Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Time to tax US political donations?

Posted by Jason O on Feb 11, 2010 in US Politics |

Oh, say can you see, the senator I pay top dollar for?

Oh, say can you see, the senator I pay top dollar for?

The recent decision of the US Supreme Court to remove bans on corporate donations is just plain obscene. It’s daft. It gives corporations and trades unions the rights of individual citizens, which is just plain odd, but what is most offensive is this bizarre association of money with free speech. In other words, the more money you have, the more free speech you have? What?

As if there isn’t enough on the president’s plate, this needs to be fixed. Until such a time as he can get a moderate majority back onto the court, which is going to be damn hard considering the conservative judges are younger (although conservatives tend to eat more red meat, don’t they? I’m just saying!) than the liberals, maybe a constitutional amendment has to be looked at? Could he get it through the state legislatures? Interestingly, how do independent voters feel about the issue? Could it be a way of bringing them back into the Obama camp?

In the meantime, how do we deal with the new right of big business to buy themselves congressmen? How about a tax on political donations, rising with the size of donations? The money raised could be used to fund candidates who don’t take large donations, of all parties. If anything, it would discourage election spending, which is surely no bad thing.  

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