Here's a brilliant suggestion that constitutes the next step in our road toward completely control of the political system by monied interests:Vote buying is not specifically proscribed by the Constitution, nor is preventing voter fraud an enumerated power, so...obviously...it's legal. And it will benefit poorer people in swing states and communities, so it's actually more progressive than our current system. But how much is a vote worth?So, I propose that we finally give up the charade that we are not “buying” elections and, in fact, do exactly that — mount an all-out political and legal challenge to laws preventing us from buying votes directly.
As you know, bribing voters is an honored tradition in this country, dating to the early days of the Republic. From the Federalist Papers it’s clear that the practice was known to the Framers; if they had found it incompatible with democracy they surely would have banned it in the constitution. Significantly, they did not — nor did they include the regulation of vote-buying in their enumeration of the powers vested in Congress. Therefore, we would be on solid constitutional grounds in trying to establish a property right of all citizens to vote in federal elections — a right that, like all other property rights, can be sold on the free market.It only makes business sense to invest money where it will do the most good. And it has the advantage that the very wealthy can kick that liberal mainstream media to the curb:I’ve done up a rough business plan for such an effort, based on a Bain & Co. estimate that the average price for a vote will settle in at $1,000. In an open market, of course, we have to expect competitive bidding from the unions (at least until we have succeeded in crushing them) as well as traitors to our class (Soros, Buffett et al). Even at that price, we’re talking a mere $10 billion per election cycle, or $5 billion a year, which on an after-tax basis works out to $4 billion a year. That’s a heck of a lot less than it would cost us if Democrats ever get a hold of power again.So it's a win-win all the way around. Let's proceed.The only worrisome pushback we are likely to get is from the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Because of Citizens United, they are drooling over the prospect of billions of dollars in additional TV and radio advertising from the super PACs that will fatten their already fat profits and boost the value of their government licenses. Normally, we would celebrate such hard-won success, but in this case we will have to feign a more populist stance and argue that the money is better put directly in the hands of hard-working, middle-class voters struggling to pay the mortgage and put the kids through college.Steven Pearlstein: Forget super PACs. A modest proposal for legalizing bribery. - The Washington PostAs Justice Kennedy put it so presciently in Citizens United, even “the appearance of [corporate] “influence or access . . . will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”