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Why Ronald Reagan Didn’t Have To Hold A Single Reelection Fundraiser

Why Ronald Reagan Didn’t Have To Hold A Single Reelection Fundraiser

 

Written by Josh Israel

Conservative media outlets have been abuzz this week with a misleading detail from a new book and the Republican National Committee (RNC) has been only too happy to add fuel to the fire.

“Barack Obama has already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected president since Richard Nixon combined,” the (UK) Daily Mail reported Sunday, based on Brendan J. Doherty’s new book The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign. The paper also observed that Ronald Reagan did not have a single fundraising event for his 1984 re-election.

Despite the GOP’s overt support for unlimited campaign fundraising, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski blasted Obama for fundraising for his re-election:

It’s no surprise that the Campaigner-In-Chief has taken raising money for his re-election to a whole new level. The worst part is the American taxpayer has been footing the bill.

Though many on the right have gleefully repeated that President Obama has had more fundraising events than his five predecessors, they ignore something very important: context. President Obama is stuck spending so much time raising money for his re-election campaign for two major reasons.

First, the nation’s public financing system for presidential candidates, which went into effect in 1976 and was used by Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush for their re-elections, has fallen apart. The maximum $91.2 million available for the major parties’ nominees is insufficient for the costs of a modern national campaign. Neither Obama nor Mitt Romney will participate in the system this year. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who lost his presidential bid after accepting the funds and associated limits, said that “no Republican in his or her right mind is going to agree to public financing. I mean, that’s dead. That is over.” Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the 2004 loser, strongly discouraged his party’s 2008 nominee from accepting the grants, noting that it was insufficient to “adequately fund the campaigns.”

But this was not always true. The five previous presidents needed to raise money for only their primary campaign, as public financing would kick in for the general. Reagan, meanwhile, was able to avoid raising any money entirely because he faced no primary and thus automatically received the Republican nomination and the the public financing that came with it. (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also escaped re-nomination contests, but opted to use some primary funds to boost their standing for the general.)

Second, President Obama is the first president to run for re-election in the post-Citizens United world. While other Presidents ran against opponents whose fundraising was limited by individual contribution limits, Obama has to keep pace with not just the Romney campaign, but also with outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money raised from wealthy donors and big corporations, which on balance support Republicans. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC and Crossroads GPS 501(c)(4) alone may have $200 million or more to spend on television attack ads, and numerous other right-wing organizations are also getting into the act.

Also, unlike most of his predecessors and Mitt Romney, Obama has vowed to not accept PAC money, accept donations from lobbyists, or allow any registered lobbyists to “bundle” contributions for his campaign. That leaves fundraising from generous donors as the only way to afford a modern presidential campaign.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.

 

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7:04AM PDT on May 12, 2012

My post was truncated.

Revenues in billions:

…………..Current…Constant…..Revenues
………………$$........2005 $........% of GDP
1981……..$599……$1,251……..19.6
1983……..$601……$1,113……..17.5
1988……..$909……$1,420……..18.2

1992……$1,091…..$1,467……..17.5
1994……$1,259…..$1,617……..18.0
2000…..$2,025…..$2,309………20.6

2007……$2,568…..$2,413……..18.5
2010……$2,163…..$1,928…..…15.1

You have to work to pull the government?? If your work involves writing fantasy, you may help us all. If it involves data analysis, you’re a brake on society.

7:02AM PDT on May 12, 2012

@David F

Frustrating how the fascist is ignorant of facts. The Reagan tax cuts almost doubled revenues?? BULLS*%T, they increased 13%. The numbers are in the table below. Cuts began in 1982. Inflation adjusted revenues initially DECREASED. Reagan then RAISED taxes. TOTAL post tax cut (1982 to 1988) increase in inflation adjusted revenues was 13% 13% is almost double??? I often wonder about the 12 inch things referred to in porn. Guess the writers have Republican like fantasies.

Tax increase reduces revenues?? After the 1993 tax INCREASE, inflation adjusted revenues increased 57% (1992 to 2000). Revenues hit 20.6 % of GDP, the highest in 55 years. We had a budget SURPLUS.

We have a spending problem not a revenue problem??? BULLS%*T. As a % of GDP, 2010 revenues in 2010 were the LOWEST in 67 years. If revenues were the same as 2007, the best Bush year, the budget deficit would have roughly $500 billion LOWER.

Revenues in billions:
…………..Current…Constant…..Revenues
………………$$........2005 $........% of GDP
1981……..$599……$1,251……..19.6
1983……..$601……$1,113……..17.5
1988……..$909……$1,420……..18.2

1992……$1,091…..$1,467……..17.5
1994……$1,259…..$1,617……..18.0
2000…..$2,025…..$2,309………20.6

2007……$2,568…..$2,41

6:58PM PDT on May 11, 2012

David C By the way did you forget Tom Daschle was majority Senate leader 2001 - 2003

6:55PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Hey David C, Sorry I don’t have time to play Gotcha, I have to go to work to help pull the government cart.
Frustrating that the socialist refuse to see how powerful "trickle down economics" works. Reagan’s Tax cuts almost doubled revenues to the government. Proving that if you want more money from the rich, cut their taxes. It also proves that no matter how much money is given to politicians they gleefully and immediately spend it. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. See how good Government insurance works, Social security is the worlds biggest pyramid scheme. It has to crash.
It was the Dems social engineering that instigated the 08 crash.
Barney Frank and Chris Dodd forced the banks to sell mortgages to folks that could not afford homes (Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, Pub.L. 95-128, title VIII), The Mortgage brokers are told make these loans and you will get a commission, doesn’t matter if they pay anything down. The loans are backed by the full faith and power of the US government. Sell, sell, sell what a deal for the banks. Not a problem till the entire housing market dominos. Since we allowed our government runaway authority we now pay, pay, pay Now the hero government comes along blames and nationalizes the banks and tells everyone to thank the government and send more money. http://www.propublica.org/article/from-dodd-frank-to-dud , Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Pub.L. 111- 203, H.R. 4173.

By

6:55PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Hey David C, Sorry I don’t have time to play Gotcha, I have to go to work to help pull the government cart.
Frustrating that the socialist refuse to see how powerful "trickle down economics" works. Reagan’s Tax cuts almost doubled revenues to the government. Proving that if you want more money from the rich, cut their taxes. It also proves that no matter how much money is given to politicians they gleefully and immediately spend it. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. See how good Government insurance works, Social security is the worlds biggest pyramid scheme. It has to crash.
It was the Dems social engineering that instigated the 08 crash.
Barney Frank and Chris Dodd forced the banks to sell mortgages to folks that could not afford homes (Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, Pub.L. 95-128, title VIII), The Mortgage brokers are told make these loans and you will get a commission, doesn’t matter if they pay anything down. The loans are backed by the full faith and power of the US government. Sell, sell, sell what a deal for the banks. Not a problem till the entire housing market dominos. Since we allowed our government runaway authority we now pay, pay, pay Now the hero government comes along blames and nationalizes the banks and tells everyone to thank the government and send more money. http://www.propublica.org/article/from-dodd-frank-to-dud , Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Pub.L. 111- 203, H.R. 4173.

By

5:36AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Cont.

Government spending in the Reagan years averaged 22.4% of GDP compared to an average 20.6% between 1970 and 2006. Lowest spending, 18.2%, was in Clinton year 2000, a full 20+% lower than the Reagan average. Congress authorized LESS than requested by Reagan. And Dems are the big spenders??

Debt ceiling was increased in 2002,3,4,6,7,8, most with R control of both House and Senate.

It is beyond belief that anyone would blame the recession on the new Dem majority in the House. The recession resulted from the housing bubble that reached maximum inflation in 2006 after 12 solid years of R congressional control. The housing bubble accounted for a significant portion of the pathetic economic and employment growth in the Bush years. There was a boom in construction.

5:34AM PDT on May 10, 2012

@David F

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts" to quote Daniel Moynihan.

David F, you need to learn something of your country's history. You appear to have a personal definition of Republican which you won't share with us. Makes it difficult to check the "facts" you claim.

Why did you not comment on the very large reduction is gross national debt as % of GDP between 1947 and 1980, years dominated by Dems in congress? Nor did you comment on the fact that debt situation began to deteriorate after R economic theories were followed. My guess is that you have no answer.

Some facts:

Your 2006 GDP number is not correct, growth over 2005 was 2.7% (inflation adjusted).

Your longest continuous stretch of job growth statement is incorrect. Employment decreased in 2002 and 2003. Employment grew for 4 continuous years in the Bush administration. The longest continuous stretch of employment growth is 9 years, 1992 through 2000; 8 of these were Clinton years. Best job growth -- new jobs per year - was under Clinton, Carter and Reagan in that order. Yep, Carter did much better than Reagan.

cont.

10:05PM PDT on May 9, 2012

David C, I said years not terms, the socialist repubs were horribly at fault when they taxed and spent along with the Democrats. Republican had control of the house until the 06 election. When they lost control of congress to Pelosi, unemployment was 4.4%. GDP growth was 3.5%. We had been gaining jobs for the longest running period in the history of the nation. Pelosi sized the government purse strings (House) and promised the 100 day restructuring of the government. Pelosi and Reid voted to keep raising the dept ceiling and passed continuing resolutions to keep the government expanding without a budget. Continuing resolutions did not require a presidential signature. 2006 the government dept was an unrecoverable 8.42 Trillion, today it is 15.63 Trillion. GDP is hardly on the chart and unemployment is…...

9:16AM PDT on May 9, 2012

http://booboisieonline.blogspot.com/2011/11/committee-to-save-world-and-brooksley_20.html

6:51AM PDT on May 9, 2012

David F complains that we can't blame the R's for anything because they have controlled both houses for only 8 years in 62. I believe he actually means for 8 terms, 16 years.
He fails to mention that 12 of those years, 1995 to 2007 led up to the 2008 recession. He fails to mention that in the three decades when Dems dominated, average GDP growth was 3.6% compounded, national debt fell from 100+% of GDP to 33%. This steady improvement changed direction in the Reagan years. Reagan almost tripled debt.

The R frenzy for tax cutting, elimination of regulations, the belief that the market takes care of everything, played a significant role in the financial collapse of 2007.

He tells us tax revenues pay for only a fraction of today's government spending. Yep, in part because revenues are the lowest since 1950. Hey man, if you cut taxes, revenues do tend to decrease. Recessions also cut revenues. The Obama administration had a $500 billion "pay cut" to contend with - a $500 billion decrease in revenues. Didn't help the deficit.

Trickle down economics has accomplished nothing increase income inequality.

It is nothing short of amazing that R's overlook the abject failure of their economic policies and want do more of the same. They have learned NOTHING from the worst rcession since 1930.

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