Toward a Small Donor Democracy: The Past and Future of Incentive Programs for Small Political Contributions


Thomas J. Cmar


Political contribution incentive programs are a promising, under-explored means to address the problem of political equality in the American system of campaign finance. If properly designed, these programs -- which include tax credits, refunds, and vouchers -- could allow all Americans to participate on an equal basis in the crucial early-stage decisions that determine which candidates decide to run and are able to compete effectively. This article, written on behalf of U.S. PIRG, proposes a tax credit for political contributions as a first step toward building a "small donor democracy."


Law and Politics | Law and Society | Legislation | Taxation-Federal

Date of this Version

August 2004