October 23, 2008

Money Well Spent?

Marc Comtois

$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.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

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.

Posted by: David at October 23, 2008 7:46 PM

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?

Posted by: Pragamatist at October 23, 2008 8:38 PM

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.

Posted by: Richardddddd at October 24, 2008 9:29 AM

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 "Joe the plumber" platform, saying an Obama presidency would mean tax increases for the working and middle classes. He also returned to the theme that Obama is too inexperienced to face an international crisis.

Obama, after a rally in Indianapolis, abandoned campaigning temporarily to visit his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, in Hawaii. In a CBS interview Obama said he did not want to repeat the mistake of not being at his mother's bedside before she died. He said of his mother, who died of ovarian cancer: "We knew she wasn't doing well, but you know, the diagnosis was such that we thought we had a little more time and we didn't."

The Republican party is facing tight races across the country in congressional seats it would normally regard as safe. Even Elizabeth Dole, a Republican senator from North Carolina, which has been Republican for 35 years, is on the defensive, with an ad warning voters that the Democrats should not be allowed total control of the White House and Congress. The Democrats had struggled to find someone to stand against her, given she was regarded as unassailable, but the eventual candidate, Kay Hagan, now enjoys a narrow poll lead.

In Minnesota, Bachmann's Democratic rival, Elwyn Tinklenberg, had also been regarded as a no-hoper. But since Bachmann's remarks about Obama, Tinklenberg has been the beneficiary of a backlash, taking in $1.3m in donations since Friday. He has pulled even with Bachmann in the polls.

The non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute reported on Wednesday that the Democratic Congressional Committee has spent $37m since August on behalf of its Congressional candidates, compared with the NRCC's $9.6m.

Democrats are expected to make gains in the Senate in southern states such as Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia, where there are big African-American populations, many of whom are set to turn out for the first time to vote for Obama.

Posted by: BlueBeach at October 24, 2008 9:44 AM

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?

Posted by: EMT at October 26, 2008 12:06 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.