How government rigs elections – A MUST READ!

From: manhattancontrarian.com,  by Francis Menton,  on Oct 19, 2016

This is an excellent piece by blogger Francis Menton. It reminds us how our government exerts a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes pressure to vote in a way that continues the status quo. It therefore is “rigged” (in this 2016 edition) in favor of Hillary Clinton as the maintainer of that status quo – and the candidate who promises even more taxpayer-funded giveaways. 

A big H/T to James V. DeLong who published a piece on American Thinker that summarized Mr. Menton’s piece and provided a link to Mr. Menton’s blog.

rigged

The Government Puts A Gigantic Lead Weight On The Scale Of This And Every Election

Trump’s new big thing in the campaign is the claim that the election has been “rigged” against him.  The word “rigged” conjures up an image of election officials somehow stuffing ballot boxes or jiggering with electronic voting machines to produce a false count of votes cast.  Given our highly decentralized election system, largely run by state rather than federal officials, that scenario is rather improbable.  But just because the election is not “rigged” — in the sense of the government definitively determining in advance the number of votes for each candidate — does not mean that the government does not exercise huge influence to swing the election the way it wants the election to go.  A better analogy for this huge influence, rather than a direct “rigging” of the vote, would be the placing of a big weight on the favored side of the scale.  And this is not some minor thing like the proverbial “thumb on the scale”; it’s more like the placing of a gigantic lead weight on the favored side of the scale.

Of course, the favored side of the scale is the side that supports continuing and expanding all existing government programs and functions, plus adding new programs and functions; and on the disfavored side is found any candidate who might disrupt the status quo.  In the current election, that means that the forces of government want Hillary to win.

In a post on Monday at RealClearPolitics, George Will comments that even in the absence of actual “rigging,” “Mr. Trump has a point if he would just make it more clearly.”  As an example of concrete government action to favor one side of elections over the other, Will cites the IRS efforts in 2010, ’12 and ’14, as well as the current election, to delay and obstruct the formerly routine granting of tax-exempt status to conservative-side organizations.

We know — we don’t surmise — we know that the 2010, ’12 and ’14 elections were rigged by the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government, the IRS. . . .  I have talked to lawyers in a position to know [and] they say it’s still going on. The IRS is still intolerantly [sic – intolerably] delaying the granting of tax exempt[ions] to conservative advocacy groups to skew the persuasion of this campaign.

Again, I would use the term “placed a gigantic lead weight on the scale” rather than “rigged.”  Still, with this example (as opposed to the stuffed-ballot-box hypothetical) the point is clearly-established and valid.

Will’s post is brief, and only gives the one example.  Are there others?  If you start giving the matter a little thought, and coming up with a list of examples, you really wonder how it is possible for any Republican to be competitive in any race ever.  Let me start:

  • Government benefits.  During the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney famously stated that he had little hope of winning the votes of some 47% of Americans because they either received some form of government benefits and/or paid no income taxes.  He was rightly criticized for the specifics of his statement — the biggest single group of the 47% being Social Security beneficiaries, who in fact voted for Romney in large numbers.  But there was an underlying valid point, namely that receipt of payments from government programs makes the recipients substantially more likely to vote for candidates who favor the continuation and growth of those and other such programs.  According toCensus data here covering 2011 (released in 2013 – they always have big lags), the figure had gone up another 2% to 49%.  It likely has crossed the 50% threshold today.  FurtherCensus data here released in 2015 have some 21.3% of the population (over 52 million people) participating in the so-called “means tested” federal benefit programs — food stamps, WIC, housing assistance, Medicaid, etc.  It’s not that not a single one of those people will ever vote against the status quo; but do you think that this massive handout enterprise might swing the vote in a national election by, say, 5% or 10%?  It’s hard to imagine that it does not.
  • Labor unions.  One group of organizations in this country has been granted the privilege by the government of taking for themselves money deducted without specific approval from millions of people’s paychecks.  That group of organizations consists of labor unions.  A large percentage of the money so deducted — some say it’s the majority, although exact figures are impossible to come by — goes to support favored candidates in political races.  Almost all of the money goes to Democrats.  Although union members theoretically have the right to prevent their involuntary dues from being used for political purposes, that right has proved almost impossible to enforce, under procedural rules coming from the unions themselves and from the government’s NLRB.  Any union member who wants to try to enforce his theoretical right must conduct a lonely and self-funded battle through multiple obstructions and appeals.  An article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal puts the amount of money contributed by labor unions during the current election cycle (January 2015 to August 2016), to support Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidates for the Senate, at $108 million.  That’s up 38% from the prior election cycle.  And labor unions also provide massive support for get-out-the-vote efforts, including such things as phone banks and driving people to the polls, again almost entirely funded with involuntarily-collected dues and spent on behalf of Democrats.  How much does this “union factor” swing the vote in national elections?  Three to five percent would be a good guesstimate.
  • Academia and non-profits.  Of all the identifiable interest groups in our country, the one most closely associated with near-unanimous support of the Democratic party and its candidates is academia.  Many surveys of professors put support for Democratic and progressive causes (i.e., growth of government) at well upwards of 90%.   Many professors also proselytize their students in favor of the progressive agenda.  The federal government (and also all state governments) massively fund and subsidize academia.  A 2015 report from Pew published in Inside Higher Education put total federal spending on higher education in 2013 at $76 billion; states spent some $73 billion the same year.  The federal number has increased substantially since.  Thus, between federal and state money, around 40% of all funding for this pure-Democrat higher education constituency comes from the taxpayers.  Has there ever been a single academic who lived off government grants advocating for elimination of his/her own grant?  How about a single academic who has advocated that the whole massive government grants-to-academia thing is a bad idea?  And after academia proper, add in a massive government-funded not-for-profit sector, largely devoted to so-called “anti-poverty” efforts that never remove a single person from poverty, and absorbing many tens of billions of federal dollars for itself annually — and delivering the votes of its employees with near-unanimity to Democrats.  Altogether, another 2-3% swing?
  • Fake government statistics.  As repeatedly discussed on this website, all major government statistics on things like the economy and poverty are fraudulently conceived and reported so as to deceive the people into going along with increased government spending and growing programs supposedly intended to ameliorate falsely-depicted problems.  As examples, the GDP statistics adopt the ridiculous convention of counting all government spending on goods and services as a 100% addition to GDP.  Thus progressive politicians can pretend with apparent justification that completely wasteful added spending grows the economy, while any attempt to cut even the most wasteful spending can be falsely portrayed as shrinking the economy.  Similarly the government statisticians have adopted false conventions to keep the “poverty” rate preposterously high (and thus sell the public on more anti-poverty spending) by refusing to count as “income” nearly all government benefits, even many of those handed out as cash or near-cash like the EITC and food stamps.  Last month, as reported on this site in multiple posts including here, the Census Bureau revealed itself (as if we didn’t already know) as being a part of Hillary’s campaign when it released a new report announcing that the “poverty” rate had suddenly fallen by some 1.3% and 3.5 million people between 2014 and 2015.  The numbers were based on methodological changes and can only be viewed as fake in light of the anemic growth of GDP in the same period.  But essentially all of the media fell for it (even the Wall Street Journal!), and Hillary promptly followed with a personally-signed op-ed in the New York Timesclaiming that the new fake numbers proved that Obama’s progressive policies were suddenly working.  Another percent or two?
  • The oppressive regulatory state.  The myth of government regulation is that the regulators are just fair, neutral experts with nothing in mind but the public interest, who will carefully watch over the economy to keep the evil, greedy capitalists in check.  Ridiculous!  In fact regulators are normally flawed human beings with personal agendas, who really care about only one thing, which is growing their own staff, budget and prerogatives.  Because the regulators can torture and ruin any entity under their jurisdiction, no such entity will cross its regulator on any matter of significance.  And the matter of greatest significance is the ongoing growth of the government.  So, in the hyper-regulatory world of Dodd-Frank, is there any such thing as a financial institution that will say a negative word in public about the government?  I sure haven’t seen it.  Try it, and they have a hundred ways to make your life miserable — declining permission for your next merger, or for your entry into a new line of business, or launching one, or two, or twenty new criminal investigations against you.  Same thing for a pharmaceutical company, which inevitably has ten or twenty items before the FDA for approval at any given time.  Cross them and your next drug approval could be held up for a decade.  When did one of those guys last utter a serious criticism of the government regime?  Another hundred examples could easily be cited.  Another percent or two?
  • Government employees effectively working as operatives of Hillary’s campaign.  One of the unsigned editorials in today’s Wall Street Journal, titled “Hillary’s State Assist,” is a real eye-opener.  The editorial quotes from documents released Monday by the FBI from its recently-concluded investigation of Hillary.  It seems that a group of “senior State department employees,” referred to by the regular staff as the “Shadow Government,” put “enormous pressure” on staff reviewing Hillary’s emails for production to “not label anything as classified.”  This, at a time when Hillary was claiming that she had never dealt with classified information on her private server.  Our taxpayer dollars at work!

I have several more examples here that I could use, but I think the point has been made.  Meanwhile, can anybody provide a single example of the use of taxpayer funds in a way to support Republican candidates or the shrinkage of the government or the elimination of government programs?  OK, maybe somewhere in the vast enterprise, some free-market-oriented economist has gotten a grant of maybe a few hundred thousand dollars.  That, up against around $4 trillion of annual spending, all devoted in some way to the further growth of government and the support of candidates who favor that growth.

Is the election “rigged”?  I wouldn’t have used the term.  But the weight that the government puts on the scale is enormous, and in this election it’s all behind Hillary.  Is it possible that the combined effect of all of these things is less than the margin currently separating the two candidates in the polls?  I can’t imagine how it could be.

~~~~~~~~~~

Mr. Menton has done us a great service in reminding us of what we already knew, but have relegated to the shadows because we’re so focused on the bright, shiny images of Trump’s many verbal gaffes and Wikileaks release of evidence highlighting Hillary’s malfeasance and dishonesty. When we’re reminded of the gigantic thumb-on-the-scale influence by existing government officials and programs, it makes winning an election seem like an impossible task for a challenger.

But, we can’t give up. We’ve expected felonious activity by the democrats all along and knew that the only way to combat that was to provide enough votes to overcome it with a landslide of votes for Donald Trump. This reminder just means that we’ll need to overcome an even greater handicap. But do it we must, else we’ll continue the slide into becoming a nation that our founders were desperately trying to protect us from.

Garnet92.

 



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10 replies

  1. Excellent piece, Garnet; and you’re right – it’s a great reminder of what we’ve been up against for decades now. It’s also a reminder that Republicans have been their own worst enemy because they’ve gone along with a lot of it, essentially digging their own graves. Many Republicans have helped to enlarge and enshrine welfare and entitlement programs and they’ve attacked conservative Republicans who’ve tried to do something about it. For Pete’s sake our current nominee not only contributed to Democrat campaign coffers but he’s promising yet more taxpayer funded freebies (gov’t subsidized childcare and maternity leave)! Then they scratch their pointy heads and wonder why it’s so hard for them to get elected.

    Restoring the federal government to the limits envisioned by The Founders is THE ONLY way to put an end to this cycle and take back our freedom. It’s that simple.

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    • I know it’s cynical, but there’s not an ounce of difference between the REAL goals of the individual dems and the RINOs. Yes, there is a great difference in the party’s platforms, but the reps and Senators don’t give a rip about that, all they’re interested in is making deals that: 1) keep them in their cushy jobs, 2) gaining more clout in the congressional hierarchy, and 3) increasing their assets. All of that happens behind a curtain of camouflage that controls what the public is privy to see.

      You’re right, this is not going to change voluntarily, we need a return to responsible governance and the only way that’s gonna happen is if we’re able to get people elected that commit to Constitutional limitations on the government. They can’t be trusted to police themselves.

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  2. Government also has it’s finger, big time, in the “news” industry. For instance, ABC’s senior correspondent, Claire Shipman is married to White House Press Secretary, Josh Ernest; CBS president, Virginia Mosely is married to no less than Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary, Tom Nides; CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of top Obama Official, Ben Rhodes and ABC’s President, Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s Special Adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood. If this isn’t a prime example of snakes in the wood pile, I don’t know what is. The influence peddling involved in this situation alone goes beyond our imagination. Rigged indeed.

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    • That is political incest for sure and that’s why our unengaged public is so ignorant of what’s happening around them. All they (think) they know is force-fed them by the DNC’s propaganda machine – better known as the lamestream media. We can use other terminology to describe it, but “rigged” does serve the purpose.

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  3. It is an excellent piece and a quite an eye-opener. Some of the info I knew, some I didn’t, so it paints a dismal picture of the state of things. Our government continues to grow and waste money, but at some point it will cave under it’s own weight, it’s just a matter of when.

    We would need a good conservative president and congress in place for about 20 years to fix just half of what ails us, but with the regime changes every 4 to 8 years, it seems to me we’re sitting in the middle of the see-saw.

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    • It’s like a cancerous growth, feeding uncontrollably on its host – US taxpayers.

      It will take a long time to fix it unless our electorate wakes up (fat chance!) and even if we elect a charismatic constitutionalist, he/she will have a tough time convincing our opponents to go along. It’s going to take quite a while to even dump all of Obama’s mischief and get us back to where we’re moving in the right direction – making some headway towards regaining freedoms.

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  4. Kudos garnet.
    and I want to try to point out, through what is being said above better than I could, but
    All those receiving any form of gov’t assist is indeed being cast into whichever correspondent bucket of corporate block of votes. Those corporate block votes are counted not as actual candidate votes, but represent the voices of interests needed to persuade candidates, incumbent or running for, to continue supporting all existing programs and projected programs. So much of what is shaping our current social decadence is being has been shaped through all the years of gov’t growing the population dependant towards gov’t for everything but education, morality, self-reliance, and every other conservative value – all of which would keep this, OUR, country the greatest it could be and for all the rest to want to emulate.
    It is the ongoing pressure of all the social programs that are continuing to pressure anyone pursuing politics to either get on board or go for a ride under the bus.
    Then, once any of the soc.progs are implemented, anyone who dares to take a stand for their individual constitutional rights to not show support and/or adherence to comply with any corresponding ramifications will face local state or federal charges until there is shown willingness (that must be shown to be voluntary as well) to agree, comply and become subjected to conditions to demonstrate compliance, all of which any other person unaffected would recognize as extortion if not flat out bully terrorism.
    So, this election for POTUS 2016 may be another time to get on the horn, phone, email, blogs, casual conversations, but especially to the White House phone bank and burn their ears full of outrage and protest of that HillaryUs criminal scoundrel even being allowed to stay in the candidacy for office.

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    • Thanks, WT, but as you and I both know, this wasn’t an exposure as much as a reminder. We all knew this stuff, but have relegated it to “taken for granted” information category which removed it from our current focus. We can’t let it remain as if it can’t be changed. You’re right, we all need to stand together and rebel against this ever-creeping takeover of our freedoms by our own government.

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      • please excuse me garnet,
        yeah, i can see your point, yet I’m back in SD for fed.court and things I’ve ranted about has come through what I have experienced throughout these last 21 years of helter skelter.
        You are either the victim, the victimizer, or in the audience sitting around watching the show.
        And as for those who determine the outcome, there is the JUDGE of Judges who will judge the judges, even those like me who have to judge how I shall participate.

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      • I am so sorry to hear that WT. I know that you’re in a battle with various parts of the government for what is rightfully yours. My hat’s off to you for continuing the fight and not letting them get you down. I’ll say a prayer for you in hopes that you can finally get some justice.

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