by Paul Haughey
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The book Common Cents explains how changes in practices by the states and Congress in recent decades have distorted the Constitutional checks and balances and led to the corruption of the U.S. government by special interests and the loss of the ability of Congress to compromise to get things done. Campaign funds provide donors lobbying access to Congress, where they can take advantage of the filibuster and other “choke point” rules to get special favors that the rest of us pay for. As a result, the middle class engine of our economy is being destroyed. A broken primary process, winner-take-all system and rigging of district boundaries by incumbent state legislatures solidify the control of partisan incumbents and defeat compromise. The branches of government fight each other for more control with executive orders, signing statements, legislative vetoes and other tricks. The current system rewards passing the buck to future generations because there is no requirement for a balanced budget. Common Cents shows the compounding results of these effects and how to have a comprehensive solution by fixing the system, not throwing different candidates at government, only to have them subverted by the system.