No Free Parties; Taxpayers Shouldn't Have to Pay for Political Conventions

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

All too often, lawmakers shrug their shoulders at complaints about wasteful spending, as if to say no big deal, that's just politics.

Well, when taxpayer money really is going for just politics, rather than for the public good, that's when it's most indefensible.

In that light, it's high time we said goodbye to the 34-year-old practice of taxpayers footing part of the bill for the two major national party conventions during presidential elections. Especially following a year of record federal budget deficits and growing national debt, the Democratic and Republican parties should fend for themselves without confiscating money from Joe Taxpayer.

At best, it seems unfair to ask an American public whose members hold a vast range of political ideologies to kick in a portion of the funding for the conventions of both - but only - the Republicans and Democrats, as the conventions of other political groups are (thankfully) not eligible for this money. Perhaps worse, though, is that the two major political parties receive millions of dollars for their conventions from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund at a time when unemployment hovers around 10 percent, economic growth is feeble and the median household income continues to drop steadily. …