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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Not Tax Campaign Funds?

We all deride the corrupting influence of money on politics. We hate the idea of raising taxes on income or real estate. So here's an idea that might actually help our financially strapped schools and pension funds. It's a new tax, but one that everyone except politicians should love. t is time to start taxing campaign warchests.

The idea would be to tax political campaigns both a percentage of the money they raise each year, and a percentage of the money that sits unused in campaign warchests at the end of each year.

How would it work? Let's say there's a 5% tax on all political money raised every year, and a separate 5%  tax on all money unspent at the end of the year. Candidate A, running for Mayor of Allentown, raises $120,000. His campaign would be required to pay 5%, or $6,000, into Harrisburg.

Let's say that, at the end of the year, the warchest has $100,000 because only $20,000 was spent. A 5% tax on that would mean another $5,000.

Here's a good example. State Rep. Michael Schlossberg raised $47,135 last year even though he had no opponent. That gives him a nice little slush fund to spend. A 5% tax on the money he raised would raise $2,356.75 for his impoverished constituents. He ended 2014 with $39,191.15 in his warchest. A 5% tax on that would mean yet another $1,959.56 for the public weal.

This kind of tax will also deter incumbents from raising huge sums of money, year after year, so they can become more entrenched.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would this tax be levied on Unity PAC?

Anonymous said...

Why don't we tax taxes? Then, we can tax taxes on taxes and hire Sal Panto to collect it all. The revenue could be earmarked for studies on taxing taxes on taxes. You cite Schlossberg's sleaze, but few of his acolytes likely have a problem with him squirreling away a few bucks. It's legal bribery and they're OK with it.

Anonymous said...

The big boys would just raise more money. The little guys operating on a shoestring would have even less to campaign with.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, now this one gave me the gut busting laugh I needed¿ I have one very important issue with the heading statement¿
How could one tax that that is unseen¿


redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

If there is money left at the end of the year, don't screw with 5%, just take all of it. The person doesn't need it - but we do.

Think of it as a democracy tax - you are not only supporting your candidate when you contribute, but the entire country. This would generate a hell of a lot of money!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Very cool name!

Anonymous said...

1:43 PM

How much money do you have in your wallet? I think I need it more than you.

Anonymous said...

What if a person who campaigns for office uses his or her own money...Meaning no money from other sources was used or raised to fund the campaign It would be ridiculous and really immoral to put a tax on money already taxed... It is as ridiculous as the Lehigh County Commissioners requiring that applicants for its Cedar Brook Nursing homes Advisory Team must not have run for public office in the last ten years to be eligible to apply. Seems more ridiculous when we learn that County Commissioners and County Professionals must wait only one year before working with a firm that uses that official to make deals with the County. Dennis Pearson

Bernie O'Hare said...

When you spend your own money to buy a car, is the sales tax immoral? I'm not seeing your argument. I'd rather see the pols pay a little more to buy their offices by insuring the common weal gets s cut from all the obscene money grubbing.

Anonymous said...

I have an even better example, show how how much Morganelli raises every year and every election when he never has an opponent.
I agree tax the bastards.

Anonymous said...

Will Wolf pay his tax to Delaware?

Bernie O'Hare said...

John is an example,as are many. I am not saying that this rule should apply to everyone but the people I support. I am saying it should apply to one and all, and I would call it the Democracy Tax.

Anonymous said...

because you're taxing political speech.

why not a poll tax?

Anonymous said...

It's a tax that would essentially require people to pay the government to play in politics. No thanks. Corbett was supposed to have all the energy company dough and incumbent advantages. Wolf spent about a zillion dollars per vote to get the office. The market of politics sends us candidates from all points of the spectrum. This proposal is a response to Citizens United and it's a cure that's worse than the disease. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Corbett had as big a war chest as any sitting Governor ever had. He lost because he was an arrogant, uncaring SOB who was known to be a stooge for the Oil and Gas Industry.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with this new tax!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually Bernie one has to pay filing fees to place oneself on the ballot ... And there is a difference between receiving money from others and using your own money ... Receiving money from others constitutes getting monetary support .... Using your own money does not constitute monetary support especially if no committee is formed ... People are always thinking up ways to hurt the efforts of good people who don't like to spend money in campaigns but are well fitted to serve ... But unless you get your name out and people hear of your candidacy and like your candidacy one goes relatively no where ... Whether I get only 308 votes or 32,000 votes a loss is still a loss. Dennis Pearson

Anonymous said...

What would the tax go to ?

Poison Posse 1 said...

I am humbled that you like my term "Democracy Tax". Feel free to use it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, speaking of Schlossberg what do you think about his wife dropping the N-bomb in front of her classroom at ASD? She laid it on one of her students in her class.

Wow!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know that it was his wife. I don't know what lesson that teacher was supposed to be giving, but she made a poor choice. If it was, the sins of the wife shall not be visited on the husband. I already have enough reasons to slam him.

Anonymous said...

"Corbett had as big a war chest as any sitting Governor ever had. He lost because he was an arrogant, uncaring SOB who was known to be a stooge for the Oil and Gas Industry."

You made the guy's point, dummy. Wolf had $30 million vs. Corbett's $23 million. Despite Corbett's perceived advantage, he was outspent monetarily - and in the marketplace of ideas. The system works. There's no need for another government taxing scheme on political expression. Some say $53 million is obscene. I think spending and being forced to spend that much is a testament to a system many think is dead. Bullshit. Capitalism's highest form of flattery is allocating capital toward something. A lot of capital was put into a debate that changed PA's politics from very right to very left. Again, the system works and you're too blind to see past talking points. BTW - I can't stand either extremist who ran.

Anonymous said...

$53 million divided by PA's population of 12.79 million is just $4.14 per citizen or about $1 per citizen per year (given four-year terms) to debate and decide matters of critical importance. That's not a lot to spend on the democratic process.

Anonymous said...

@5:37

Nitwit,
The point is that Corbett was going lose. It didn't matter he was outspent.
Corbett thanks you for your vote.

Anonymous said...

6:36, you're a bit slow (Gruber knows you well), but you continue to make my point. The challenger won and politics were changed for $4 per vote. Wolf thanks slow little serfs like you for your adoration. Now, get to work and clean his pool before he fires your lazy ass.

Anonymous said...

@10:34
The only point you get is the one on top of your head.
Corbett didn't have enough teabaggers like you to get him elected again. The voters had enough of him. Maybe he will let you lick his boots and give you a job keeping them clean, since you are so familiar with how it's done.

Anonymous said...

So Wolf's Democracy Tax goes to Delaware or where?

Anonymous said...

It should go to Jim Gregory's UNITY-PAC. That is where it would do the most good. JG will return and not only fix the Brown
Admisntration but reform politics, particularly here in the Lehigh Valley.

Free Greggy(join the movement)

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with that idea, but shouldn't we by the same token also tax forced union "dues"?

Anonymous said...

Free Greggy(join the movement)

The only movement associated with JG is a bowel movement, which coincidentally is the initials of the Blog Mentor. I think of each of them when I visit the throne and evacuate. When I flush, I imagine Greggy has been freed as he heads down the pipes to the septic tank.

Anonymous said...

"Free Greggy(join the movement)"

The only movement Greggy is freeing is due to the protein based enemas he is getting in prison.

Oh Yeah!!!

Anonymous said...

6:33. Your an idiot. Dues are paid after payroll tax deductions

Anonymous said...

Most right wing loons are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea, Bernie. 11:27 makes a good point. Incumbents enjoy the benefit of years of free media exposure, and are returned to office in overwhelming numbers. Challengers have an uphill battle. Perhaps applying your Democracy Tax only to incumbents would help level the playing field a little bit.


Bernie O'Hare said...

The playing field is leveled by the tax on campaign funds accumulated at the end of a year. I don't see how thus tax would pass constitutional muster unless it were evenly applied.

Anonymous said...

Gruber had liberal Democrats pegged. The stupidity is genetic.

Anonymous said...

"Gruber had liberal Democrats pegged. The stupidity is genetic"

Gruber sounds like a real winner. I bet he is very "special".

Anonymous said...

Who is "Gruber?"