CFR is a poor attempt to solve a very serious problem. Power corrupts, and those who wield government power tend to try and use that power to maintain their position. Likewise, the governed groups attempt to coerce the government into using its power to their advantage by passing laws that benefit the group in question. One of the main ways that these groups try to manipulate those in power is by contributing money to their election campaigns. It costs a lot of money to get elected to federal office so the candidates need the support; since they'll be up for election again a few years later they also need to stay in the good graces of their contributors. It's quite a cycle, and it rightly disturbs many people.

However, groups are funded by individuals who contibute money to the cause, and it's morally wrong and bad policy for the government to have the authority to decide when its citizens may speak and what they may say. This is particularly true when it comes to the political speech that is instrumental in determining who exactly gets to wield the government's power. It's as if the management executives of a corporation tried to forbid the board of directors from sharing financial information with shareholders.

The real problem isn't the speech, the real problem is that the people who wield government power use it for selfish gain. This is human nature, and no law can prevent it or even really detect it. You may "know it when you see it" but that's a rather subjective standard. The only real solution to the problem is the reduce the amount of power that the government wields so that there is less incentive to abuse it. In an ideal world, labor unions and corporations would have no reason to contribute money to candidates because they would know that the government could neither hurt their business nor help it by passing laws. The government wouldn't have fat subsidies to hand out to farmers, or control over elderly peoples' purse-strings.

My instinct tells me that we could cut our government budget by 70% and it could still fulfill all its essential functions. In 2002, we spent around 15% of the money on defense, which we should keep. Gut all the other "discretionary" spending (code for pork), and gut the majority of the "mandatory" spending (also code for pork, plus doomed Social Security) and we could all put a lot of money back in our pockets. Additionally, the vast majority of "special interests" would disappear, because the government just wouldn't have the power to help them anymore.



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