Monday, October 25, 2010

My Economic Stimulus

I've long been a critic of the campaign process, both in terms of time and dollars spent. Posturing for position on the ballot begins years in advance for Senate and Presidential seats, and I equate campaign ads with fastfood marketing - billions spent on 30 second sound bytes with zero substance. Obama's refusal of public financing in 2008 embodies this distaste.

In a system I once characterized as out of control, the spending really has become out of control. According to the Washington Post, for the week ending October 17, outside groups alone have spent $68.2 million. Three GOP candidates (Meg Whitman in California, Rick Scott in Florida and Linda McMahon in Connecticut) have spent $243 million so far - just of their own money!

So with literally billions spent on rent-seeking activities that don't generate capital or jobs, here's my proposition: 1:1 matches for all political activities until we achieve true campaign finance reform. If you want to give $3 million to the National Association of Realtors, that's fine. But then you spend another $3 million in providing market liquidity and generating product demand. Or providing states money to hire more police officers and teachers. Or something else that actually benefits society. Because I've seen what the major mortgage companies have accomplished recently, and it makes me suspicious that the $2 million the National Association of Realtors is spending every week on influence peddling could find a better way to assist America.

No comments:

Post a Comment