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View Diary: Austerity isn't dead... but it should be (132 comments)

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  •  We keep complaining about the symptoms... (12+ / 0-)

    that Congress is bought and paid for by lobbies, but seldom discuss the system of campaign funding that allows it to be so.
    If forums and blogs really worried about the "disease" instead of complaining about the "symptoms," they'd be pushing for massive, effective reform of campaign funding laws in this country.  
    Only when we have public finance of Congressional campaigns, can we expect true reform to begin. Campaigns could, for instance, be funded by anonymous pools of money from public donors, with the funds shared equally between all candidates.
    If we don't isolate our elected officials from the sources of their campaign finds, they will always be susceptible to financial inducements to support one lobby or another.

    •  Campaign funding is chump change (11+ / 0-)

      The real payoff to pols is on the other side of the revolving door.  The sweet one-day-a-year directorships for six or seven figures for those who have loyally served corporate interests while in office.  

      Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:46:11 AM PDT

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      •  The capture of campaign finance... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Australian2, ozsea1, Eric Nelson

        ...by the Financial Elites creates a "checkpoint" which narrows the number of perspectives allowed to legislate and execute for "the common good." And yes, many of the carefully screened and appointed "elected officials" do get rewarded for multiple terms of manning the barricades against the teeming masses in the form of "back end payoffs" such as directorships and other "tokens of appreciation" that come with obscene income streams. I'm certain that soon to be former Senator Baucus will have an appropriately impressive "Golden Parachute."

        Campaign finance is the key, however. Without the assurance that a paltry few million dollars will leverage policy and appropriations as the Financial Elites desire, the "back end payoff" (which is also relative couch cushion money for the "Owners") will dissipate rapidly.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

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    •  I'm in agreement with Lawrence Lessig (13+ / 0-)

      That until we solve the funding issue nothing of significance can happen.

      •  Exactly right.....it always amazes me that people (5+ / 0-)

        aren't constantly organizing around the biggest single issue.  Why do people think legalized bribery is good?  Its always been a mystery to me.  I remember so clearly all the speeches that Lessig quoted Obama from in his book during the 2008 campaign about having to change the system and the corruption....I still believe that THAT was the reason why people were so excited about his potential presidency, he portrayed himself as someone that would actually fight to reform our bribery system while Clinton seemed like more of an insider (not to mention her support for Iraq).....Alas it turned out that Obama was nothing but a corporate neo-liberal stooge just like the rest of them.

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

        by Auburn Parks on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 09:20:13 AM PDT

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    •  I think the root cause is even deeper. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, eps62, historys mysteries

      The funding imbalance would not be an issue if the excessive disparity in compensation and tax policies didn't favor such egregious concentration of wealth. And a healthy portion of that is based on social acceptance the of supply-side economics that it is good to make the rich richer at every turn. Perhaps 30% see through these destructive attitudes and the policies they drive. Change that to 70% and we might get somewhere. But that would mean converting corporate Democrats...

      Frankly, I'd rather take down Exxon or Goldman Sachs, the way we're taking down RushBeckistan, than elect another "better" Democrat who's going to wind up singing for the bankster choir.

      by Words In Action on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:56:06 AM PDT

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      •  Chamberlain Democrats, Clinton Democrats, (5+ / 0-)

        no matter what you call them, they're actually Reagan Democrats.  Voters turned to Reagan because he was so good at political rhetoric, but elected Democrats turned to Reagan because they swallowed the benefits of "trickle-down," supply-side economics to cure the economic ills that hit the nation like a pandemic in the '70s.  

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

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        •  Exactly. The last 4 decades have been (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          an uninterrupted continuation of Reagan/Thatcherism. I guess that's what Obama meant about admiring Reagan: he left behind a lasting, distorted frame that has trivialized social and political discussion ever since. Unfortunately it now appears that Obama himself, much less the majority of elected Dems, can't quite go cold turkey on the poisonous  legacy that Reagan injected.

          •  "can't quite go cold turkey"? (0+ / 0-)

            What makes you think he even wants to quit at all?

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 08:58:44 AM PDT

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