Through May the two campaigns for President of the U.S. have, including Super PAC money, raised about $400 million dollars. In the scheme of the U.S. econonmy, the U.S. debt, or even the annual Federal budget, it is not an overwhelming amount of money. Considering that it will be used to torture potential voters in the principal “battleground” states that decide U.S. elections it is no small sum. The election of President has been going on for about 3 years considering the primaries. Many voters have tuned out because without control of both the Executive and Legislative Branches there will just be more gridlock. A neighbor said to me today that the South won- meaning that power, public interest and any remaining hope of getting anything done has shifted to State and local governments. The Jeffersonian approach to US government predates our Civil War, but I could not disagree with his theme.
The money that is poured into political ads does create jobs and is successful in convincing an ill informed swing voter that the process is no more than a few soundbites. What it does not do is solve any of the problems facing the U.S., which these same politicians bemoan and criticize each other about. So how about a politcal ad tithe? If they are both concerned about the U.S. deficit, contribute 10% of what will be raised to help pay down the U.S. deficit. Each will argue that the amount is so small that it will do little. Nonetheless, it may save some interest, reduce by a small amount the need for more taxes, or avoid an increase or a restoration of spending for some program. The more each candidate and PAC raises, the more the tithe will contribute. It will not be a tax- it’s is a tithe. Think of it of as paying tribute to those poor voters who have left their computers for a moment, or can’t switch the TV channel to avoid each of their ads.