The Corner

Politics & Policy

Democrats Reach for Taxpayer Convention Subsidies

Ronald Reagan once quipped that “The closest thing to eternal life is a government program.”  He may have been right, as evidence keeps cropping up that even programs that have been mercifully ended have an afterlife. Think the Export-Import Bank, which comeback from the dead last month.

Now the Democratic Party is trying to make up for failures in its fundraising by drafting a plan to revive a taxpayers’ subsidy for their national convention in Philadelphia next year. 

The Washington Times reports:

“Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is also a congresswoman from Florida, has drafted a bill to restore money that both parties used to receive from the federal government to help defray the costs of running their quadrennial conventions. The Congressional Budget Office revealed the move in a letter released Friday.”

 It was only last year that Congress decided, with President Obama going along, that the political parties didn’t need the subsidy and could raise the money for their conventions themselves. They directed the money be used to finance research on children’s diseases at the National Institutes of Health.  A $50 million subsidy to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for security costs at both party conventions – in place since 9/11 – was left untouched.

But Democrats are already grasping to take back the money. The DNC raised $51.2 million this year through the end of October, but it has spent $53.4 million.  The Republican National Committee has raised $89.3 million but spent only $74 million. 

Polls consistently show that Americans resent having to pay for politicians and their activities – which helps explain the failure of taxpayer-funded election schemes. If Democrats want to persist in trying to get federal money for their Party in Philadelphia next year, I have no doubt some outside group will run commercials during the coverage pointing that out and embarrassing the party’s nominee in the process.  

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