Big Bucks

Posted: January 12, 2008 in Bureauacracy, Children, Government, Homelessness, Money, Morality, Politics, Veterans

One of my friends writes a blog called Wandering Vets.

While reading his posting yesterday there was a link to a page called "Banking On Becoming President" on the Open Secrets web site. The page outlined the amounts of money that the top 16 Presidential hopefuls have raised up till now: nearly $420 Million.  

It seems a bit peculiar that so much money is being spent on a $400,000 a year temp job. But then again it’s not just the job – it’s the power, and of course the prestige. The office of the President of the United States carries with it quite a bit of influence not only in this country but throughout the entire world.

I understand the need to raise campaign finances. I realize that it takes a huge chunk of money for advertising and having a staff make sure that you say the right things to the right crowds at the right times. After all it doesn’t help to say the wrong thing to the very folks you hope will be voting for you.

Still, I can’t help thinking about all of that money and the amount of good that it could be doing at the local levels – especially when it comes to helping those among our communities who really need help.

In a lot of ways, it’s obscene that so much money is being raise while so many in our nation can’t even afford health care. Then there are the 3.5 million Americans who don’t have a place to call home. Of those, approximately 1.35 million of them are children who not only do not have a bed of their own, let alone a place to call home.

In the meanwhile, with a combined total of $420 Million to date, regardless of which of the candidate wins, the price of the sleeping in the Presidential bed will be an astounding $287,671.23 per night over the four year Presidential term. That’s over 4 times the amount that the average American earns per year.

What does it say about us as a nation that we’re willing to spend in excess of a quarter million dollars per night to have someone sleeping in the Presidential bed while millions of our fellow citizens will be without a place to sleep tonight and many of them will go without a meal? What does it say of our morality? What does it say of our social conscience? What does it say of our values?

We will collectively spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get someone elected to public office, but we aren’t will to give some poor homeless soul a few dollars or some spare change. We’ll donate our hard earned dollars to a Presidential hopeful who will say and promise us anything we’re willing to hear in hopes of getting out vote, but we aren’t willing to donate to the local homeless support service agencies when they ask for our help in helping others.

We have nearly half a million veterans who are homeless. More than half of them will not have a bed to sleep in tonight. We don’t seem to care. We’re too engrossed in hoping that our favorite candidate will win. But, does our favorite candidate care if there are homeless veterans. If not, how can they be good for the Country?

Does our favorite candidate care that there are so many homeless women, children and senior citizens in our nation? And if they do, why aren’t they telling us what they intend to do to reduce the numbers of homeless in the nation?

It is just me, or is anyone else bothered by it?

To be quite honest, I’m not sure if there is a candidate who is better than any of the others. Perhaps I’ll have to cast my vote based on who I think will do the least amount of damage – and hope that their conscience will be smote enough to try and do something to help our nation’s homeless.


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