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The Wringer

Matt Wuerker
© Matt Wuerker

No wonder nothing ever gets done in Congress. Raising money is their full-time job. And the cost of winning an election (yes, of course you can buy an election) has been skyrocketing:


And that does not include spending by “outside independent groups” (PACs and SuperPACs). That spending now dwarfs actual campaign spending, especially since the Supreme Court opened the corporate spending floodgates in 2010.



  1. Michael wrote:

    Proposed solution: Return to the 1789 citizens-to-representatives ratio, which would create over 5,000 seats in the U.S. House. Such a system would be nearly impossible to gerrymander and far too expensive for a handful of 1 percenters to buy enough elections to influence policy.

    Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    It sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure. If that were true, then local governments (city, county) would be less corrupt than at the federal level, but I don’t think anyone believes that is true.

    Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  3. Mike wrote:

    Although the SCOTUS has decided that the right to give unlimited amounts of money to politicians is protected by the first amendment, I don’t know why we couldn’t limit both the amount and timing of the politician’s right to receive the funds. If a politician could only receive funds within, say, three months of next election in which the politician is to run and had to pay any funds not spent on the election to the government to which the politician was elected, our currently legal system of bribery might be somewhat checked.

    Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Mike, that might be a good solution. But I don’t think the real problem is that there isn’t a good solution. The real problem is that some people are benefitting greatly from the current system.

    Monday, December 2, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    I’m glad to see that the IRS is finally taking note of the 501(C)s that are so false.

    Monday, December 2, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    There are also several states that ban state legilators from receiving contributions while they are in session. We could apply that to our federal elected officials as well. Create a 9-10 month legislative period and then send them home to campaign. That helps protect against last minute monetary pressure on pending or upcoming votes.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink