Pay to Play

By The Oracle

Tim Price, our candidate as the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, is being investigated for using his position to gain money passing legislation.  Our candidate for the Department of Education Betsy DeVos has admitted that her family has donated up into two hundred million in campaign contributions to some of campaigns of the Senators interviewing her.  The legality of this all seems strange.  One of President Cheetos’s campaign promises was to “Drain the Swamp.”  (I love how many billionaires are in his cabinet.) The problem is that it’s almost impossible to do that because of a little case called Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission.  In it, the Supreme Court decided that independent political expenditures were kosher when used by a non-profit organizations.   Thus were born some very, very wealthy Super PACs.  While the campaigns didn’t control the money directly, organizations for a candidate could spend as much money as they liked.  Private individuals and corporations have a cap on what they can spend.  Independent groups don’t.

I have to admit, it’s hard to know where the spending limit should be.  How much is too much?  When does limiting contributions become a matter of free speech, and when is it a matter of only those with money have the influence.  I have a simple solution.  And it benefits the country all around.  Get rid of the Super PAC.  There are no independent groups.  Get rid of any regulations barring groups from donating directly.  There is only one rule…you can donate as much as you spend on taxes.  That includes corporations, private individuals, corporations, or the average Joe on the street.  Unions can contribute based on what their members pay in taxes.  (Now a member can choose not to allow the unions to use the amount they pay in taxes to advance the unions, but I’m thinking most members would go for it.)  You can’t pay a penny more than you give Uncle Sam.  You get as much influence as you have earned.

I really like this idea.  It takes the earning power of the average taxpayer, and turns it into political gain.  My family would have the influence of say a small car, but that’s still quite a bit of influence.  As many of the wealthier people who contribute to politicians do so to receive tax breaks…well …let’s just say it’s not diplomatic what I’m thinking.  Rich people will suddenly want to pay their taxes.  No more silly loopholes, not when it means that Senator such and such won’t take your calls as often.  And corporations that get major tax breaks and pay a pittance while donating millions to campaigns would have to ante up.  You want to drain the swamp; you make it so their “voice” is directly tied to what they contribute.  You want to play…pay up.

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