the fixers
Reports

LET THE MONEY FLOW: PROS AND CONS

PROS CONS
(1) Current federal contribution limits have not been adjusted for inflation in more than 20 years. The maximum individual contribution -- set at $1,000 in 1974 -- is worth approximately $300 in 1996 dollars. Candidates need to raise more than 3 times what they did 22 years ago to achieve the same result. (1) Only a small percentage of citizens can afford to give $1,000 or more to a candidates. Increasing the contribution limit or abolishing it altogethermight magnify the influence that wealthy individuals and groups have over elected officials.
(2) Studies show that PACs and related organizations prefer to give money to incumbent candidates, not challengers. Raising contribution limits might help challengers raise enough money to get their campaigns off the ground. (2) Because PACs and wealthy individual contributors favor incumbents, there is no reason to believe that challengers will have an easier time raising money from those same sources if limits are lifted.
(3) Candidates would spend less time fundraising, and more time meeting citizens and tending to their official duties. (3) Campaign finance problems would not be resolved by adding more money to the current system or doing nothing at all. We are much more likely to succeed if we build on what works in our current system.
(4) Given the escalating cost of political communications, especially the cost of TV advertising, candidates need more money than ever to communicate effectively with voters. (4) People who are wealthy enough to spend lots of money on political activities that are not limited by current campaign finance laws (like soft money, independent expenditures) will continue to do so, making higher limits as easy to evade legally as current limits.

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