Flaks: Silver bullets of election reform | AspenTimes.com

Flaks: Silver bullets of election reform

Americans are contemptuous of corrupt countries — rightly so — where government officials accept bribes and deliver favors. So contemptuous, we have laws criminalizing bribes made by American citizens in foreign countries. 

However, we fail to recognize corruption practiced at home. When a Republican senator, shortly after 19 children were murdered in Uvalde, Texas, addressed an NRA conference declaring guns are not the problem, he did so because he receives millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the NRA. 

When a Democratic senator stalled a major funding bill until the “carried interest” tax loophole was reinstalled (allowing hedge-fund managers and private-equity execs fees to be taxed as capital gains), she did so because she receives millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street.

These two egregious examples are only the tip of the iceberg. Clearly, we have rampant corruption, legally camouflaged. 

There is a silver bullet: prudent, campaign-financing reform. 

By providing a non-political source of funds for federal elections, the following is created:

1. Instantaneous removal of financial shackles from elected officials. 

2. Forcing lobbyists to win arguments, rationally.

3. Freeing incumbents from non-stop fundraising, allowing them to focusing on their day job.

4. Attracting candidates of excellence who abhor begging for money.

And, it’s so easy for the federal branch to achieve this. It’s at their fingertips and is totally non-partisan.

The costs would be di minimis, especially when a four-month limit to campaigning is included. 

The benefit to the public would be awesome: An end to the email requests for money, and a blessed limit to the deluge of annoying TV commercials. 

Donald Flaks


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