Let Me Just Get My Checkbook...

I don't know if anyone pays attention to the changes I make to the layout of this page from time to time, but I added a national debt counter. It's very informative. I thought for a second as describing it as "cool" as opposed to "informative," but then I remembered the reason behind the counter. Not so "cool."

Now, neither candidate has really given a solution or plan to battle this, seemingly, endlessly growing problem - which should be a major issue on the campaign trails - so this is troublesome. Looking over the lists of projects, programs, and expenditures it's difficult to really balance this budget to begin with. Privatizing Social Security would be a horrible idea, as evidenced by the tumbling stock market. Medicaid and Medicare are keeping many elderly Americans alive and from having to declare bankruptcy, thanks to outrageous health care costs. With increasing numbers of retirees, these three programs are continuously getting hit and quickly loosing funds.

Defense spending can be scaled back, but we also have a higher need for defense thanks to the numerous enemies we amass due to poor foreign relations. Closer looks at defense contracts would probably save a pretty penny. Like the contracts given to KBR.

Of course there are the numerous earmarks (What happened to "porkbarrels"?) that stubborn congressmen and women require in order to pass a simple piece of legislation. Even some of those seem to be a bit over-inflated like the defense contracts.

I've got an idea to help pay down some of this debt, though. Wouldn't it be novel if instead of spending millions and millions of dollars on attack ads during campaigns, a candidate pledged all of their contributions toward a payment to the national debt? Sure, it would probably halt the contributions that the candidate received, but what a message that would send. The lack of ads would be made up by the coverage they'd receive in news broadcasts. Instead of hearing story after story on the latest attack, you hear the latest on the amount that has been raised and contributed.

Wouldn't that show a candidates commitment to trying to fix this problem and a certain level of character? Every time I see an attack ad I don't think, "Gee, I don't like (insert opponent name)." I think, "This is a complete waste of time and money." It actually lowers my opinion of a candidate. It almost brings me to loathing them and their campaign. I could happily get behind a candidate that did away with all of that.

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