If you could just spend your own money, but then only multii-billionaires could compete against the money that Corporations, big unions and special interest groups can raise.
In other words, only people like Gates, Buffett, or Soros would have enough money to do it by themselves.
The ultra rich really aren't that anxious to spend their own money to win office. They would much rather spend yours!
Sure, Democrat John Corzinne did spend $115 million of his own money to win a Senate seat in NJ once. And Ross Perot did spend quite a bid of his own money in two losing bids for the White House. But this is the exception and not the rule.
How much do you think these people are worth? Here is a list of recent Presidential hopefuls and what their net worth is according to a google search:
|John Kerry married money twice|
$200,000,000 - Mitt Romney
$103,000,000 - Ted Kennedy
$100,000,000 - Al Gore
..$80,000,000 - Hillary Clinton (in 2008. Much more today)
..$72,000,000 - John Huntsman
..$55,500,000 - John Edwards
..$40,400,000 - John McCain
..$26,000,000 - GW Bush
..$19,000,000 - Newt Gingrich
..$18,000,000 - Herman Cain
..$10,000,000 - Barack Obama
....$4,000,000 - Ron Paul
....$2,000,000 - Rick Santorum
....$1,500,000 - Rick Perry
....$1,200,000 - Sarah Palin
....$1,000,000 - Michelle Bachmann
Now remember... every single one of these people is in "the top 1%," in fact... most are in "the top 0.1%"
But personal wealth isn't the whole story. Because once elected, an incumbent can use the federal treasury to buy votes. Like Barack Obama using taxpayer money to create winners and losers. This sort of money dwarfs personal wealth. We aren't talking about "millions" now... we are talking about trillions of dollars that can be used for politcal advantage.
If we look at it historically, adjusting for inflation, then many of our Presidents have been very wealthy and influential men:
|George Washington turned out pretty good|
$1,000,000,000 - John F. Kennedy
...$525,000,000 - George Washington
...$212,000,000 - Thomas Jefferson
...$125,000,000 - Theodore Roosevelt
...$119,000,000 - Andrew Jackson
...$101,000,000 - James Madison
.....$98,000,000 - Lyndon B. Johnson
.....$75,000,000 - Herbert Hoover
.....$60,000,000 - Franklin D. Roosevelt
.....$51,000,000 - James Tyler
.....$27,000,000 - James Monroe
.....$26,000,000 - Martin Van Buren
So, if Mitt Romney wins this election, then he would be our fourth "richest president" behind JFK, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Those other three rich guys turned out to be pretty good presidents.