Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wasted Money. Speak UP!

Holy underwear, he's won again.

(I really don't need to elaborate, do I?)

And with that note, it's time to take note of the ridiculous amount of money being thrown around in election campaigns.

Let's see:  In Iowa alone, 12.5 million spent just on TV ads, and that's just from the candidates.  If one includes the PACs, an additional 14 million.

How effective was that money?  Well, the biggest spender by far, Rick Perry, spent 2.86 million to finish a distant fifth.  Or, to put it in gasoline terms, his political engine gets 35 gallons per mile.  Rick Santorum, by contrast, barely spent anything and tied Romney.  In terms of money spent, this is the equivalent of the Toledo Mudhens beating the New York Yankees.  Maybe Rick Perry should have had a better stand on the issues and spent less money.

Nah, that would make too much sense!

Since its so blazingly obvious, and has been for a while, that TV ads don't buy victory, why the hell do politicians think they can buy their way in?  The short answer is that, every once in a long while, a rich and unprincipled fuck really can buy an election.

We can't outlaw political TV ads, much as we would like to.  That would violate free speech.  But if professional sports teams have to live with a spending cap, why the hell can't our politicians and PACs?

Nah, that would make too much sense!

What really bothers me about this, is that the idiots wasting so much money on TV ads that ultimately don't matter more than what they do and say are the same morons who are going to get into budgetary battles.  To put it in perspective, 5.3 billion was spent on the presidential campaign alone between Obama and McCain, including PACs.  McCain, it turns out, actually outspent Obama by just a little bit.  (Yeah, how'd that work out?)  Republican PACs were outspent by Democratic PACs by a little bit.  The annual budget for NASA is 17.8 billion.  In other words, just for presidential politics alone, the cost is nearly one third of what it takes to launch things past the troposphere on a regular basis.  It used to cost 450 million to launch a space shuttle.  President Obama spent roughly 850 million on his election.  In other words, just trying to get elected to the White House now costs about the same as launching two space shuttle missions.

Sheesh!

And these are the same people who will turn right around and argue on the House and Senate floors that we have better things to do with our money than launch things at Mars and Jupiter.  I agree!  But we wouldn't have to even have the discussion if the Space Program came out of your goddamned re-election fund, now would it?!

Here's what really puts it in perspective.  The amount spent by the Republican Party during the 2010 election cycle was 1.77 trillion dollars.  (The democrats spent 1.8 trillion, outspending them, to get their asses kicked.  Case in point again.)  I reported in a previous blog about how the national 2011 budget deficit was 1.267 trillion.  In other words, both the Republican and Democratic parties outspent the national deficit by at least 30%, EACH!  And that's during a midterm election!

Here's a thought:  Let's enact an election spending cap, then take all that extra cash and solve our national debt and deficit crisis problems at the same time!  Hell, let's pay for medical care for everybody too!

Nah, that would make too much sense!

So, if you think that our money would be spent better on other things, NOW is your chance to speak up!  Let politicians know the waste will not be tolerated anymore!  Or else, when the time comes to argue over whether to slash Social Security and Medicare, or raise taxes on the upper part of 1%, you will have LOST your right to complain!

I've got it!  Let's levy taxes on campaign spending!  Brilliant!  (That would certainly tax the 1% easily, wouldn't it?)

Nah, that would make too much sense!

Eric



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