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Democratic Candidate Wants to Quattuordecuple The Amount of Money in Politics

Democrats complain about money in politics so they want even more of it!

After the 2016 election, the Washington Post decried the amount of money spent in pursuit of electing Trump and Hillary as well as congressmen and senators.

Two years ago, the Washington Post said this regarding the 2016 election, “$6.5 billion is a staggering sum. With that much money you could fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 15 years, fix the Flint, Mich., lead pipe problem 30 times over or give every public school teacher a $2,000 raise.”

2016 was the most expensive election in recent history and probably of all time. President Trump could have funded his wall!

If I were to search more headlines relating to the amount of money spent in 2016, I am confident I would find similar sentiments to those expressed by the Washington Post.  Where is Sheldon Whitehouse denouncing “dark money” when you need him?

Yet Democratic candidate for President, Kirsten Gillibrand, wants to, at the very least, quattuordecuple the 2016 amount.  At worst, she wants to trevigintuple the amount of money in politics.  And that is for EACH presidential election cycle.

I had to google those terms.

Translation:

Quattuordecuple = 14x

Trevigintuple = 23x

NBC reported

“Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., unveiled a plan on Wednesday to give every voter up to $600 in what she calls “Democracy Dollars” that they can donate to federal candidates for office.

Under Gillibrand’s plan, every eligible voter could register for vouchers to donate up to $100 in a primary election and $100 in a general election each cycle, either all at once or in $10 increments to one or more candidates over time. Each participant would get a separate $200 pool for House, Senate and presidential contests for a total maximum donation of $600 for those federal offices.

The campaign didn’t provide an estimate of the total cost of the plan, but said it would pay for the voucher program by limiting a corporate deduction for executive compensation, which it estimates would raise $60 billion over 10 years. Candidates, parties and outside groups spent a combined total of $5.7 billion in the 2018 cycle and $6.5 billion in 2016. In addition to vouchers, the campaign said its plan would include a system to investigate and prosecute potential fraud.”

And this is where math comes in handy.  We know that 139 million Americans voted in 2016.  This does not include every registered voter.  If we zoom out, the Office of the Federal Register lists the voting age population as 252,000,000. Obviously, we subtract a few million of ineligible voters.  At the 139 million figure, the program could cost $83,000,000,000.  Obviously, not everyone will register for the voucher program, but it is designed to engage every eligible voter.  At the 250 million figure, we would be up to $150,000,000,000.  Again, not everyone votes or would participate.  But even if we cut those figures in half, those are still huge sums of money to be pumped into each election cycle. 

The Washington Post article made a really good point,  

“But if money is speech, then giving it to a losing candidate is akin to shouting into the void.”

“Much of political campaign spending is wasted, in other words — the people who give to a winning candidate get to put their candidate of choice in office. The people who give to a losing candidate get nothing in return.”

If we take just a quarter of the money from the 139 million eligible voters figure, we have $20,000,000,000.  That is four times the amount of money spent in 2016.  Where does that  money go?  Hillary Clinton and her supporters outspent the Trump campaign and lost!  That money is gone. 

Gillibrand’s proposal is an extreme waste of money.  I’ll join the Washington Post in suggesting that this money could be spent elsewhere.  But notice the difference! The Washington Post was merely asking about the use of private funds.  They were shaming individuals for not using their money more wisely for things like funding PBS or fixing a local water problem.  This plan involves taxpayer money.  And a ton of it at that.

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