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Thread: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    If that same button cost $1,000,000, would you be able to afford it?
    If I wanted a button that bad, I would get some friends and we would timeshare it.

    The point is to make it affordable for everyone to have a roughly equal opportunity to monetarily engage in political discourse (if we entertain the rather absurd notion that money = speech). By removing any limits to contributions, Mark Cuban can buy off a politician who wouldn't even need to listen to my opposing viewpoint, because I simply don't have enough money to make it worth his time.
    you've already believe that speech doesn't equal money, so I don't see why you would think money equals speech.

    What you described is called lobbying, which isn't illegal. Unless you are describing where Cuban bribes the politician to do him favors, which is already illegal.

    If you don't see how it's a problem to let only a wealthy few control the government, then I'm not sure you really belong in this discussion.

    If all campaign contributions are public, then all the information is on the table. If everyone can only donate $50, you MUST put a monetary value on 'in-kind' donations, up to and including my voice, which is a ban on political speech. If you don't, then the wealthy can donate their $50 like everyone else to the campaign, while doing a "friends of X" campaign not in conjunction with the official campaign.

    Do I think we need to reform campaign finance? Absolutely, by making all donations reportable and taxable.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Ah. You did get it, you are merely being obtuse .
    No, I didn't get why you post such an absurd comment or why you used guns to make the point when we aren't banning speech.

    No. My point is that you are expecting an effect (disarmament) which will not occur.
    The effect will occur. Your argument that it doesn't is lacking any credibility. Will the law be violated? Sure, just like laws against theft and murder are violated. But it wouldn't change the fact that MOST people would abide by the law, which is the point.

    The idea we can't legislate because the law might be violated is absurd.

    When you make it more difficult for people to donate to candidates, you do not stop money flowing to support candidates, you merely change how they go about doing it.
    I'm not arguing to make it more difficult, I'm arguing to set a limit. Big difference.

    That is what you are arguing for.
    No, I am not. I find it funny someone who isn't making sense tries to tell me what I'M arguing.

    This will achieve neither of the ends that you have described. Firstly, because many people do not have that extra cash to donate, and so by your logic we are still allowing those who are wealthier to speak more than those who are not
    Nonsense. It's simple mathematics.

    Let's say one family has only $500 they can spend in a year and another family has $20 million they can spend. If there are no limits, the first family's donation is a minute percentage of what is spent between the two families. If the limit is $750, then that $500 is 33% of what is spent.

    This creates a far more equal situation of speech.

    (which is a ridiculous backwards standard of judging a freedom by whether or not it is used - but it's yours)
    Once again, you have misunderstood or blatantly bastardized what I said, and given your history, I'm guess it's the latter.

    The ability of a right is not removed if a person chooses not to use it. It IS removed it they are denied using it. And being able to only spend $500 compared to $20 million is, in essence, being denied from using it.

    and secondly because many people will donate a variety within that limit, meaning that their speech is still unequal.
    Are you really trying to claim my position is faulty because of a 100% equal standard? That's asinine. Not once have I said it has to be 100% the exact same amount of money. I've even said things directly contrary to that.

    The point isn't so that everyone spends EXACTLY the same amount of money and for you to build that strawman to knock down is dishonest. The point is that everyone has equal speech, not equal ability to spend. Obviously some people will choose to spend less of the limit, no one argues that. But that doesn't mean they would be denied the opportunity to, which is what currently happens.

    Everyone can scrape together a sizeable percentage of $750 (again, just a random number). Not everyone can scrape together a sizable percentage of $200 million. If it comes down to what Mark Cuban wants or what I want, Mark Cuban will always win, regardless of the merits of his position. This is not equal.

    Ah, but the law you have described does not, actually, create equal speech. It merely limits speech.
    If you're going to continually dishonestly represent my argument, let me know now so I can just write you off as another dishonest poster. It's hardly anything new with you, but I suppose I had hoped you would present arguments honestly in this thread.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by Samhain View Post
    If I wanted a button that bad, I would get some friends and we would timeshare it.
    So one millionaire is worth 10 of you and your friends. And you think that's equal? Why is the millionaire more worthy of governmental representation than you?

    you've already believe that speech doesn't equal money, so I don't see why you would think money equals speech.
    Because it's the premise of this thread?

    What you described is called lobbying, which isn't illegal. Unless you are describing where Cuban bribes the politician to do him favors, which is already illegal.
    I would assume you're smart enough to understand lobbying is simply another name for bribing, correct? Oh, I know theoretical differences exist, but if Big Oil has put millions of dollars over the years into your campaign fund, you're going to help them out.

    If all campaign contributions are public, then all the information is on the table.
    All campaign contributions aren't truly public, but they should be.

    If everyone can only donate $50, you MUST put a monetary value on 'in-kind' donations, up to and including my voice, which is a ban on political speech.
    No, you don't. Everyone has a voice. Everyone can walk out to their street corner and sing the praises of a candidate. But not everyone can donate millions of dollars to a politician for support on legislation.

    Do I think we need to reform campaign finance? Absolutely, by making all donations reportable and taxable.
    We need a lot of campaign finance. But it won't happen, as the ones with the power to make it happen have no incentive to do so.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    The problem is, we have it backward.

    As it is, someone with a lot of money and a political ax to grind spends a few bazillion dollars so that I get to view political propaganda. Now, it's not that I don't appreciate the effort on my behalf, you understand, but there is the principle of each individual paying for his own benefits. Therefore, I propose we put all of the political ads on pay per view. If I feel a need to view such, then I'll pay for it myself. No third party will have to pay for my viewing pleasure, personal responsibility will be preserved, and the bazillionaires can keep their political donations.

    How's that for a good right wing solution?
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    If more money means more speech, wouldn't equal money mean equal speech?

    Seems to me if we had low limits on donations, then everyone could have equal speech. I wonder if Ted Cruz supports equality...

    Of course he does: one dollar gets one vote.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    So one millionaire is worth 10 of you and your friends. And you think that's equal? Why is the millionaire more worthy of governmental representation than you?
    Explain how a campaign button is "governmental representation".

    I would assume you're smart enough to understand lobbying is simply another name for bribing, correct? Oh, I know theoretical differences exist, but if Big Oil has put millions of dollars over the years into your campaign fund, you're going to help them out.
    If I visit my Congressman, or call his office, to express my opinion, that is lobbying. If I donate money to a group, who in turn sends a representative to talk to my Congressman, to express the group's opinion, that's lobbying.

    How is any of that bribing?

    If a politician decides that campaign contributions sway his opinion, then the problem is with the politician.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    No, you don't. Everyone has a voice. Everyone can walk out to their street corner and sing the praises of a candidate. But not everyone can donate millions of dollars to a politician for support on legislation.
    I see you ignored my example of why you must put value on in-kind donations, or are you stating that non-official capacity campaigning by anyone is allowed?

    I understand what you are arguing. Your view is all politicians are corrupt, and any avenue to restrict their acceptance of cash is high value. In each example we've talked about, you eventually return to money = bribes = do what I say. Not sure why you don't just address corrupt politicians.
    Last edited by Samhain; 03-17-15 at 12:29 PM.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    If you are incapable of recognizing that so long as we legislate buying and selling, the first things bought and sold will be legislators, I'm not sure you belong here. Want to get the money out of politics? Make it unprofitable by getting the politicians out of the money.
    I'll just address that - we have legislators and their JOB is to make laws, regulate, tax, spend. So how does one eliminate the legislating of "buying and selling" when we have government and their entire reason to exist is to do just that? So to the extent that it's unprofitable for Big Money if somehow politicians did get out of the money, they're willing to spend massive amounts making sure that does not happen.

    Ironically, by reducing the reach of government and it's power to effect who wins and who loses in the marketplace, Cruz would actually reduce the incentives for the Big Money Folks to invest in politicians, reducing their extent to which "a wealthy few control the government."
    You're not that naive. As often as not, the reason to 'invest' in a politician is to legalize what is or should be illegal. Pollution is always a good example - reduce the reach of government and its power to prevent it, and polluters offload their costs onto the rest of us, without limits or with fewer limits. The "big money folks" seek to privatize profits, and socialize losses. As any bought sheriff knows, that can happen when the sheriff simply does NOT do things, such as worry why a helicopter is making regular trips to a farm at the end of that road (example from near where I am).

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    No, I didn't get why you post such an absurd comment or why you used guns to make the point when we aren't banning speech.
    You are attempting to ban speech. Specifically you are attempting to ban it beyond an arbitrary threshold.

    The effect will occur. Your argument that it doesn't is lacking any credibility. Will the law be violated? Sure, just like laws against theft and murder are violated. But it wouldn't change the fact that MOST people would abide by the law, which is the point.
    The effect will certainly not occur - and my argument has the credibility of having already happened. We can say with the perfect vision of hindsight that I am, in fact, correct on this. Which is why you chose to cut that point out of my reply when you responded

    The idea we can't legislate because the law might be violated is absurd.
    Agreed. That is why the "you'll just push them into illegal abortions!" argument is invalid.

    I'm not arguing to make it more difficult, I'm arguing to set a limit. Big difference.
    Oh. So what If I were to not donate to a candidate, but instead donate to a group of like-minded individuals who believe in pooling their resources to benefit the public mind, and believe that the best way in which the public mind can be benefited is that it be adequately educated concerning the dangers of Candidate X, who just so happens to oppose my preferred Candidate Y? What if I were not even to donate in the context of an election, but rather to a cause that does political lobbying, such as the Sierra Club? What if I were to stand up my own advocacy organization, as Bill and Melinda Gates have done? Am I not exercising more speech than those who do not do this?

    No, I am not. I find it funny someone who isn't making sense tries to tell me what I'M arguing.
    it is not my fault you are self contradicting, first seeking equal speech, and then admitting that you are fine with unequal speech; insisting that exercising a right is the same as having a right, and then admitting that not exercising a right does not mean that you do not have it.

    Nonsense. It's simple mathematics.

    Let's say one family has only $500 they can spend in a year and another family has $20 million they can spend. If there are no limits, the first family's donation is a minute percentage of what is spent between the two families. If the limit is $750, then that $500 is 33% of what is spent.

    This creates a far more equal situation of speech.
    So you are not actually in favor of equal speech, you are in favor of limiting the speech of others down to where it is closer to the speech of the lowest common denominator.... which is pretty much what I described with Joe Schmoe. You wish to limit my speech to something more in line with his capability to come up with disposable cash.

    Unfortunately, the concept is the same - the ability and willingness of my family to spend more on pro-life causes does not mean that either Bill Gates or the homeless bum on the street are having their right to do so limited.

    Additionally, it is worth noting, what happens here is not that the family's both spend $500 on political speech. What happens here is that one family spends $500 on political speech, and another spends $100,000 on lawyers and $1.9 million on political speech.

    The ability of a right is not removed if a person chooses not to use it. It IS removed it they are denied using it.
    Precisely correct.

    And being able to only spend $500 compared to $20 million is, in essence, being denied from using it.
    Precisely incorrect, just as being able to spend only $500 compared to $750 is not being denied from using it. Nobody is denying anyone without $20 million from donating it. No one is restricting them. They are restricted only by themselves.

    Are you really trying to claim my position is faulty because of a 100% equal standard? That's asinine.
    I agree, it would be asinine, which is why I so strongly opposed your defense of Equal Speech earlier. I am happy to see that you have decided to abandon that standard for one that feels better to you, even if it is logically incoherent.

    Not once have I said it has to be 100% the exact same amount of money.
    ...What does "equal" mean, in your world?

  9. #29
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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696
    The point isn't so that everyone spends EXACTLY the same amount of money and for you to build that strawman to knock down is dishonest. The point is that everyone has equal speech, not equal ability to spend.
    , except that if money is speech, then equal speech does require equal money.

    I don't know if you went to a public school where they didn't cover this, or not, but in mathematics this is known as: "If A=B, and B=C, then A=C".

    Obviously some people will choose to spend less of the limit, no one argues that. But that doesn't mean they would be denied the opportunity to, which is what currently happens.
    Really. So let us say that the limit is lowered, and I choose to spend less than the limit - let us say I choose to spend only $50.

    Now, let us say that the law is suddenly reversed, and the current laws are put back on the books. What, exactly, is denying me the opportunity to spend $50?

    You are confusing the effects of a floor, with those of a ceiling. If we were to say (for example) that you have to spend a minimum of $750 in order to donate, then your opportunity would be restricted. If we were to say that you have to spend exactly $750 (gotta be equal, after all!), then your opportunity would be restricted. But so long as you are free to spend whatever you please, your opportunity is not restricted.


    But do you see here how "Unequal Money"="Unequal Speech", if "Speech"="Money"?


    Everyone can scrape together a sizeable percentage of $750 (again, just a random number). Not everyone can scrape together a sizable percentage of $200 million.
    so? So long as everyone is free to spend what they please, their opportunity to speak is not restricted

    If it comes down to what Mark Cuban wants or what I want, Mark Cuban will always win, regardless of the merits of his position. This is not equal.
    On the contrary, politicians do not win seats based off of how much money they have - they win them based off of how many votes they get. If you are effective at convincing more of your neighbors (or, if more of your neighbors simply agree with you, and value the topic as strongly as you do), then you will indeed defeat Mark Cuban.

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    Re: Ted Cruz renews call for unlimited campaign contributions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    I'll just address that - we have legislators and their JOB is to make laws, regulate, tax, spend. So how does one eliminate the legislating of "buying and selling" when we have government and their entire reason to exist is to do just that?
    Where in the world did you get this idea?

    Might I suggest some light reading?

    You're not that naive. As often as not, the reason to 'invest' in a politician is to legalize what is or should be illegal. Pollution is always a good example - reduce the reach of government and its power to prevent it, and polluters offload their costs onto the rest of us, without limits or with fewer limits. The "big money folks" seek to privatize profits, and socialize losses. As any bought sheriff knows, that can happen when the sheriff simply does NOT do things, such as worry why a helicopter is making regular trips to a farm at the end of that road (example from near where I am).
    Pollution is indeed an excellent example - big businesses use EPA regulations to protect themselves from competition all the time. Another good example would be the Corn and Sugar industries. Alternative Energies donate massive amounts to candidates, who, in turn, ensure massive federal aid to Alternative Energies. Public Unions are another good example of the giant-money-cycle wherein politicians get themselves taxpayer money by laundering it through a third party.... but can only do so because of their ability to use political power to defend and strengthen that third party. Break the ability to distribute taxpayer largess, whether in cash or other economic advantages, and you break the cycle.

    Bill Gates, for example, donated roughly $0 to political causes. Until his competitors hired enough congresscritters, and the like to get monopoly charges brought up against Microsoft. Now, Bill Gates owns half the Senate. Because it was made worth his while to do so.

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