What’s Wrong with Money in Politics?

What’s wrong with Money in Politics?

  1. Moneyed interests are often unconcerned with good government.
  2. Moneyed interests tend to make laws more complicated by inserting their specific (self-interested) demands.  Complex laws make for BIGGER, less efficient government.
  3. Money interests will often encourage government to ‘pick a winner.’
  4. Moneyed interests tend to favor privatizing profits and socializing losses.
  5. Lobbyists, whose expertise is often needed in the legislative process, are now the same people most directly funding the politician’s campaign, thus compromising the objectivity of the exchange.
  6. Lobbyists gain such continued and familiar access to elected officials that policy focus is shifted away from representation of the actual constituency.
  7. Policies not related to money, but instead to issues like family values, civil rights, diversity or conservative social ideals, may be overwhelmed by political deal-making that seeks first and foremost to serve moneyed interests.
  8. Moneyed interests will support incumbent politicians just to gain access to committees or other political allies.  This distorts the actual interests of the voters, and makes voter-instigated change much more difficult.
  9. The job of collecting money is too distracting.  Not all of the players in the ‘arms race’ of campaign financing are willing participants.  Many are dragged along.  Many are rendered ineffective by the demands of constant campaigning and fundraising.  This issue goes WAY beyond a simplistic case of ‘quid pro quo.’ This is systemic corruption.
  10. Money is NOT free speech.  Money is just a volume knob on certain speech from certain political special interests.
  11. Corporate personhood, when combined with America’s treaty law, can actually result in the surrender of the sovereignty of federal, state and local governments to foreign moneyed interests.
  12. Small businesses, the engine of the Main Street economy, find that they now need to compete not only in the marketplace but in the in political arena.  More than two-thirds of all small business owners disagree with Citizens United and even more complain that money in politics is bad for business.
  13. Money in Politics corrupts the fundamental vision of a democracy by and for the PEOPLE.

While money in politics does not always come from what we might all agree is a “moneyed interest,” it is important to understand that the distorting effects of money can be just as damaging in the hands of those with the best of intentions.  The complaint here is not that those with money are wrong.  It is the role of money itself that is wrong.  Money should not be the final authority in determining what is discussed, what is heard, what is right or wrong or implemented or ignored.

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