Patterico's Pontifications


Kirsten Gillibrand Polling At Near-Bottom, Wants To Give Voters Money To Donate To Their Preferred Candidates

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:58 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It continues to be amusing to watch the 2020 Democratic candidates attempt to out-woke each other and commit to spending even more of taxpayers’ money as they seek the nomination. We’ve had everything, from navel-gazing Beto O’Rourke nattering on about his road trip (and sudden departure from the campaign trail to help find the family’s missing turtle), woke-but-tone-deaf Cory Booker promising some token woman out there the second-slot if he’s the nominee, Kamala Harris, once the chief law enforcement officer and top lawyer in one of the nation’s most populous states being unable to make up her mind as to whether convicted felons should have the right to vote, Elizabeth Warren promising to cancel almost all student loan debt while offering free college education at public schools, Joe Biden awkwardly still working out his issues with women, and his hands, and most unbelievably, self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders studiously avoiding the unfolding chaos in Venezuela during a 12-minute interview on CNN as pro-Maduro forces in an armored military vehicle plowed into protesters. And now we have Kirsten Gillibrand unveiling her first big policy plan. Gillibrand is currently in danger of not even making it to the debate stage, so why not go big:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., unveiled a plan on Wednesday to give every voter up to $600 in what she calls “Democracy Dollars” that they can donate to federal candidates for office.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News to discuss the roll out of her first major 2020 policy initiative, Gillibrand said her “Clean Elections Plan” would help reduce the influence of big money in politics.

“If you want to accomplish anything that the American people want us to accomplish — whether it’s healthcare as a right, better public schools, better economy — you have to take on the greed and corruption that determine everything in Washington,” she said.

Under Gillibrand’s plan, every eligible voter could register for vouchers to donate up to $100 in a primary election and $100 in a general election each cycle, either all at once or in $10 increments to one or more candidates over time. Each participant would get a separate $200 pool for House, Senate and presidential contests for a total maximum donation of $600 for those federal offices.

There would be strings attached for both donors and candidates. The money could go only to elections in the donor’s state, although they could be used for House candidates outside the voter’s district.

Politicians would face much tighter limits on donations. To be eligible to receive “Democracy Dollars,” a candidate would have to voluntarily agree to forgo any contributions larger than $200 per donor. That’s a big drop from the current maximum of $2,800 per primary cycle and $2,800 for the general election.

Gillibrand predicted candidates would opt into the voucher system “because the potential of how much you could raise in this system is exponentially higher.”

And how much will the plan cost?

The campaign didn’t provide an estimate of the total cost of the plan, but said it would pay for the voucher program by limiting a corporate deduction for executive compensation, which it estimates would raise $60 billion over 10 years. Candidates, parties and outside groups spent a combined total total of $5.7 billion in the 2018 cycle and $6.5 billion in 2016. In addition to vouchers, the campaign said its plan would include a system to investigate and prosecute potential fraud.

Heh. It looks like fellow candidate Andrew Yang beat Gillibrand to the punch by proposing a similar policy on his campaign website. The only real difference being that Yang is proposing $100 a year, while Gillibrand’s number is $600.

I guess if I were polling as low as Gillibrand, I’d try paying people to vote for me too.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Report: Trump Favors $2 Trillion for Infrastructure

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Hooray for out of control spending:

The White House in 2018 released a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, under which city, state and local governments would provide 80 percent of project funding, including through private investment, while the federal government would kick in 20 percent.

But Trump said in Tuesday’s meeting he likes the $2 trillion number because he thinks it sounds better than lower figures, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

“I like the number you’ve been using, Nancy. Two trillion,” Trump said, according to a Democratic source. “Two trillion. That number you can talk about.”

Who knows whether the anonymous source who provided that quote is telling the truth, but there is good reason to believe it, as you’re about to see in a video. If this is accurate, Trump superfans will support him, no matter what they have previously said about federal spending under Obama.

Watch Chuckie S. exulting in the tremendous amount of money Trump wanted to spend — more than the Democrats initially proposed:

We agreed on a number, which was very very good, $2 trillion for infrastructure. Originally we had started a little lower, even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion. And that is a very good thing.

I’ll close with this quote:

“I would like to do something. It may not be typically Republican,” Trump told the Democrats, according to the senior Democratic source.

Oh, I don’t know about that. Spending taxpayer money like a drunken sailor, at this point, is just as typically Republican as it is typically Democrat.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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