I have zero interest in financially supporting any politician, much less ones I find morally unpalatable. Yet Democrats want to force me, and every other American taxpayer, to contribute, as a matter of public policy, to the campaigns of candidates we disagree with. Believe it or not, this might be an even more dangerous assault on free expression than unpleasant tweets directed at CNN anchors.
One of Nancy Pelosi’s first projects as new speaker of the House will be passing a government overhaul of campaign-finance and ethics rules that will, among other things, “expand voting rights.” One of the new bills — specifics are still cloudy — reportedly allocates a pool of taxpayer money to match small-dollar donations 6-to-1, as a way of encouraging “grass-roots campaigning,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The package, fortunately, won’t pass the Senate. But government-financed campaigns — empowering the state to allocate money to preferred donors and dissuading non-preferred donors — has been something of a hobbyhorse in progressive circles. Setting aside the many constitutional concerns, the recent abuses by the Internal Revenue Service when tasked with regulating political speech demonstrate just how easy it is for bureaucrats to manipulate rules meant to govern speech. These are rules that shouldn’t exist, period.
Some big cities have already begun handing out tax-funded “democracy vouchers.” In other words, politicians have passed legislation that subsidizes the speech of people who will, for the most part, support them. It’s quite the racket. Pelosi wants to take this corruption national.
Read more at The Federalist.