CORRUPTION OF POLITICS AND BANKS

Government and banks are corrupt. Indisputable. The reason money. The root of all evil.

 

I am not telling you anything you do not already know. I suggest two remedial solutions.

 

The time has come for public campaign financing. Have the government as the sole source of campaign funds. Prohibit the raising and/or spending of private funds. In situations where a candidate is independently wealthy, limit his or her personal contribution to $50,000.

 

A monstrous task. Perhaps unachievable. Keep in mind, Congress would have to vote for such change.

 

A complex issue. Ergo, I am zeroing in solely on Presidential elections. I am generalizing. The devil will be in the details.

 

The 2016 Presidential race will break every record for fundraising and spending. A disgrace. Most of the monies will be from the very rich and corporations. The minimal $5 or $25 contributions of the 99 percent will mean little. Ironically, several states have tried and some still have some sort of public financing for state and local elections. Most have failed. Blame the Supreme Court. Unconstitutional.

 

For well over 30 years, we have had a voluntary citizen program to enrich the public funding of corporations. There is a box in the upper corner of your tax return. Check it off and automatically $3 of your taxes will be transferred to a special Presidential fund. The program is not working. Its use has fallen steadily since the early 1980s. Presently, less than 8 percent of taxpayers check the box.

 

I am not going to go into the specifics of present Presidential public funding laws. Space does not permit. However, if a Presidential candidate agrees to accept federal funding and agrees not to raise or spend any other monies, assistance is available.

 

Such candidate would receive $91.2 million. Few go down such road these days. Presidential campaigns cost significantly more.

 

There is one government funding program that both the Democrat and Republican parties receive money under. Religiously, every four years. Disgracefully, also. The Presidential nominating conventions. Each is and has been paid for by the government for years. I cannot understand. We are paying for each party’s big bash every four years.

 

The amount to each party is $18.2 million, adjusted every four years based on cost of living increases. At a time when a significant percentage of our school children are homeless and go to school without breakfast. It is projected each political party will spend $1 billion in the 2016 campaign. With those kind of dollars, the political parties can easily afford their own conventions.

 

The purpose of public campaign funding is clean elections. Simply stated.

 

The United States has a Federal Election Commission. The chair is Ann Revel. Revel openly admits that the Federal Election Commission is dysfunctional and has been so for years. She claims various laws prevent her from doing anything about it.

 

The big banks, Wall Street, and major corporations have defecated on the American people long enough. They must be taken in hand. The banks brought our economy down in 2008. It is going to happen again.

 

Two things are clear. Big banks and corporations are parking their profits overseas, with few complaints from Congress. Obama consistently fails to take on corporate power. The power is left to do what it wills.

 

We need another Theodore Roosevelt. He was President from 1901-1909. He took on the big companies. He became known as a trust buster. He felt the big companies had too much power to the detriment of the people. America’s upper crust was not looking after the interests of the working class.

 

Roosevelt had a sense of right and wrong. He went after the out of hand corporations. His philosophy was to “…..speak softly and carry a big stick.” His words. He was of the opinion that a society where businesses profited at the expense of the average American was not right.

 

Roosevelt sued more than 40 major corporations. The first was J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Corporation. Sound familiar? A predecessor of today’s J.P. Morgan Chase. A leopard does not change its spots.

 

We need to break up the banks.We need another Theodore Roosevelt in the White House. Senators Bernie Saunders and Elizabeth Warren have the right attitude. Saunders recently said that if the banks are too big to fail, then they are too big to exist. I agree.

 

The United States was faced with a monopolistic situation in the early 1980s. The Bell System. In effect, the national telephone system. Bell at the time was the biggest corporation in American history.

 

Bell was split into separate companies. Such result was possible when it was determined that Bell was violating anti-trust laws.

 

I am not telling you anything you do not already know. We have a problem with campaign financing and the power of big banks and corporations. My solution is public financing of elections and breaking up the big banks.

 

Will either happen? I doubt it. We need Congress and the Supreme Court to pave the way. Something both have been reluctant to do.

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