Money Well Spent?

$605 million and $350 million. That’s how much Barack Obama and John McCain, respectively, have raised in this year’s presidential run. Almost $1 Billion. Of that, Obama has raised slightly more than $543 million from individual donors while McCain has raised a little over $151 million. Almost $700 million sent from individual Americans to two politicians.
Imagine what that money could do in local communities across this country.
Imagine if people would take a breath, let the emotions ebb, and reconsider before writing those checks and living their lives for a politician. Even if they were to just cut that total in half. Instead of sending $40, send $20 and give the rest to a local organization. Spend some time and money by directly helping friends and neighbors. That would have meant an additional $350 million spent locally.
Obviously, politics are an important part of our society. There are big issues that can only be dealt with on a national scale and electing a President who can do the job is crucial. But it is a misbegotten belief that a remote, national government is the best way to solve local problems. But every four years, we turn to politicians and politics as our salvation and continue to get disappointed. When we’re promised the moon and the sun, we’re disappointed even if we actually get one.
In this silly season, we seem to have forgotten that, if we indeed are the “change we are waiting for,” then the most effective implementation of that change is to do it ourselves in our own communities.Instead, we’ve sent nearly a billion dollars to politicians based on nothing more than promises and hope.

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David
David
12 years ago

I like your point Marc. But I have to think that this is the first time that you are raising it. All those previous elections when the Republicans, despite being out numbered, raised and spent much, much more money to secure their control of government. To limit it, I am sure.
Can this apply to the Red Sox? Why spend the huge sums on free agents like JD Drew and Dice K when true Sox fans would still pay to watch the likes of newly arrived minor leaguers. And the Red Sox could spend some of that money on the local community.

Pragamatist
Pragamatist
12 years ago

I think it is money well spent. No decision that the average American makes about public affairs is more important. And the contributions are entirely voluntary.
Your federal vs. local solution paradigm doesn’t hold water. Some issues are local, some federal. Why do you posit the world as an either-or proposition? We elect presidents to be national leaders. $1 billion is a trifle in the scheme of our economy.
How much money do we collectively spend on TV advertising for the NFL season? How many multiples of $1 billion is it?

Richardddddd
Richardddddd
12 years ago

No need to be freaked out by the huge amounts of money raised by Obama, mostly from 3 million small donors (I have given him $35). It is a way that being of modest means can extend our impact and counteract the very wealthy conservatives who usually arrange to purchase elections. I hear such crap from McCain supporters. Lately their buzz is “Obama is bankrolled by Wall Street! Goldman Sachs, Lemann Bros evil types pay for campaigns. The reality is that Mccain, Obama, the DNC and RNC all get lots of money directly and indirectly from Wall Street individuals, PACs, and “bundlers”. Both camps get economic advice from Wall Streeters too.
The fact remains that “Wall Street” and the people there who screwed us have always been more Republicans than Democrats. Wall Street has always given more money to Republicans. Bush 43’s advisors are all “Wall Street”, and McCain economic advisors are mostly Bush 43 men. Incestuous, no? The Dems and Obama have started to rack up big money support from Wall Street, too. Lobbyist money always flows to corrupt the party in power. Conservative Republicans on Wall Street and banking got SuperCorrupt from 2000-2008. Now Democrats will start getting undermined by free fun Wall Street money spigots. It is inevitable.

BlueBeach
BlueBeach
12 years ago

Conservatives! Read and weep: a UK socialist paper lays out the current situation: Manchester Guardian, 10/24/08 Threat of big losses puts Republicans in a spin. Ewen MacAskill in Washington The Guardian, Friday October 24 2008 The Republican party showed signs of disarray yesterday over the prospect of a Barack Obama presidential victory being matched by sweeping gains on November 4 by the Democrats in Congress on a scale not witnessed since the 1930s. Figures show the Democrats outspending the Republicans 4-1 in congressional races across the country. Democrats are also being helped by huge turnouts of African-Americans and young voters in states where Obama is unlikely to win but where those in congressional races stand to benefit. Among indications of panic yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled $50,000 (£31,000) in ads scheduled for broadcast from Monday for Michele Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota. The party effectively disowned her over remarks she made on television on Friday in which she said Obama “may have anti-American views”, and that some members of Congress should be ‘investigated’ to root out their “anti-American” bias. The committee is also withdrawing funding from other congressional races seen as futile contests. If Obama won the White House and the Democrats gained more seats in the house and Senate – and even reached the magic 60 seats in the Senate that would allow the Democrats to override any Republican attempts to filibuster legislation – he would potentially be in one of the strongest positions enjoyed by any Democratic president since Roosevelt in 1932. Tom Mann, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution, said yesterday the Democrats could gain seven to 10 senate seats and 20 to 30 in the House. With polls showing Obama extending his lead in key states, John McCain fought yesterday on a… Read more »

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

Too bad Obama didn’t keep to his word and accept matching federal funds limits, like McCain did.
Not only was Obama annointed by the media over a year ago, he’s using that position to buy the election.
Do you think for one second if he had taken matching funds and McCain had all the cash, the media wouldn’t be slamming McCain?

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