Is The Political System So Flawed To Be Spending Billions To Get People in Power?

by on November 3, 2010

in consumer

One Expensive Political System

Voter Tuesday has come and gone.  All the angry commercials where grown adults bash on each other at every turn of the road are gone.  Here in CA, from what I could tell, Meg Whitman threw the first stone and kept tossing them out there until Brown HAD to retaliate, and boy, did he!.  It was ugly.

But with all the bickering between candidates across the board just here in California it made me wonder just how much bickering was aired across the country… in a time and era where political candidates drop millions billions to tear into each other rather than extol their own virtues.

In other words, if we make the other guy look really bad, we look like the lesser evil.

One individual who I really enjoyed watching in the past was Minnesota’s ex-governor, Jesse Ventura, ex-wrestler.  What he did was campaign on promises of what he wanted to do and kept a website checklist during his tenure where he kept track of promises kept and achievements made.  That was a refreshing twist, except for the part where the system of entrenched parties made it hard to get things done.

Huge Gobs of Money Spent

Regardless of the statistical oddity, there is one thing that really stands out in my mind and that’s how much money was spent campaigning for the vote.

According to Politico.com, $198 MILLION was spent on ads in the last 5 weeks leading up to House & Senate races.  $198 million.  The most expensive fight was between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina, where they dropped $13 million in five weeks fighting it out.

These numbers are part of the $367 million total that was spent since January 1st by the contenders.

But the huge eye opener is what The Washington Post is reporting back on October 28th – that candidates, parties and outside interest parties were approaching the $4 BILLION mark.

All That Money Spent and Kids Still Lose Teachers

That’s a crazy number to see, that our politicians spent that much money in a time and era when people are losing jobs and homes.  When kids in our education system are losing teachers and supplies.  When cities are losing police and firemen.  When family businesses that have been around for 50 to 100 years are going under, the political process spent almost $4 billion to get their tool into the seat of power.

And only half that money won their goals.  So much for the needy.

Hey, I Have A Suggestion

I think it would be a great new rule in life that political spending should have to spend as much on local needs that they spend on campaign advertising.  I’d love to see $2 billion dropped back on public schools and other deserving programs so the hard working teachers can stay put, so classrooms don’t get overcrowded, so America’s future can have supplies for their youthful education.  But that’s just me.  I could be wrong!

[ Politico, The Washington Post]

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