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Why do taxpayers have to pay for these conventions?

by Evie / August 2, 2004 9:59 PM PDT
Worse Than Useless

by Rep. Ron Paul, MD

Not all Americans know their taxes fund both the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions. In fact, the political parties receive nearly $15 million apiece from the Federal Election Committee to hold their conventions. Checking the little box on your 1040 form to give one dollar to the parties changes nothing, as the convention money comes from general revenues whether you check the box or not.

Massachusetts and New York taxpayers face an even bigger burden, as security costs and police overtime pay likely will run another $25 million in state and local taxes for each convention.

Why should taxpayers be expected to pay for private political conventions? There is nothing sacred or noble about political parties, nor do they serve any altruistic purpose. Political parties per se have no basis in the Constitution, yet they hold tremendous power over our lives.

I have no problem with whatever convention the parties want to have, but see no reason they should not be the ones footing the entire bill!

Evie Happy
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I agree
by C1ay / August 2, 2004 10:11 PM PDT

I see no reason that the DNC and RNC shouldn't pay their own bills. Of course, I think the candidates should foot their bills as well. They should delete that little box on the 1040. Then again, in recent news it looks like the 1040 itself could be headed for deletion Happy

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If we can believe the news.............
by Del McMullen / August 3, 2004 12:15 AM PDT

.....reports that we hear following the Boston thing,
ie, low voter interest in conventions, and growing
resistance by news agencies to cover them, and from the
"lack of bounce" from conventions, and failure of "hosting"
cities to realize financial gain, possibly, hopefully,
these political conventions might become a thing of the past.

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Re: If we can believe the news.............
by Josh K / August 3, 2004 12:31 AM PDT

They became pointless years ago. It's just a coronation ceremony for the nominee these days, though I suppose it does get people watching and interested, and may give us a chance to see some up-and-comers in action (e.g. Barack Obama). Time was when the convention actually had a purpose but that time is long gone. The security nightmares in both cities, especially with the heightened terror alerts, are just way too inconvenient and way too expensive. New York STILL hasn't gotten all the money it was supposed to get from the Feds for post-9/11 rebuilding. I know they argue that the conventioneers spend a lot of money and help the cities recoup the costs, but I'd agree that it's probably a good idea to see the conventions at least shortened or even done away with completely.

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Re: Why do taxpayers have to pay for these conventions?
by Mary Kay / August 3, 2004 3:30 AM PDT

Yes this policy of the taxpayer footing the bill should be rescinded. It is a hold over from when communication and transportation were slow.They had a purpose but have since outlived their usefulness.

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Since corporations already pay millions for sponsorship...
by Paul C / August 3, 2004 4:20 AM PDT

...of both parties' conventions, why not give them sponsorship rights like we do college bowl games; e.g., the AT&T Republican National Convention or the Democratic National Convention presented by Ben and Jerry's?

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Re: Since corporations already pay millions for sponsorship.
by Josh K / August 3, 2004 4:26 AM PDT

The Republican Convention should be sponsored by Budweiser, just for old times sake.


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(NT) (NT) Josh! You forgot Coors!
by Dan McC / August 3, 2004 4:50 AM PDT
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Re: Why do taxpayers have to pay for these conventions?
by Angeline Booher / August 3, 2004 4:36 AM PDT

Hi, Evie,

It is a heck of a lot of money, for sure. But checking that little box is voluntary.

I guess I am old-fashioned. I see the conventions as "The Greatest Shows On Earth' (and I don't mean circuses). We are the only ones who have them, and they are just every four years.

I wouldn't know who the heck half of the speakers, etc. are if it weren't for the coverage.

The flip side is that they are unfettered lobby-rich. As there are no rules that apply to how much the favor-seekers can spend on the parties they throw for all in attendance, alliances can certainly be formed.

Maybe so many would not be so eager to attend without them, though. I am reminded of the line from "A Christmas Carol" re: Scrooge's funeral...

"I'll go if a lunch is provided." Happy

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