Bain Capital, Tax Returns and the Kitchen Sink

This campaign season we are likely to endure new heights in campaign financing.  These record-breaking figures might be responsible for many debatable effects, but there is one thing they will most definitely do and that is drive up the number of ads that will be forced on us.  Of course the campaign is already fully underway, with Mitt Romney defending his tax returns and his tenure at Bain Capital and President Obama attempting to counter a bad sound bite where he may or may not have told business owners that they don’t build their own businesses.  I have only one thing to say about all these accusations and sound bites, I don’t care.

Unless Mitt Romney did something illegal on his tax returns or committed a criminal act while CEO of Bain Capital, I don’t care about either.  I want to know what he plans to do about the current financial slump or better yet what he plans to do about the massive banking corruption that is unfolding as we speak in investigations across the world.  Does Mitt Romney hide money in off-shore tax shelters?  Maybe, maybe not.  What I want to know is what he plans to do about tax money that was misspent by the GSA.  But this isn’t just about Mitt Romney.

In the past few days, Romney’s campaign has attacked a single sentence in a speech made by President Obama.  I have read the text of the speech and I can see where there is ample room for a trained attack campaigner to jump.  Basing a campaign attack on a single line is about as ridiculous as basing it on a person’s tax returns.  Especially when you consider this is a campaign to run our country and we all deserve better information.  Some already have an explanation for this ordeal.

In a July 2011 article, Fareed Zakaria spoke about narrowcasting in American politics.  Narrowcasting gears news and policy towards the extremes of either side because of factors like “safe districts” where the only room for change is farther to the left or right of the same-party incumbant.  Zakaria claims that this same mentality has slipped into our news system and helps support polarization of the country.  I feel that campaigns, like the ones we are now witness, also play a large part in narrowcasting.

I think there are better questions for the candidates to answer.  My first question, what does either candidate plan to do about the GSA?  Both CNN and Foxnews have reported the GSA has grossly misused funds.  In one instance, the agency spent around $800,000 on a convention in Las Vegas.  The GSA has also made employees attend cooking classes as team building exercises.  The GSA has a budget around $26.3 billion according to an article by Scott Zamost and Drew Griffen of CNN.  Foxnews on the other hand reported the House had slashed the GSA budget by cutting it by $100 million, a seemingly large figure until it one compares it with the total budget.  The cut is about .3% of their total budget.

Another question, what does either candidate plan to do about the “ghost cities” in China.  As early as 2010 the Daily Mail UK reporters showed satellite imagery of enormous completed construction projects from colleges to apartment buildings that seem completely vacant.  This evidence implies that China’s impressive growth numbers may rely on these giant projects that aren’t actually being used.  This also implies that if something bad were to happen to the Chinese economy, much like what happened in Dubai during our recession, then they could have a market crash.  Is there a way to insulate the United States from what might become another massive economic bubble?  Is there a way to insulate the world economy from such a crash?  I don’t know, but I think a candidate for president should.

There are more questions and they will most likely be the subject of blogs to come.  But this is an article about campaigns where all we do is talk about anything except what needs done.  They haven’t thrown the kitchen sink at us, but if Mitt Romney claimed it on his tax returns or if President Obama spent tax-payer dollars on it they will.  I want to hear campaigns that talk about what candidates plan to do during their terms.  Then I want an electorate that will hold them to what they say.  I am not completely idealistic, so I don’t think that a massive change will happen and all of a sudden droves of people will clamor for “boring” campaigns or news.  I can hope that these little writings will help in some tiny way.


About cartmilln

I am a graduate with a BA in English who has spent the past eight years of my life in one form of retail or another. I am believer in facts and an informed electorate. I don't feel that either side of our political spectrum is "right". Count me among those blindly hopeful who believe that the United States' population is capable of intelligent discourse.
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