Return to regular view
A Rational Advocate
"The most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason"


What are the reasons for contributors to provide money to candidates for public office?  Common sense tells us that they are as follows:

 1.  Ideological, meaning to promote the ideals in which the contributor believes.
 2.  Self-seeking, meaning to gain from the candidate commitment to actions that will be economically beneficial to the contributor.

It should be generally agreed that there is no objection where the reward to the contributor is solely the knowledge that the candidate will promote the ideology of the contributor.  Then this leaves the reason that could be objectionable as the possible economic benefit that could inure to the contributor.  For the candidates to effect this benefit, when they are elected to office, they must have something of financial value to give.  It stands to reason then, if there would be little of financial value to give there would be little incentive to contribute unless it was for ideological reasons.

Having reached this simple conclusion how can we use this rationale to effect true campaign reform?  Perhaps a
look back into history will help.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted stating "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on income from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states and without regard to any census or enumeration".  This amendment gave the Federal Government the complete power of the purse.  This event marked the beginning of the loss of state and individual rights.  With the power to redistribute the wealth created by the private sector as they saw fit, the federal legislators soon saw the opportunity to insure their own re-elections and increase their financial positions.  The American taxpayer has had to pay a horrendous brokerage fee collected by those special interest entities in return for political contributions to legislators that are, of course, a form of bribery.

It appears obvious that true campaign reform cannot be realized until the 16th Amendment is repealed.  However, this will evoke the questions from many, “where will the funds to operate the federal government then come from?”  One answer is a consumption tax.  By the use of a sales, or value added type, tax the federal government could realize the income it required to operate and could eliminate the onerous IRS.  In addition, this type of tax would not be paid until a purchase is made and the option to purchase and pay the attendant tax would be left up to the consumer. This type of tax would force the government to operate more like a business in the sense that too high a tax would slow down the economy and reduce tax receipts.  Of course, too low a tax would also reduce tax receipt.  Thus, the proper tax rate would have to be effected to maximize tax receipts.  Legislation has been introduced for such a tax.  HR2525 "The Fair Tax Act of 2001" also untaxes the poor by providing a monthly rebate to cover the tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level.

Without an income tax legislators would not have an income tax code to change to provide benefits to campaign contributors.  Although it would not completely eliminate wasteful spending by legislators, it would make it more difficult for them to justify since they would have less with which to trade.

The obvious obstacle to realizing such a simple solution is that the legislators themselves, by effecting this change, would be giving up what they can now barter for campaign contributions.  Unfortunately, it is hard to conceive that our so-called “public servants” would act so altruistically as to abandon this "quid pro quo" tool.  However, reason should tell us that it would appear to be a much better solution than what is presently being proposed in Congress.

  back to top

©Copyright by A Rational Advocate