Rep. Gregg Harper: Drop subsidies for politicians

Gregg Harper

Since 1976, more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer moneyhas been given to politicians to run for office. The underutilized Presidential Election Campaign Fund has subsidized presidential candidates and nominating conventions from its inception.

Four decades later, the presidential fund has fallen into obsolescence, so much that in the 2012 election cycle nobody chose to participate in the program, yet the parties did take funds for their respective conventions….

…Supporters argue for the need to modernize the public funding system, but we should examine whether valuable taxpayer dollars are better used on other programs. The fund does not create jobs or stir innovation of any kind, which begs the question: Why should Americans be providing taxpayer subsidies for politicians?

Last April, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act became an example of Congress prioritizing a pediatric research initiative at the National Institutes of Health over taxpayer funding of political conventions. In a time of scarce resources and a need for smaller government, that was not a hard decision.