Howard Dean’s decision to opt out of the presidential public financing system is supposedly that system’s death-knell. If only it were true! The system is broken, but it doesn’t need fixing. It needs to be buried deep in Yucca Mountain.
They say private money is “dirty” and corrupting, while public funds are “clean” and wholesome. I have some dirty private money in my pocket and I don’t want politicians cleaning it for me. Sure, corruption in our government is rampant, but public financing of presidential campaigns certainly hasn’t done anything to change that. Moreover, public financing gives government far too much power. Power over elections and speech. And who do you think will be writing the rules for public financing? Yeah, career politicians in Congress.
Even as Dean has opted out, he insists that we need a much more robust system that provides “qualified candidates with the public funding necessary to wage meaningful and competitive campaigns . . .” Under Dean’s system, just how much tax money will it take to give everyone enough to run a “meaningful and competitive” campaign? Or will the incumbents in Congress continue to write the rules so that mainstream candidates are subsidized to a much greater degree? So that the powerful and connected get an extra push at the expense of everyone else the way it is now?
Let the people donate if they choose. And let voters judge candidates by their fundraising as well as by other issues. It’s called free elections.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.