Why are you contributing money to help every incumbent congressman in every district in the whole country get reelected? You probably haven’t asked yourself that question, because you didn’t know you were, did you?
On average, each of our representatives spends over $100,000 of our tax money on mailings that help them get reelected. They don’t have to ask our permission. How on earth do they get away with it?
Congressmen gave themselves this advantage. It’s called the franking privilege. It was originally designed to allow our representatives to respond to our letters, but the career politicians who now rule the roost in Washington have turned it into a reelection mailing fund. Congressmen like to say that they’re just “informing” their constituents with these mailings. Funny though (isn’t it?), that congressmen send out far more unsolicited franked mail in election years then in non-election years. But I guess we’re supposed to believe that’s just a coincidence.
The franking privilege is just one of many advantages of incumbency. Not only do incumbents tend to enjoy much bigger war chests than their challengers, they’re also able to send out a heck of a lot more mail than any challenger can without spending a dime of their own money. Incumbents spend more of our tax dollars than challengers on average spend in the entire campaign. No wonder over 98 percent of incumbents are reelected. So much for fair elections.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.