As far as I'm aware, America doesn't put a cap on how much money you can spend on campaigning. This is unlike countries such as Britain (where the cap is £30,000 per constituency).

If the lack of a cap has no intention to it, why has it not been implemented? Otherwise, what's the intention?

  • 2
    It is intentional, since a cap on campaign spending would be a cap on political speech. The US system accepts the drawbacks to uphold this principle.
    – o.m.
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 18:55
  • Ah yes. Sorry, I was meant to imply that is an answer in and of itself
    – yolo
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 18:57
  • 1
    @o.m. Do you have anything to corroborate this?
    – yolo
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 18:58
  • No time to look for the links today, which is why this is a comment and not an answer. As an answer it would be insufficient.
    – o.m.
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 18:59
  • 1
    @o.m. I think you might be going a bit far with that. As JoeW pointed out, that "drawback" came from a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. So, it's not like there was a debate or a democratic process behind it
    – divibisan
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Because political spending has been ruled to be protected under the first amendment as free speech. Because of that unlimited spending is allowed.

Citizens United versus FEC

A 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court sided with Citizens United, ruling that corporations and other outside groups can spend unlimited money on elections.

  • This answer is too simple and a bit misleading. Citizens United removed restrictions on what might be called "third-party campaigning", but it had no effect on money that is taken or spent directly by candidates or political parties.
    – MJ713
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 14:17
  • @MJ713 There isn't much of a distinction between money that can be taken and spent by a candidate/party and a third party anymore as all of them are still spending on the same direct message. Sure you could say there is some nuances in the difference but that really won't matter to the target audience as it can be very hard to determine if something was paid for by the candidate/party or a third party.
    – Joe W
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 15:50
  • But the logic of the Supreme Court decision is based on the idea that there is a distinction, and that the third parties are not "coordinating" with candidates or political parties. How well this has been enforced in practice, or if it even can be enforced, is...questionable, but the fact remains that the U.S. government does place some formal restrictions on candidate and party finances (e.g. contribution limits).
    – MJ713
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 19:18
  • Does it matter what the supreme court said if that isn't what is happening in reality? It isn't that hard for a candidate send a message to the public through various means such as interviews and public appearances and a third party to use that to mold their message. Sure they can't work directly together but there are many ways for them to work indirectly together. And as I have said before even if they don't work together it is meaningless if they are still sending a unified message that is seen by the voters. Third parties spend massive amounts of money because it is proven to work.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 19:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .