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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Budget deficits & campaign debts

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The state of Iowa is facing a budget deficit, but it's our Governor
who is trying to pay off his "debts." This lottery episode is an
argument for public financing of election campaigns. When rich donors
drop $25,000 or so into a candidate's pocket, an implicit IOU has just
been created. The best way to pay off these "debts" is with public
money, either tax cuts for the donor class, state contracts for the
contributors personally (see Bill Richardson), or sale of state assets
like the lottery. The common objection to public financing for
elections is "We don't want tax dollars going to politicians." This
myopic argument forgets that politicans gain control of ALL the tax
dollars once in office and too often use those dollars to pay back
their "investors" (see Bernie Madoff).

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