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Friday, April 25, 2008

Pebbles in Your Mouth?

                       Pebbles in Your Mouth?
Recently, the US Supreme Court held oral arguments in regard to the so-called "millionaires" provision that limits personal expenditures of a candidate running for Congress to $350,000. In regard to the goal of achieving a "level playing field" in the campaign process, Justice Antonio Scalia sarcastically asked, "What are we to do next if one candidate is more articulate than another, require him to speak with pebbles in his mouth?" What a breath of fresh air.

I am so weary of governmental efforts to "level the playing field." I have lousy hand-eye coordination that kept me from being a competitive Little League player when I was twelve. Does that mean the Little League or the government should have put a patch over one eye of the other players? I was also too short to dunk a basketball. I guess they should have given me a special lower basket.

If there is one thing I hope I taught my children, it’s that life is not fair—at least not on this side of heaven. God has given us all different talents and abilities. We are exactly who He wanted us to be. It is in overcoming some of our limitations that we gain character.

I would love to hit the little white ball straight down the fairway, putt accurately, and shoot in the 70s. It has never happened and it never will happen. 

I’d also love to kick government out of the "fairness" business. Whenever government intervenes, it usually rights one wrong (real or imagined) and creates others. The marketplace, as imperfect as it may be, is always better than government when it comes to fairness. Always!

And when it comes to elections, we’d all be better off shutting down the FEC with all its rules and regulations, and simply requiring full and complete disclosure of all contributions and expenditures on a 48 hour basis over the internet. In spite of what the politicians would lead you to believe, we really are smarter than they think we are. Today’s FEC is a creation that dramatically un-levels the playing field. The incumbents have all the advantages and that is exactly what the creators of the FEC had in mind. Congressmen and Senators get free franking privileges to their constituents, they get a multitude of free flights back to their districts and states, they get free publicity on the local television stations and local newspapers every time they come to town, and they use your tax dollars to build bridges, dams and highways, to enhance their status as bringing home the "pork" to your state or district.

You and I would be better served if all challengers were able to outspend the incumbents, and they would have a chance to do so were it not for the onerous FEC limitations. The playing field has not been leveled, it runs steeply up-hill for challengers thanks to those who created the Federal Election Commission with all its rules, regulations, and limitations. While elections may not always have been fair prior to the FEC, there’s no doubt it’s much less fair today thanks to government meddling.

Lawrence Reed said it best, "Free men are not equal and equal men are not free." Amen.

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