In response to the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision striking down aggregate limits on donations to political candidates, liberals decry the collapse of campaign finance reforms from the post-Watergate era of the 1970’s.
But these laments never acknowledge that if these rules are meant to lessen the influence of money on politics then they have failed completely: campaigns raise and spend vastly more money than 40 years ago, much of it by shadowy “independent” PACs designed to circumvent idiotic campaign finance limitations.
Moreover, the current system protects incumbents against serious challengers by making it harder for newcomers to raise money. Before the “reforms” incumbents outraised challengers by a margin of 3-2, but today they raise and spend four times as much as their challengers. It’s no wonder that Congressional elections now see incumbents winning more than 95% of the time!