Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

07 February 2014

Representative John Sarbanes Proposes Law to Control Free Speech

The Representative of my incredibly gerrymandered Congressional District in Maryland is the socialist John Sarbanes, son of the former Maryland Senator.  He has just sent out a letter to his constituents in which he complains that:
In the 2012 election cycle alone, big interests such as the oil and gas industry and Wall Street contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Congressional campaigns and equally vast sums to lobbying groups. Meanwhile, upwards of $1.3 billion poured in from Super PACs and “dark money” groups that float outside the reaches of our campaign finance laws.
 He has just proposed the following new law:
That’s why I am introducing the Government By the People Act.  This sensible and straightforward piece of legislation will do the following.

First, it will encourage the participation of everyday Americans in the funding of campaigns by providing a refundable $25 My Voice Tax Credit.  This will bring the voices of the broad public into the funding side of campaigns and democratize the relationship between money and speech.

Second, the bill will establish a Freedom From Influence Matching Fund to boost the power of small-dollar contributions.  To be eligible for these matching funds, a candidate must agree to a limit on large donations and must demonstrate broad-based support from a network of small-dollar contributors.  Amplified by the Freedom From Influence matching fund, the voices of everyday Americans would be just as powerful as the voices of the big donors.

Third, the Government By the People Act will provide candidates with an opportunity to earn additional resources in the home stretch of a campaign so that the voices of the people are not completely drowned out by Super PACs and other dark money interests.  In the wake of the Citizens United decision, this kind of support is critical to ensuring that citizen-backed candidates have staying power.

We can pay for these changes just by closing a few of the tax and regulatory loopholes that are the decades-old legacy of special interest influence in Congress.  It’s only fair that those who are responsible for breaking the policy-making machinery in Washington should bear the cost of fixing it.
It is very strange that he did not mention such special interest groups as trial lawyers, teachers, labor unions, environmental groups, feminist groups, Black American groups, and Hispanic groups.  Will his legislation equally suppress their freedom of speech as will his attempt to make taxes more unfavorable for groups who do not always reliably support Democrats?  It is clear that the only way to get the taxes to pay for this is to attack businesses and milk them.  His legislation can hardly acquire the funding it needs from labor unions, non-profit environmental, feminist, Black, and Hispanic groups.  This proposal is a very clearly anti-business proposal and makes no attempt at all to control many special interest groups.  What it does is force businesses to fund anti-business special interests.

The reason government is controlled by special interests is because government is too large for the People to understand what it is doing and how to control it.  Special interests step into the power vacuum and take over.  The People are frustrated with this situation, yet many do not understand that inherent in excessive government is control by special interests.  Good government limits itself to protecting the rights of the individual and is much, much smaller and much, much easier for the People to understand and control.
Big Government cannot be for the people or by the people.  Many will reject it with disgust because it tries to dictate what values the individual may pursue and will micromanage their lives.  Many others will actually want it to do more for them, but will be frustrated by what it does and unable to figure out how to make it do what they think is right.  Big Government can never be loved or even tolerated by the People.  Their present disgust is entirely understandable.  John Sarbanes proposed law is nothing but a veil to hide the real problem: the excessive size and scope of governmental power.

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