The Nation: Choosing the Checkoff

Public financing of presidential elections would relieve a national concern magnified by Watergate: the unhealthy dependence of major candidates on large private donations. In 1971, Congress passed legislation that amounted to a kind of camel's nose of public financing. It permitted each taxpayer to check a box on his income tax form to indicate that $1 of his taxes ($2 for a couple filing jointly) should go into a fund for presidential campaigns.

But the Administration was not enthusiastic about the idea, and when the Internal Revenue Service offered the option last year it put the checkoff box on a form separate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!