By Jack E. Lohman
If there was ever any doubt that corporate money was driving our politicians, the latest HillaryCare proposal will eliminate it.
Hillary Clinton says she's learned a lot since the 1990s,v and indeed she has. Those who thought the Republicansv had a lock on the insurance industry's money should have learned as much. Of all political money contributed so far, Hillary is the top recipient of the insurer's largess, even when including Republicans.
Thus, rather than eliminating the inefficient middleman insurance bureaucracy, which unnecessarily drains 31% of our healthcare dollars, she wants to protect its place in our lives.
So don't count on meaningful health care reform under her watch. She wants to leave the current employerinsurer bureaucracy alone, and add subsidies for those who have no insurance. Of course those subsidies eventually end up in the insurance industry's pockets (wink, wink).
This says just about everything you need to know about our corrupt political system.
But wait! Open it up, conservatives say. Let them give to their heart's content, but mandate full disclosure! Ridiculous. I don't want to know who is bribing my politician, I don't want him or her bribed in the first place. I don't want to track who received what bribes from whom, just to determine whether they are controlled by special interests I agree with. I don't want them controlled by anybody, other than the public they work for. I want to vote for or against their ideas, not their cash flow or by which industry they've been bought by. I want them managing the people's interests, not those of the industries that fund their elections.
Is it too much to ask for non-conflicted government representatives? This isn't Mexico or some third-world country, though it will soon become such if we don't stop the costly political corruption.
There are only two types of political money, public and private.
For politicians to support ideas that are in the best interest of the public, the public must be the funders of their campaigns. Not the other guys. And at $5 per taxpayer per year ($10 at the federal level), that'd be one terrific bargain.
In Arizona and Maine, where voters passed their campaign reform laws by the initiative process, roughly 70% of their elected officials ran (and won) under the Clean Money system. A handful of politicians with corporate backers still object, but they'll likely be replaced soon.
It is particularly interesting that Wisconsin Republicans are clamoring to reduce the very taxes that resulted from the high-flying days of the Republican/Thompson regime, when government giveaways to corporations were commonplace. But the last thing they want to see is a reduction in the private interest cash that helps them get elected, so campaign finance reform is nowhere on their agenda.
Getting re-elected has become more important than running the state and doing the people's business. It's my guess that only a major political turnover in our state will fix our system, so let's get on with it.
All organizations, government and private, need leadership that is owned by the shareholders, and in the government's case those are called taxpayers.
With publicly funded elections the budget debate would be over, spending and taxes would be reduced, and Healthy Wisconsin would have been modified to satisfy businesses and the public alike. The insurance industry would have licked their wounds and moved on to other profitable ventures.
With publicly funded elections, it really wouldn't matter which party was in control because the politicians would always put the public's best interest ahead of all else. And they'd go home holding their heads high. How refreshing.
http://www.throwtherascalsout.org/ (political advocacy)
http://www.businesscoalition.net/ Business Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare (a founding member)
http://www.moneyedpoliticians.com/ (Book site: "Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America")
http://www.wicleanelections.org/ (Describes the benefits of public funding of campaigns)