Tags: obama | tax credit | campaign

Obama Mulls Tax Credit for Campaign Donations

Image: Obama Mulls Tax Credit for Campaign Donations
(AP)

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Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 08:25 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On Wednesday the White House took aim at "dark money" in political campaigns and insisted the influx of big dollars in elections is directly related to the low voter turnout.

But the Obama administration also took an unexpected step by signaling for the first time that it was open to restoring the tax credit for donations to federal candidates. In so doing it  found itself on common ground with Take Back Our Republic, a nonprofit launched primarily by Republicans.

At the regular briefing for reporters at the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest noted that in the midterm elections of 2014 "a much higher turnout would have changed the outcome of the elections and had the effect of countering the 'dark money' that came into our election system in the last election."

"The president has certainly been a vocal advocate of the Disclose Act [legislation], which would have some impact on bringing greater transparency to our campaign finance system. The president has certainly advocated, in some cases famously, in front of members of the Supreme Court, for a legal system that is structured to protect the ability of American citizens to make the most important decisions about our government."

I cited Take Back Our Republic and its efforts to revive the tax credit for campaign donations, which was part of the U.S. tax code from 1972-86.

"I have to admit I have not heard that idea before," Earnest told me, "So I'm not aware of any serious discussions around here. But it's certainly something we can take a look at."

Within an hour of Earnest's reply, John Pudner, head of Take Back Our Republic, applauded the White House's willingness to look at the legislation to bring back the tax credit.

If enacted, he predicted, the measure "will result in more citizens getting involved, and officials spending more time talking to constituents rather than a few out of state donors.

"Allowing Americans to once again keep the first $200 they were going to give the IRS and use it to hold politicians accountable will once again focus officials on their constituents."
Pudner, who helped orchestrate conservative David Brat's nationally watched upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary, said he agreed with Obama about the low turnout in recent elections. Four years ago, he recalled "30 percent of eligible Americans voted for President Obama, 28 percent voted for Mitt Romney, and 42 percent stayed home or did not even register."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
 


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On Wednesday the White House took aim at "dark money" in political campaigns and insisted the influx of big dollars in elections is directly related to the low voter turnout.
obama, tax credit, campaign
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2016-25-14
Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 08:25 AM
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