Political Corruption Baseline

By the numbers: a 2013 money-in-politics index by Michael Beckel.

From the post:

Number of bills passed by Congress this year that have been signed into law: 58

Number of bills passed in 1948, the year President Harry Truman* assailed the “Do-Nothing Congress”: 511

Number of minutes Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spent reading Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” during a 21-hour talk-a-thon in September: 5 ½

Number of hours per day the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recommends embattled freshmen spend fundraising: 4

Amount of campaign cash all members of Congress have reported raising so far in 2013: $403,952,012

If you are writing topic maps about political corruption outside the United States, you need to have some objective guidelines for what constitutes corruption.

May I suggest the U.S. Congress?

While Congress has carefully defined bribery to be a quid pro quo arrangement, “you vote for bill X for $$$,” it is clear that members of Congress vote based upon donations made to them, separate from discussions of particular legislation.

Without crunching the numbers, I would say the corruption rate in Congress easily exceeds 95% of both houses.

That will leave you with three (3) large categories, countries more corrupt than the United States (maybe Somalia?), countries about as corrupt as the United States (insert your candidates here) and those less corrupt than the United States (too numerous to list).

Something to keep in mind the next time the U.S. starts lecturing others about corruption.

I first saw this at: By the numbers: a 2013 money-in-politics index (Full Text Reports).

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