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May 06, 2005

In businesses of all kinds, the expression "cost of doing business" (often abbreviated "CODB") is used to mean the total cost incurred by an organization in the act of providing a good or a service.

If I'm selling widgets at retail, my CODB is more than the wholesale price of the widgets I sell. Warehouse and office spaces, payroll, utility bills and all other operating expenses have to be figured in before I can make a rational attempt at setting my retail price.

[Yes, yes, I'm a computer geek... but for my degree I had to take three semesters of Accounting.]

In the political realm, a $12,000 fine from the FEC seems a trivial addition to the total CODB for an organization that hands out hundreds of thousands of dollars each campaign cycle, particularly if the anticipated "profit" is one or more election victories gained in part by illicit contributions.

If you're in the business of trying to buy elections, it's a very small price to pay, given the stakes involved.

I wonder if they (or any such non-profit outfit) can write off such fines when they file their tax forms?

Posted by Russ at 01:31 AM, May 6, 2005 in Politics

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