“Campaign finance reform” is censorship masquerading as a solution for the problem of extortion by public officials.
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Noble politicians are corrupted by ‘special interests’ who seek to buy favors through ‘lobbying’ and providing campaign financing. Government should restrict or eliminate such ‘financing’, and the state should finance all campaigns.
The so-called “campaign finance” reforms rather then removing the cause of the problem of the buying and selling of political favors actually magnify the problem, by expanding the politicians powers to control its citizens.
These so-called “reforms” will reinforce the real cause of the problem–the power of politicians to grant favors–by giving government officials increased powers, which it should not posses: such as censorship of speech (by controlling where private citizens can spend their money), by preventing citizens from spending their own money to support causes they believe in (by calling such money ‘advertising’, etc.), and possibly–if Bill Bradley has his way–give politicians the power to use tax funds to pay for their own campaigns! That is, take money from citizens–who would not give it to them voluntarily–to finance their bid to stay in government office!
The real problem is not businessmen bribing government officials. The real cause of the problem is that businessmen, and other ‘interest groups’, are forced to pay extortion money to government officials, i.e., blood money in the literal sense of the term, as these same politicians control the police through the creation of rules and regulations.
Private citizens are forced to do this by virtue of the bureaucrat’s power to control, run, and even destroy his business by the passing of nonobjective laws that violate his inalienable rights, i.e. by closing entry or exit to markets thus violating his right to liberty, i.e. increasing or decreasing taxes to specific individuals (but not to others) violating the right to equal treatment by government, i.e. preventing him from selling to willing consumers by failing to grant him a ‘permit’, and/or granting a monopoly to his competitor, i.e. punishing for being too competitive and successful by claiming he is a monopoly through making the best product, etc.
The problem is that even legitimate businesses have to ‘purchase’ their freedom through sucking up and kissing ass to little Caesars who hold a noose of non-objective laws and regulations around their necks. That is, the problem is that government vampires have a ‘power’ that they can sell–a power that they should not possess in the first place–the power to bleed private citizens dry.
Government should not decide what services and products businesses can offer and what markets can enter. These decisions should solely left to producers and buyers. Under laissez-faire there would be no buying of politicians, because politicians would not have the power to extort money.
All these laws would be impossible under capitalism, since each one of them is a violation of individual rights, i.e., preventing a group of businessmen to enter a market violates their right to liberty, i.e., taxing one business more then another violates the principle of equal treatment under government, i.e. subsidizing one business–with the tax money taken from the other–is a violation of the second’s right to property, etc. Under capitalism the only laws that a politician may pass are those that equally protect the rights of all its citizens, i.e. without violating the rights of any of them.
The only common interests amongst all men is the equal protection of individual rights, i.e. all rational men do wish not to be murdered, i.e. all rational men wish to be left free to enter and compete in any market they choose to, i.e. all men wish to not have their property looted from them, etc. This is the only proper meaning of the public interest.
This is not what is meant by those who claim to support the “public interest”; what they do subscribe to is the unequal protection of rights, by granting government privileges to one group (who is certified as the “public”) at the expense of another group (who is not the “public”).
The so-called “public interest” is a myth, there are only the differing, often contradictory, interests of various individuals. Any attempt by the government to implement a ‘public interest’ can be but arbitrary, leading to a civil-war of lobbying pressure groups.