Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pretty Soon You're Talking Real Money

So, I saw on TV last night that Obama is looking to raise a billion dollars for his 2012 presidential campaign. There's not a candidate alive who doesn't think his stewardship is worth the effort and manpower required to put him in that capacity, but still, a billion bucks? Wow.

I'll admit that a billion doesn't buy what it used to. If so inclined, candidate Obama could bankroll both Feeding America and Doctors without Borders for a year ($400M and $600M respectively) with that kind of scratch. If he had the gall, he could also front the entire budget of federal alternative energy research for a year too. Or fund three free days (more or less) blowing people up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A billion dollars spread out to every hospital in the country (about 6000 of them) could donate about $170,000 to each, about a doctor for a year. Spread to every town (about 25000) could be about $40,000 each, employing yet another sorely underpaid teacher for twelve months, although probably not with benefits. Spread to every household (about 100M), then it's crisp clean ten dollar bill. Not much, but we can certainly appreciate the thought. Once I got past my justifiable suspicions, I would at least drink the sixpack the president bought for my family. Chump change I can believe in.

(Parenthetically, I suppose that this implies if everyone and their spouse checked off the $3 box on their 1040s, then these fuckers would have more than enough money for campaigning and related graft.)

It's not like we don't know who the guy is, but let's assume he still needs to extract a couple hundred thousand bucks to attend the inevitable debates. He can explain the other details of the stunt to the incredulous press during the usual briefings. If president Obama decided to forgo the rest of the business (and taking the further improbable assumption that one can fundraise a billion without returning a significant chunk of it to the fundraising activities)--no babykissing, no ad buys, no rubber chicken meet-n-greets--would you vote for Barack Obama if he gave you ten bucks?

Sure you'd just be getting bought off by the donors directly, but at least you'd be in the loop for once. And it'd be a lot fucking quieter. And who knows, maybe the pundit goobers could find something useful to talk about besides the campaign.

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