this by raising theprices that they charge consumers. Congress gives the contributions back tocompanies through corporate welfare. 167 billion dollars a year is given tocompanies that donated to campaigns. This money has to come from somewhere. Itcomes from the taxes every year of John Q.
Public. So we are not only payinghigher prices as a result of campaign contributions, but we are paying thecorporations again through corporate welfare. Consumer safety is commonlyignored because of special interest industries. Higher prices are put upon us athe cash register every time we buy something from a company that fundscampaigns.
Taxes are high because of corporate welfare. Reform is needed to saveAmericans from this kind of treatment from the big businesses. Opponents ofCampaign finance reform have many reasons that they feel reform is bad. But mostof these arguments boil down to; contributions are an expression of freedom ofspeech, and reform would not help as illegal contributions take place now andwould only be increased with more laws.
The voices of those who fundadvertisements that do not go on campaign reports are those of a small minority. These voices are being heard above all the voices of the greater majority ofpeople who cannot afford to have their voices heard. Letting one persons opinionbe louder than another goes against the ideas of equality for all, infringingupon the rights of others. If reform is to take place we must enforce the lawsthat we set in place. Laws that are not enforced are worthless.
We must be readyto punish a candidate and make him or her face the consequences, whether it beelimination from the race or removal from office. Reform is needed to fix ourcrooked and corrupt congress, and we must be willing to punish those who breakthe law. One option that we should consider is that of Jack E. Lohman, abusiness man from Milwaukee, WI.
Under his plan special interest and corporatedonations would be eliminated. Instead, taxpayers would fund politicalcampaigns. Special interests and corporations spend 750 million on campaigns. Asit was explained, this hurts taxpayers when purchasing goods and when payingtaxes for corporate welfare.
By eliminating these donors politicians would notbe affected by outside interests and would be free to do what is best for thepeople. The 750 million dollars for campaigns would come from the taxpayers andonly cost $5 dollars a year. After cuts from corporate welfare and wastefulgovernment spending this would save taxpayers 495 to 995 dollars a year, not tomention price drops as a result of reduced corporate spending on politicalcampaigns. This would put more money in the hands of the taxpayer to buy moreproducts helping the economy. Most important, politicians would not be swayed bymonetary interest offered to them for help in other areas. Donors notrepresenting the public, money, not people and issues deciding races,politicians voting for campaign funds instead of the public, corporationsrisking the safety of people, these are all problems that could be fixed byreforming campaign finance.
Campaign finance is an urgent problem that must beremedied soon or we will be facing a situation in government where the powerlies in the hand of those who have money to donate to campaigns. If something isnot done we will be heading straight into a corrupt and contemptible governmentwhose only care is that of being reelected. Action must be taken now before itis too late and scandalous congressmen will only support scandalous policy. Ifour government is to be saved, we must have campaign finance reform.