Government Financing of Campaigns: Public Choice and Public Values

In this policy briefing, John Samples argues against the notions that taxpayer financed campaigns would increase the integrity of elections and lawmaking, political equality, and electoral competitiveness. One of the popular arguments in support of government financed campaigns is that they will reduce the incidence of corruption. Samples opines that taxpayer financed campaigns are themselves corrupt, as public funds are used to serve private interests. He also rebukes the argument that the public favors the rhetorically-challenged message of “clean elections” and “reform.” Ultimately, Samples’ analysis demonstrates why the efforts of the “reformers” are likely to fail.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.