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  • Dear Super PACs and Super PAC Donors,

    As it's so hard to contact the managers of a super PAC political funding organization and to determine who is giving them money, I am writing this open letter to reach you. I hope you read it and pass it on to your associates. Don't break the chain. If you do, the curse of ObamaCare will be visited upon your descendants and thousands of addicts will be set free from prisons looking for an angry fix. Just kidding.

    Seriously, I want to know why anyone would give away five or six figures to groups who shovel their money into the coffers of political strategists, advertising firms and media conglomerates to elect—or mostly re-elect—incompetent, no-account politicians. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    All this bankrolling certainly benefits the political-industrial complex, but does it do you much good? First of all, big money doesn't always take all. Your favored candidates lose as often as they win. However, what you do sure as hell scares away lesser-known and less-favored candidates from competing against your bully-boy blowhards. So I guess you like monocultures—row upon row of ideologically uniform politicians—and don't like seeing sunflowers or cannabis popping up in those fields.

    To my mind, there are only four significant reasons for all your fundraising and spending, so which of the following assumptions do you share?

    1. You hate the United States Government and want to do all in your power to bring it to its knees

    In this respect, the extreme radical right holds hands with the extreme radical left to move forward to cripple the legislative process, stop public assistance to the poor on one hand, or to the military on the other, and devolve the Federal Government to either the rule of oligarchs or the dictatorship of the proletariat. Is any of that your cup of tea? Please signify.

    2. Electing the guy or gal you favor will get donors favorable treatment by policymakers

    Hey, isn't that what lobbyists are for? After all, they often write bills that rich folks like, so why not just hire them outright? Renting politicians is much iffier, especially when they carry baggage or don't carry elections.

    3. Political spending is just about the highest and best use of capital

    Sure, sometimes a barrel of pork gets delivered to your circular driveway for you to gorge yourself with, but mostly it is sent to some other address. Face it, you could become senile in the time it takes for that sweetheart section of a bill you asked for to be introduced by your stooge, get out of committee, be approved by the House, negotiated by the Senate, and signed by the President. It's almost as unproductive a use of your money as putting it in a savings account.

    Consider your ROI. You invest in a candidate who tries to help you out, but can't drum up the votes. Maybe a sex scandal or a bribery sting brings your candidate down and he or she is never heard from again; remember that people who rent themselves out often turn all kinds of tricks. Betting on such flakes is for suckers who play the state lottery.

    4. Super PAC spending can eventually lower donors' tax bills through fiddling with the tax code

    This is a corollary of #2 and it makes even less sense. Sure, windfalls happen to rich folk more often than poor folk, but count your chickens twice. What you save on taxes in an election cycle minus the value of your donations may well be a negative number. Your ROI might even improve were you to simply pay as much in taxes as what you donate, and with higher tax revenues would surely come more pork barrel spending you can tap into. Got it?

    And whatever happened to hiring workers, who take home paychecks and use them to buy more stuff? Isn't that a good use of capital? Why aren't you doing that instead of throwing it at dumb-ass politicians?

    Come on people, forget this super PAC nonsense. Instead of spending time sitting around in drab Ramada Inn banquet rooms eating overcooked entrees and writing checks to fund mediocrities, take your money to Vegas where you will at least have a good time losing it.

    Thank you for your kind attention,

    Your Friend Max


    @image: Contributions to presidential SuperPACs aggregated by ZIP codes, Jan-Jun 2015, from Bloomberg Money Maps
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