all Americans know their taxes fund both the Democratic and Republican
presidential conventions. In fact, the political parties receive nearly $15
million apiece from the Federal Election Committee to hold their conventions.
Checking the little box on your 1040 form to give one dollar to the parties
changes nothing, as the convention money comes from general revenues whether
you check the box or not.
and New York taxpayers face an even bigger burden, as security costs and
police overtime pay likely will run another $25 million in state and local
taxes for each convention.
should taxpayers be expected to pay for private political conventions? There
is nothing sacred or noble about political parties, nor do they serve any
altruistic purpose. Political parties per se have no basis in the
Constitution, yet they hold tremendous power over our lives. Today’s
modern two-party political process has narrowed voter choices and emasculated
political courage. The parties enjoy a virtual stranglehold on national
politics, thanks to outrageously restrictive ballot access laws and campaign
finance rules that reward status-quo incumbency. They also receive millions
in federal matching funds.
candidates find they cannot wage effective campaigns without major party
fundraising help, but such help comes with strings attached. Once a candidate
receives money, he is expected to closely parrot party positions on issues.
Once elected, he is expected to put the party ahead of principle when it
comes to voting and procedural matters. The result is bland candidates who
offer nothing but the same old tired statist ideas.
political conventions are nothing more than taxpayer-funded infomercials for
the major parties. It’s been nearly 30 years since a real nominating
process took place at a presidential convention, and the party platforms
themselves are not debated at all. Since the only purpose of these events is
to cast the host party and its nominee in the most favorable light, surely
the two campaigns – which have raised tens of millions of dollars
already – should foot the bills.
the worst thing about party conventions is the rhetoric. Conventions lend
themselves to pandering, as few politicians can resist the temptation to tell
a national television audience how well they will run the country if elected.
The problem is that government is not supposed to run the country –
we’re supposed to be free. Conventions bring out the worst passions in
voters, passions based on the fatal conceit that government is the solution
to all of our problems.
those who believe in limited constitutional government, last week’s
convention speeches were almost unbearable. One speaker after another
extolled their benevolent plans for America, always in the form of new
programs and new spending. Of course no convention would be complete without
assurances that even more money will be spent on the failed federal education
bureaucracy. The speakers also promised free health care for all, without the
slightest explanation of how health care became a “right.” All of
these promises were made, of course, without any mention of exactly what
constitutional or moral authority authorizes such grand schemes.
don’t need new federal programs, and they certainly don’t need
more federal control over their schools. They don’t need a disastrous
government-run medical system. What Americans do need is a federal government
that provides national defense, secures our borders, and does very little
else. Needless to say you won’t hear the parties suggesting such a
platform anytime soon.
other articles by Ron Paul
Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for
liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington
for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return
to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. For more
information click on the Project Freedom website.
with the authorization of Dr. Paul.
Dr. Ron Paul