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When money is free speech

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Dubious, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Major

    Major Member

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    While this all seems weird, I'm not sure there's as much of an issue as it's made out to be. If he'd just paid himself the $10MM *before* the campaign, he could just as easily have spent that money on his campaign. The net result would have been the same. It's no different than any other candidate that contributes personal funds to a campaign.

    Now, we could argue that candidates shouldn't be allowed at all to contribute to their own campaign (self-financing) and that's another issue worth discussing - but I don't think there's anything particularly weird going on his case compared to what Romney, Huntsman, Kerry, or any number of other wealthy candidates might do. The timing of when he got paid vs when he spent the money just was flipped.
     
  2. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    I initially thought that, but on a closer read, however, it turns out it wasn't his money or his corporation. He was just the CEO.

    I think now with the USS. Ct. ruling it may not matter if a corporation wants to spend $10 million on a candidate whether he has anything to do with the corp they can.

    I suppose it looks nicer to launder it through his personal account to make it look like his money.
     
  3. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Careful, judoka, you aren't acting so content. Having a bad day?
     
  4. Major

    Major Member

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    OK, if that's the case, then that's a problem. Based on his statements that he's the only one who decides his compensation, I assumed it was his own business. If he's accountable to other shareholders, he can't just arbitrarily decide what he wants to pay himself. That's an ethical problem within the company, regardless of whether he violated any particular campaign finance laws.
     
  5. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    To those of you criticizing pirc1 for his view, it seems none of you are stepping up in revolution against the rich.

    If anything, I bet if you ever became multi-millionaires, you'd also try to cement your position and wealth for your kids and grandkids through political means. You'd also want to be paying no taxes, having your kids go to private schools, while letting public school fire their teachers.
     
  6. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    It turns out that he is the CEO of a company that is owned by a public company run by his father-in-law. The company's only customer is it's parent company. It sounds very fishy.
     
  7. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    One thing that irks me is the accounting chicanery that allows him to avoid taxes on the income that he used to finance his campaign. The are laws set up by the rich for the rich. It's a self-serving circle of politics:

    tax breaks >more money to spend on politics> more tax breaks>more money
    ad infinitum

    Elections should work like this:

    1. get petitions of a significant percentage of voters to qualify for the office
    2. split evenly between all candidates whatever the public budget is for the election
    3. spend you money wisely and efficiently as an example of your fitness for public office

    Public monies could also be spent on the public airwaves and websites where voters could go an learn of the candidates positions A dedicated public political channel on TV and Radio and a dedicated public website with links to the various offices and it's candidates. You would get so much more information than from a 30 second negative sound byte.

    We could also use the same resources where people could post amicus curiae type treatises on issues.

    Or maybe we could just solve things with an 'America's Smartest Solutions' TV show where people text in to pick between political platforms. (Of course the politicians would have to put on Sumo suits and dance through an obstacle course)
     
  8. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    Out of curiosity, could I register myself as a corporation, morph to a pass-through entity, loan myself my salary, and pay no taxes?
     
  9. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    As long as your tax attorney is good enough to scare off the IRS, yes.
     
  10. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    I'd also need to convince my current employer to continue working with me as a corporate-corporate contract. I'd wager the "scaring off the IRS" component is a lot more difficult when you're not obscenely wealthy (America, **** yeah).

    Still it's an amusing idea - imagine if every person did this. Ironically enough, most end-of-life attorney's basically advocate the same thing to avoid probate.
     
  11. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    I am not saying it is right for the rich to be powerful, and i am certain not rich. The point is the game always favor the rich and powerful. Even if we throw out the old kings, we just replace them with a bunch of new kings, and rich continues to rule over us.
     
  12. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Fortunately there are those who believe and work for justice and have at times made progress for the majority of folks.
     
  13. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    On my drive to and from Galveston today I began my manefesto for a New Electronic Democracy. There will soon be no reason for the US government to be a republic, we can be a real democracy. Everyone that wants to can participate in the decision process; the voting process for sure. Government is a big web site where you can choose your issue, read debate if you want, and vote on decisions with a time limit.

    On your social site you can list issues and platforms that are important to you. If your friends tell their friends, eventually the more popular (pressing?) issue would be getting all the web chatter. You could critique and rate the information providers. Everyone would know who the Industry posters are. If information is the new currency then it would be the masses that would be rich because they could dominate by number.

    In fact, everyone would eventually know everything, or at least a lot about a lot of things. And if everyone knows everything then it becomes useless to lie. Insiders, hackers, leakers, rearchers, information mining, let's put it all out there. There's even a pretty good underground already seething, but that's not my thing.

    Let the revolution begin! I want real democracy and I want it now!

    (that's all I got so far)

    wait... E-mocracy?
     
  14. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Xwm9G0Ut6lQ?hd=1#t=1m23s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  15. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    By the same token, Republican members of Congress should have to justify the tax breaks they and their wealthy contributors get in the context of the debt those breaks pile on our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

    The analogy he used about family budgets (a husband makes $40k, a wife makes $40k) left out the rich uncle who lives in the garage apartment and keeps kicking in less and less to the family budget every year. The Senator (like the rest of his GOP brethren) looks only at the spending side of the budget equation, ignoring the fact that the tax burden is the lowest it has been in the post WWII period.

    Taxes must go back up for the budget to balance. It isn't a hard concept to understand, look at a graph of the deficit. Reagan lowered taxes to unsustainable levels, drove up the debt, after which Bush and Clinton had to raise taxes to balance the budget. Bush the younger lowered taxes to unsustainable levels and now we need to raise them again to balance the budget.
     
  16. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    The billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch plan to steer more than $200 million — potentially much more — to conservative groups ahead of Election Day, POLITICO has learned. That puts their libertarian-leaning network in the same league as the most active of the groups in the more establishment-oriented network conceived last year by veteran GOP operatives Rove and Ed Gillespie, which plans to raise $240 million.



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65504.html#ixzz1aTeH24ht
     
  17. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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  18. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    "When the same elites who fund federal elections start pouring unfathomable sums of money into our community’s school board races, it robs us of the last promise of democracy: the hope that while wealth and power dictate federal and state policy, every person can still have a small impact on his or her own local community."

    That is incredibly demoralizing.
     
  19. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    The reality that most folks appear happy to pretend does not exist as long as they can keep buying those shiny toys.
     
  20. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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