Want to get the money out of politics? Get the power out of politics.
Government officials who control the disposition of enormous sums of money are no more likely to be free – or want to be free – of the influence of money than someone who consumes gallons of whiskey is likely to be free – or wants to be free – of the influence of alcohol. In both cases, the influence is an unavoidable by-product of the activity.
“Government officials who control the disposition of enormous sums of money.” Officials who can take enormous sums, and then decide what to do with enormous sums. And guess what? People have an interest in enormous sums of money. Either of hanging onto their own, or getting a piece of somebody else’s.
Would you spend $100 if it meant getting $500 back? Of course you would.
Would you spend a million if it meant getting five million back? Or if it meant not losing two million?
Those who constantly complain about the influence of money in politics have to wrap their heads around this: people will spend money to advance, or to protect, their own interests. If the government has the power to promote one interest over another, or to destroy one interest in favor of another…
…which, in case we’re not clear, our government does…
…then people will spend money to influence their government. It’s sense.
Want to get the money out of politics? Reduce the power of government. Reduce people’s interest in influencing the government. Politics will become less important, and the money will stop flowing.