End the Vote-Buying

by Don Boudreaux on July 6, 2012

in Crony Capitalism, Other People's Money, Politics

Here’s a letter to the Los Angeles Times:

Although he properly defends the Citizens United decision, Michael Kinsley laments that “The influence of money in politics is greater than ever” (“Citizens United got it right,” July 6).  His proposed solution is to inspire voters to toss from office politicians who spend “an offensive amount of money on the effort to get reelected.”

Indeed – so let’s stop worrying about the relatively paltry sums contributed to political campaigns voluntarily and spent on the likes of television ads and shiny posters.  Let’s attack the heart of the matter by tossing from office politicians who buy votes with money taken from taxpayers involuntarily and spent on the likes of “green-energy” appropriations and subsidized student loans.

Perhaps it’s a problem that votes are bought every two and four years with campaign funds.  But this problem dims into utter insignificance in light of the reality that votes are bought every second of every day with far more offensive sums of taxpayer funds.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

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