The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Elections

Special interest groups and big donors make campaign contributions because they believe that the candidate will support legislation favorable to them and their agenda.
US District Court Southern District of New York

A growing number of Congressmen are calling for Sen. Bob Menendez to resign after being charged for a variety of crimes, including bribery. Menendez and his wife allegedly received cash, gold bars, and other assets in exchange for the Senator’s influence. The calls for Menedez to resign are a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Every Congressman calling for Menendez to resign is equally guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for his influence. The only difference is that the alleged bribes given to Menendez were not reported, while the bribes given to other Congressmen are. Those bribes are often called campaign contributions.

Special interest groups and big donors make campaign contributions because they believe that the candidate will support legislation favorable to them and their agenda. They are receiving money in exchange for political influence, which is no different from what Menendez is accused of. Apparently, it is okay to receive money for political influence so long as you report who is providing the bribe.

It is often said that we should get money out of politics. That won’t happen until we get politics out of our wallet. Politicians hold an immense amount of power over our lives and our businesses. Individuals, special interest groups, and others want to influence how that power is wielded. That influence comes with a price.

The solution is to limit government to its property purpose—the protection of individual rights, including property rights. Such a government would not dictate what may or not be manufactured. It would not compel individuals to use certain products, such as wind and solar. It would not inject itself into the relationships between landlords and tenants, between employers and employees.

If government officials did not have immense power over our lives, the motivation for bribery and campaign contributions would be virtually eliminated. Special interest groups and big donors would have no need to exert political influence.

Prosecution for bribery and campaign finance reform do nothing to curtail the desire to influence politicians. Limiting the powers of government does.

Brian Phillips is the founder of the Texas Institute for Property Rights. Brian has been defending property rights for nearly thirty years. He played a key role in defeating zoning in Houston, Texas, and in Hobbs, New Mexico. He is the author of three books: Individual Rights and Government Wrongs, The Innovator Versus the Collective, and Principles and Property Rights. Visit his website at texasipr.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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