Big Money In Elections

Amazing Essays
Americans live in a world populated by “big money”, by numbers so large they are practically impossible to comprehend. Parents talk to their children about their childhood when movie tickets were only one dollar instead of eight. Some of the biggest culprits of this “big money” society, are the politicians who run the country. As they begin the cycle of elections, whether it’s a congressional or presidential election, they gear up for costs in the millions and billions of dollars. The money that candidates are able to spend come from many different places, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that, in 2012, 6 billion dollars were spent on campaigns (Overby). One of the most influential donors of this money is the interest group; a group …show more content…
The average cost to win a seat in the House of Representatives as of 2013 was $1.1 million dollars per candidate. The average for a seat in the Senate was $6.5 million per candidate (Frumin). At first glance this seems like a huge discrepancy between the two chambers of Congress, but, when one looks closer, the reason for the difference becomes clear. The House of Representatives is based on popular representation and has 435 members while the Senate is based on equal representation, granting two senators per state. Because the Senate is so much smaller than the House, the cost to win a Senate seat will always be larger than the cost to win a seat in the House. To curb the bribery that takes place with interest groups and PACs spending limits for both of these congressional races should be put into place. For the House of Representatives, a $1 million spending limit should be imposed. This limit, being very close to the average wouldn’t hinder many representative races and it would eliminate the extremely wealthy candidates that invariably have an advantage due to the fact that they can pour tens of millions of dollars into their campaigns. The same reasoning applies for the proposed spending limit of $6 million in the Senate. Most politician’s campaigns would be able to remain the same but the overbearing wealth of some candidates would become obsolete, making the …show more content…
Combined, in a presidential election years it can be upwards of two or three billion dollars. To give some perspective, one billion seconds is around thirty-two years; it’s practically impossible to imagine that translated into dollar bills. One of the most influential places that candidates get this money is from PACs who are organized interest groups and, currently, can donate up to $5000 per candidate per election. But, PACs try to get around this limit by creating super PACs which can spend unlimited amounts of money on advertising and other such forms of media rather than just directly donating to a candidate. These super PACs greatly increase the amount of bribery in the current system since it’s an underhanded way to get more support from constituents. To reduce this illegal bribery that is overlooked on society, candidates should have specific spending limits imposed on their campaigns, PACs and interest groups should be able to donate unlimited amounts of money directly to candidates as long as it is recorded by the IRS and made public, and any money that the candidate doesn’t use in their campaign should be returned to the donators. This plan, overall, will reduce bribery and make the politicians who end up running the United States more accountable for the money they receive and more responsive to their

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