With congressional approval ratings near their lowest point on record, and leaders in both parties stubbornly unable to solve the fiscal crisis and start creating jobs, it’s hard not to want to starve all politicians of campaign cash.
If only We the People could.
Barely 1 percent of our citizens fund campaigns today. In fact, less than a quarter of 1 percent (0.24 percent) provided 90 percent of campaign money in 2010, with lobbyists and special interests in Washington, D.C., alone accounting for more than 32 states combined.
In such a system, it is little surprise that members of Congress spend more time raising money from a wealthy few than working with bipartisan colleagues to solve the nation’s fiscal crisis and start creating jobs for the good of all Americans. Indeed, Washington isn’t broken – it’s fixed.
Americans perfectly understand the principle of private enterprise that you are accountable to your investors. Our children understand when mom and dad pay the bills, they get to call the shots. Yet we consistently fail to apply that same logic to government.
Our problem today is not a broken government but a beholden one: government is more beholden to special-interest shareholders who fund campaigns than it is to ordinary voters. Like any sound investor, the funders seek nothing more and nothing less than a handsome return – deficits be darned – in the form of tax breaks, subsidies and government contracts.