Washington Post,
Washington, DC

Dear Editor:


Something must be done about the gross as well as subtle lies in current political campaigning. Nothing is wrong with negative ads if the content is factual and relevant to the campaign. Voters deserve to know the truth. But when blatant lies are repeated over and over, this is attempted fraud intended to sway the vote of the less informed and less skeptical of the population. It is a dark smudge on our democracy. The Constitution guarantees free speech but not the right to falsely shout "fire" in a theater. The political advertising lies have more long term consequences than "fire" lies. Perhaps our current tolerance of political lies is related to the daily prevalence of lies in general advertising ("sale...", "best....", "last chance...", "free...". etc.) This needs attention also.

Despite claims that the free market cures all evils, the "lies problem" needs government action. There are many ways to reform this but clearly the solution requires precise legal knowledge and skill. In addition, the overwhelming volume and cost deserve reform. One idea would be to allow a basic minimum untaxed political advertising expense per voter by each candidate but then a very steeply rising tax for additional advertising. The revenue could be used for better voting equipment, education, etc.

There is an additional badly needed voting reform. Citizen political contributions are not tax deductible. Special Interests deduct this expense. Why the unfairness? Also, why not limit corporate political contributions to an amount less than the U.S. income tax they pay? Multinational corporations and special interests that pay little or no US taxes should not be able to buy elections the way they do now. Let us solve these problems before the 2014 election.


Jan Polissar
8912 Charred Oak Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20817
301 365-6303

I have not submitted this to other publications.