Imbalance of Campaign Cash Doesn't Bother Democrats This Election

janklow Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
Imbalance of Campaign Cash Doesn't Bother Democrats This Election
One unappreciated virtue of the Donald Trump presidential campaign is that it may finally vanquish the left-wing argument in favor of government funding of political campaigns.

On the face of it, Trump's campaign would seem to be a textbook case in support of leveling the playing field by assuring that both candidates have equal resources. After all, The New York Times reported in Sunday's paper: "Mr. Trump continues to fight at a severe financial and organizational disadvantage against Mrs. Clinton, leaving him without the funds to campaign effectively across all of the states Mr. Romney contested. At the end of June, Mr. Trump had less than half as much cash in reserve as Mrs. Clinton—$20 million to her $44 million."

This imbalance of campaign cash—Trump's shoestring campaign struggling to subsist on less than half of Clinton's vast fortune—is precisely the sort of "inequality" that Democrats and even the occasional misguided Republican often propose to deal with by means of government redistribution of wealth. A 2013 New York Times editorial about the New York State campaign finance system, for example, said "the most crucial reform of all" is "public financing of elections, which is essential to encouraging competition for legislative offices and reducing the influence of big money on the state's politics."

The usual voices supporting taxpayer-funded political campaigns as a way to get special interest money out of the system have fallen strangely silent now that Donald Trump is the one who is getting outspent, and now that Hillary Clinton is the one being aided by "the influence of big money."

It's almost enough to make a cynic suspect that the left's support for campaign finance "reform" of this sort isn't really about "encouraging competition" at all, but more about providing a kind of welfare subsidy for candidates that the left favors.