Money is today’s topic and we’re not talking about personal finances really. I was just considering the millions of dollars which go into presidential campaigns. According to Open Secrets, Obama has raised just shy of $400 million dollars during his campaign with $66 million of that amount being raised in August alone. According to that same source, this is most than twice the amount which Senator Mccain has raised and what makes this most impressive is that Obama’s campaign raised much of that money through donation by Every Day and Average Joes just like you and me.
Impressiveness aside, I just cannot help but wonder: What the hell costs so much?!?
Now, I know what I do not know and that is how a campaign is run. But I also know that the most prominent results of these campaigns cannot possibility cost near the millions that each candidate has spent. It seems implausible that the cost to film and air ads, produce merchandise or even salaries.
A little research shows that 75% “of a campaignâ€™s outlays will ultimately go to paid communication: direct mail, radio, television and Internet ads.” But although Craig Smith might have been Lieberman’s campaign manager 4 years ago, I cannot help but wonder if he’s ever actually had to budget.
And this is pretty apparent when Hilary Clinton admits that much of the money goes to FedEx shipments. Seriously? Shipments? To me, this seems like something that a normal person would try to cut down on and while I can guarantee presidential candidates have more of a need for shipments than I do, it seems like they just think “I have millions of dollars to my name, I can afford to send this and this and this and…” I bet if you took at all those little, unnecessary expenses and tried to weed them out or consolidate as much as possible, a presidential candidate wouldn’t need hundreds of millions of dollars.
Of course, it’s not just presidential campaigns that get me. I wonder the same thing when the president asks for millions more to go toward the war effort. It seems like the obvious things that need to be paid for – salaries, weapons, food, contractors – can’t really add up to the insane numbers that are requested for the effort. Granted, I can at least see a need for money in this field whereas I can’t see a whole lot of need for money at all when it comes to campaigning.
I believe that in both of these examples, the person doing the spending and the person issuing the money are far apart. Estimates and requests are made, money is handed out and, again, because people feel they have a never ending source of income, they don’t budget properly. Sacrifices have to be made and it’s often in the wrong place. Cutting funds when it comes to armor and weapons is not going to protect our troops out there.
However, where the money is going is not the only qualm I have. Where the hell is it coming from? Because our nation is in debt and it’s such a debt (over $9 trillion!) that we wouldn’t even be putting as much as a dent in it if we applied all the money from presidential and war campaigns to it!
It seems to me that a debt like that is essentially indicative of the fact that we, the United States of America, do not have any money and, if that is indeed the case, where the hell are we getting money to put into anything least of all to throw at the war?
Whenever my mind tries to compute large sums of money in the millions, billions or trillions it just fries. I simply cannot imagine that many $1 bills (or even $100 bills for that matter). It’s become increasingly obvious that the people who are involved with that money cannot either; they are only involved at a level where they pick a nice number, track on some zeros and call it good. Because the money is never actually seen and only exists (or does not exist) somewhere in some bank’s computer, we become out of touch.
What does this mean at the end of the day? We continued to spend, the debt continues to climb, the value of the dollar continues to fall and the economy continues to drop making it hard for the average Joes like you and mean to exist while other parties, purposely or not, continue to squander away our money without thinking twice.