And then the calls and emails stop….

Many of us will be relieved after Tuesday. No more robocalls, no more constant emails hitting us up for another donation and TV commercials reappear with screaming car dealers and talking babys.

Our election process has been corrupted by money. It won’t stop until not only is “Citizens United” overturned, but also that we publicly fund campaigns and limit the length of the process.

But, I want to know why do we not get regular emails from the president, or any other elected leader other than election season? Aren’t they supposed to be our representatives? Why can’t we have contests to have dinner with the president and why isn’t he visiting Ohio at least once a year while he’s in office and not- running?

Why is the only time we hear from out leadership when they want something?

And, where are their blogs, their tweets and their interaction while they are actually in a position to communicate for us?

It’s time that all politicians should have to write a “what we did in Congress/the White House or even the city commission” today piece so that there is not only a record- but a chance to get feedback from those they represent.

What do you think?

Time for Warren Buffett to walk his talk

In yesterday’s New York Times, the oracle of Omaha wrote a plea for Congress to “Stop coddling the super-rich” and raise his taxes and all those of the people making more than $1million a year.

I highly recommend you read it- and then laugh:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.

via Stop Coddling the Super-Rich – NYTimes.com.

This is my response to Mr. Buffett.

If Mr. Buffett was truly sorry about the situation the poor and middle class (which for his info are becoming one and the same) were in, he could change the tax code the same way it got the way it is- by buying his own politicians, just like all his rich friends have for years.

In fact, this is his way of side-stepping the expensive process that runs our country, the one that we mock in other countries as corrupt- the pay-to-play system, the auction of political office to the highest bidder. Buffett doesn’t want to have to pay to get his way- instead he just writes an op-ed column for the New York Times and walks away.

The real answer is for him to back a third party slate of honest politicians (if they can still be found) to go to Washington and do his bidding for him. First order of business would be to pass laws to publicly fund elections, taking the grease out of the fundraising wheels, and second, to reform our elections so that it’s not a lesser of two evils choice, moving to instant runoff ballots. Those two changes would give his ideas of changing the tax code a chance to actually happen.

Buffett is no stranger to giving money to politicians- you can look up his donations here:

http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml

His total is $119,400 according to the FEC- and while that may seem like a lot to some of us, it’s barely rounding error on his taxes (he seems to favor Dems). Frankly, he’s not even a player in the political slush fund arena- which may be one reason he’s so wealthy.

There are solutions to stop coddling the rich and help the rest of us. Mr. Buffett, they require someone to outbid your wealthy friends on our behalf. Are you up to it?

 

Undecided voter = idiots.

At this point, I’m tired of polls. I’m tired of discussions about; race, issues, merits, experience, redistribution of wealth, health care plans, the war, the economy, who is more like George Bush and if any of this matters.

Our system is set-up to really screw-up:

  • The popular vote doesn’t count- so if your state is close to “balanced” you become a swing state which means you can’t escape this stupidity.
  • We spend way too much money on sound-bites, and not near enough time and effort on debates. The first 3 “debates” (2 presidential one VP) were absolute dreck- if we had 3 of the number 3- we’d all be able to learn a lot more. [hint: flag pin questions don’t cut it]
  • Media- that get a good amount of all that political cash- likes the vote to be close- so more money is spent with them. Of course, since they “report” the polls- they help fan the flames. Polls should be illegal. Keep it all private until the election.
  • Hot-button issues like: guns, god, gay marriage, abortion etc. aren’t decided by the president, so why bother arguing about them?
  • All politicians tell us they are going to cut taxes. None do. So why do we talk about it like it means anything? Time for truth in campaigning laws- where we can actually sue them for flip-flopping or lying.
  • We’re supposed to be a nation that separates church and state- so why do we care so much about a candidates religion?
  • Last I checked, there is no “presidential training program”- so debate about “qualifications” is yet another bit of BS. It’s sort of like trying to compare who removes an appendix better- you can only have it done once, so you can’t do a double-blind.
  • As long as we let people buy politicians and allow “lobbyists” to do their thing- a lot of people will be disenfranchised- it’s time to eliminate all campaign “donations” over $100 per candidate. Set up a realtime system that’s free to use- which will only allow each individual to only give $100 per candidate, and a fund a max of 10 candidates per election cycle- and take the obscene money out of the system.
  • Lastly- we won’t have smart people in office, until we have smart people voting for them. If you are still undecided today- maybe you shouldn’t be voting. Let’s have a civics and literacy test before you can vote. Maybe it’s even time to require a HS diploma to vote, since we can’t seem to get more than a 75% graduation rate in this all powerful country.

So, if in 8 days I have to read another headline from the London papers asking how so many people in our country can be so stupid- like we saw 4 years ago, you won’t say I didn’t warn you.

And, btw- if you’re reading this, you are smart enough to vote. Congrats.