Analysts are estimating that $4.2 billion has been
spent wasted on this political race for the White House and Congress. When it’s all added up though, that number could rise to $6 billion–a record-breaking amount for any election in history. Here’s an idea: How about instead of throwing millions of dollars at TV ads (that don’t work anyway), we re-prioritize that money in six ways that no one could possibly disagree with (even the politicians).
This race has been noted to spend a whopping $700 million more than the last election–a figure that is shameful, really, when you think about where those dollars could have been better used.
President Obama is reported to have spent $931 million so far, while Mitt Romney racked up more than $1 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And where does that money come from? The super-rich, large companies and individual donors like you and me (although I have never, and will never, donate to a political campaign).
A large chunk of that money–$750 million–has been spent on political ads–you know, those annoying, highly-negative commercials that we all tend to ignore. And for what? So that our government could remain relatively unchanged?
Here’s an idea: How about next election, there is a cap on the amount of money any one candidate can raise and spend. Not only would that level the playing field (assuming it’s a cap that’s within reason) and allow more non-wealthy candidates in the ring, but it would hopefully encourage these mega-rich donors to help other, more needy people.
As the Fiscal Times pointed out, there are a dozen better ways to spend $6 billion, including providing lunch every day for a year for more than 11 million public school students.
And while we’re at it, how about using that money to help feed the 925 million people in this world who are hungry and without enough food, or the more than 18 million women in the U.S. alone who don’t have access to health insurance. Or, how about the one in four children in our country who go to school hungry, or the thousands of women who cannot afford treatment for breast cancer?
Need one more way that money could have been better spent? How about the teenager yesterday at one of the schools I work with who cried out of shame because her family could not afford to buy her shoes.
If anyone thinks the $6 billion was well spent on this election, please try to justify that to these people.