As politically opinionated as I am, I’ve been fairly silent in my writings about this upcoming election this year. My absentee ballot has been cast so no amount of debates or annoying phone calls will make a difference to me at this point. I’ve Facebooked here and there on some real issues that neither party is tackling and think that’s a good place to focus our energy instead of cowing to the cult of personality each party tries to build.
Campaign Finance Reform
I’ve seen lots of people asking how much the candidates have spent and how many of our country’s problems could be solved with that money. It inspired me to run run some numbers and go all Ross Perot on you …
- The Numerator:
According to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/campaign-finance/ about $1.15 billion has been spent between the two candidates.
- The Deficit Denominator:
According to http://www.cnbc.com/id/49306231/CBO_Puts_2012_Deficit_at_1_1_Trillion the 2012 deficit is about $1.1 trillion, about 1/10th of 1% of the 2012 deficit.
- The Debt Denominator:
According to http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np the national debt has surpassed $16 trillion. We’ll round off there. That puts candidates’ spending at roughly 7/1000ths of 1% of what our Federal Government owes.
Take two lessons from this:
- It gives a sense of perspective about the mammoth problem these turkeys in Washington — both parties — have created over the past 12 years in homage to the 225-year legacy of Alexander Hamilton.
- It shows how our two-party system has successfully equated money to speech, ensuring people of lesser means have a lesser voice, and how relatively small a candidate’s investment needs to be to influence staggeringly massive amounts of cash and credit.
Do Not Call
I love how government officials wrote themselves a loophole when establishing the National Do Not Call Registry in the last decade. When Americans demanded such a service, it was to curb those annoying, unwanted calls every time you sat down to dinner or to watch the game. It worked until 2012, when every robo-caller in the service of the two parties started to hammer every citizen they could scrounge. It is time for The TeleZapper to make a comeback.
The candidates this year have failed to understand how precious being LEFT THE @#$* ALONE means to people who don’t get enough family time as it is. Every slanted poll and political telemarketing call I’ve received this year it’s pushed me that much closer to voting for the other guy. Only by both candidates annoying me equally has it been a zero sum game. Candidates don’t seem to connect that their near-sexual attraction to the accumulation of data is becoming tantamount to rape and assault of those whose votes they’d hope to court. Yes, you read it here first, the candidates are proverbially date-raping the voters.
This is what it’s all about folks. Are you better off now than you were 4, 8, or 12 years ago? Are you working harder and seem to have less to show for it? The economics are simple. According to http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2012/02/27/how-high-have-gas-prices-risen-over-the-years/ when adjusted for inflation, gas prices were at an all-time low in 1999. While our country was consumed with the political scandal of inappropriate relations between The President and his intern, we were living high on a tech boom coupled with fueling a petroleum-based economy. My wife said to me upon Dubya’s inauguration “I give it one year before we’re in a war.” And while we didn’t ask to be attacked, we unquestionably haven’t really reaped the promised benefits of the war in the Middle East. We have thankfully rid the world of a few horrible dictators. But the people of that part of the world don’t seem to love us any more for it, and OPEC certainly is cutting us no breaks.
Now gasoline prices are at an all-time high. THAT affects everything. It’s not just the hard costs of our daily commute. Everything we buy from groceries to cars to widgets to pointless crap from Amazon to, yes, gasoline itself has to be trucked in from somewhere. Compare these expenses in your household budget to these expenses 12 years ago.
Candidates need to focus on solving this single issue to get America and the world back on track economically. As an added bonus, doing so will take the greatest source of power away from a part of the world that has used that power to line the pockets of tyrants and dictators while maintaining a record of human rights violations and hateful speech toward the Western world. If we can take away that power without making that part of the world desperate, we may actually accomplish something real.
It’s your government folks. Demand campaign finance reform and a balanced budget. Tell them to stop harassing you. Demand they develop the kinds of international ties we enjoyed in the 90s while inspiring innovation that will wean us off the petroleum teat. If your elected officials won’t give it to you, pick new ones. Their only fear is not being reelected, so you still hold that power. Vote.