Congressman David Wu pitches national $50 political tax credit in WSJ article

In the Wall Street Journal Oregon Congressman David Wu and Bruce Ackerman issued a guest column.

“Each American should get a refundable federal tax credit of $50 that they can use to make contributions to federal candidates during presidential years, and a suitably smaller sum during off-year federal elections. Each American should be allowed to claim a $50 refundable tax credit when filing an income tax return. Oregon and other states already do this. It’s time to bring this plan to the rest of the nation.

Modern technology provides opportunities for enhanced convenience and access. Donations to campaigns could be made electronically, with the money automatically refunded to each citizen’s credit card or bank account. Call these electronic transfers “democracy dollars.” About 120 million Americans went to the polls in 2008. If each citizen also had a chance to contribute democracy dollars, their donations would overwhelm the sums that corporations are likely to spend under the recent Supreme Court decision.” “…Democracy dollars, by contrast, promise more speech and therefore more political competition. Our initiative enhances First Amendment values by encouraging more citizen participation. It reinforces the marketplace of ideas with a marketplace of small donations.

There is already legislation pending in Congress””H.R. 726, the Citizen Involvement in Campaigns Act””proposing a refundable tax credit. But it must be improved to allow the federal government to work with banks and credit card companies to create the electronic infrastructure needed for a user-friendly and fraud-proof system”

More on the Congressman David Wu article can be found here.