This video explains how influence is purchased in congress by hiring relatives of congress members. I don’t know if its the oldest form of influencing politicians, but I’ll bet the ancient Romans wouldn’t be surprised by it.
I’ve heard the solution is to only vote for politicians with integrity; unfortunately there is over 200 years of evidence to dispute this approach. So the question I have is how much money would it take for voters to buy the politicians back? Would there be any savings? If Evan Bayh’s wife is getting a million a year from WellPoint. Would raising a Senator’s salary to 1.5 million a year be enough to buy Bayh back?
Maybe I should work this backwards and start by finding out how much political influence cost taxpayers each year. Lets say its only 100 billion a year transferred from taxpayers to political benefactors. One hundred billion divided by 537 people (house, senate, President and VP combined) works out to 186 million per person. If we offer to split the difference with Washington, it works out to 93 million a year salary per person and we’d save 50 billion.
We’ve bribed our enemies before; so why not bribe our public servants?