August 1st, 2013
07:54 PM ET

The root of Washington’s ills

By Fareed Zakaria

Compared with other democracies, the United States has become not just an outlier but practically another planet. The total cost of the 2010 national elections in Britain — the mother of parliamentary government — was $86 million. The cost of the 2012 U.S. elections has been estimated to be nearly 75 times that number, at $6.3 billion.

Taking money out of politics is a mammoth challenge. Perhaps the best that one could hope for would be to limit instead what Congress can sell. In other words, enact a thorough reform of the tax code, ridding it of the thousands of special exemptions, credits and deductions that are institutionalized, legalized corruption.

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Topics: Politics • United States

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Phelix Unger

    Were not trying to by the electorate, nope, not us. Souls have really lost there dollar value.

    August 2, 2013 at 12:20 am | Reply
  2. Heike

    Democracy should not mean, that there are no rules, no security, no abinding alliances, no sound judgment, no reasonable policy, ... !

    August 2, 2013 at 4:51 am | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    The list of examples goes on and on.....History shows that many lobbying efforts were myopic polices and instant solutions that served transient purposes.

    August 2, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Years later they are criticised by new power holders in the Congress, who do exactly the same, as what their predecessors had done. Yet nobody seems to learn the mistakes made in the past.

      August 2, 2013 at 8:13 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    In 2000 a US Congressional committee gave its support to a bill which should allow China permanent trade privileges. Businesses in the US saw the trade deal as opening up unprecedented access to China's 1.4 million people.

    August 2, 2013 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The US Chamber of Commerce had 16 full-time lobbyists working on the issue in Washington. Today many in the US have a different view.

      August 2, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
  5. George patton

    If we ever took the money out of U.S. politics, that may go a long way toward curbing the power of the M.I.C. and the war lobby in Washington. That will not happen anytime soon, unfortunately!

    August 2, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
  6. JAL

    I guess most really don't understand the Yoda concept.

    August 2, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply
  7. THORN

    here, here!

    August 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply

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