Today I want to share my plan to reduce the state and national debts. Let's start by eliminating all primary elections. Last Tuesday I spent almost all day from 6 am to 9 pm waiting for a few hundred voters to show up and exercise their freedom to vote. Because it was a primary they could only vote for their party and in most cases there were no real contests. Not including the cost of all of the equipment, it probably cost at least $1,000 in salaries, rentals, and materials to run our precinct for the 301 voters (16% of eligible voters) who showed up. And this is not unusual for an annual primary. Now I think there are about 250 precincts in Lancaster County alone. So there is about $250,000, plus I don't know how much more in costs for all the full-time staff that works for the election bureau. In addition to handling absentee ballots and registration they must prepare, deliver and pick-up the equipment. They must also spend weeks verifying the returns from each precinct. Now multiply that amount by 67 counties and you can begin to see how much is spent, or let me say, wasted on a primary. Now my suggestion is to eliminate the primary and let each party send out ballots or find another way to select their candidates. And let those not selected by the party have their names placed on the final ballot by getting a minimum number of signatures on petitions. Now that change alone would save millions annually for a state that is facing severe financial difficulties. Then I would also reform national campaigns. I would eliminate super PACs. One of these PACs plans to raise 240 million to influence campaigns this Fall. Multiply this by all of these PAC's and use this money instead to support medicare or reduce the national debt. Limit the amount that a campaign can spend - let's say 60 million dollars for a national campaign. In his last campaign our president is said to have spent almost a billion dollars - not million, but billion! Wouldn't this have been better spent on reducing the national debt? And a limit on campaign spending might even reduce the negative advertising that floods television. It might also make it easier for a common person to compete and gain office instead of just the rich and connected as happens today. And let's limit the campaign to three debates - we don't need more than that, especially if they are handled correctly and hit the main issues. Maybe by curtailing campaign activities we would have kinder, more civilized campaigns that would be centered on the issues rather than on the negativity that we now experience. And while we are reforming things, let's also eliminate the recorded telephone messages. I'm sick of them - they give me a negative impression of the candidate especially when I must interrupt a meal or other work to answer them. And why are these calls exempt from the no-call policy? Well I know such changes are just a dream. Nobody will consider them seriously - maybe they make too much sense. But if we are serious about saving money and reducing state and national debt, here would be a great place to start. As the debt deepens we will continue to spend millions and billions on the election "circus". But I guess such changes would run counter to the main goal of most elected officials to get themselves reelected over and over again. Term limits? Well that is another issue for another day.
4 days ago