Campaign Contributions

" I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party. Let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly." - Theodore Roosevelt

These are indeed wise words that we have failed to follow and in recent years we have seen the consequences of corporations essentially buying our political candidates and influencing their actions through the dollar. President Roosevelt saw this coming long before the problems that we now have but his words were not heard with caution, knowledge, and wisdom. Please share your ideas on how you would ensure that corporations large political donations become a thing of the past. A few thoughts:
If we simply banned corporations from making political donations, corporations could still donate secretly through individuals. How could this problem be resolved? What if we created one political donation account that was split equally between all candidates? This would make it impossible for corporations to give donations to any one candidate and would also create more equality in the chance that a political candidate may have in the running regardless of party affiliation or wealth. But would this be fair to the individual who'd like to pick a specific candidate to donate to? It may depend on your view of the electoral system. Giving every candidate an equal chance financially in the running may seem unfair but it may also help us make a more informed decision about which candidate we'd choose to support. And remember, contrary to recent history, money isn't and shouldn't be the only determining factor in the candidacy of an elected official. Your knowledge of the candidate, their actions, their passions, and your vote are much more important. And of course to remove corporate influence political commercials would need to end. Do they really educate us anyway or just mislead us with propaganda and hot button statements? Newspapers, television news, online news, radio, and personal appearances could easily be offered to candidates at no cost and to great benefit for us as citizens seeking to be informed as best as possible about our leaders.
What do you think?

If I Were A Politician...

  * I'd raise the minimum wage and disability pay to $15.00 an hour.
This would give people a real living wage and open up options for families so that a parent could stay home with their children and have more time to be involved in their communities. This would also stimulate the economy because people would be able to afford to buy a house, fix up their house, buy a new car, spend more money on recreation and shopping.
* Set up a plan for inflation raises to the minimum wage yearly.
This would ensure that the minimum wage would continue to provide a livable, fair wage that supports our economy.
* Improve the appeal for tourism in our communities.
This would help to stimulate the economy drawing people locally, nationally, and internationally.
* End the occupation of the middle east and set up back up forces in neighboring ally countries.
This would cut down dramatically on the cost of the war to our strained economy and possibly relieve some tension between middle eastern countries and the United States.
* Change the income tax to 10% flat for everyone.
This is a fair amount and an extra 15% or so every month for struggling families is a lot. This would stimulate the economy because more people would have more of their money to spend and the rich might in the end pay more taxes with a lower percentage rate.
* Set up ways for the federal government to raise money for extra expenses instead of raising taxes.
This would put less of a strain on lower income families and would draw people together in an act of patriotism for their country.
* Balance the trade deficit.
Set up a department to be responsible for making our trade as equal as possible; importing only as much as we export. This would create millions of jobs in the United States.
* Balance outsourcing.
Set up a department to manage outsourced jobs and ensure that we aren't outsourcing more jobs than are being outsourced to us....

Have some more ideas? I'd love to hear them, leave a comment!

Ideal Political Priorities

What do you think are the most important things for our presidential candidates and elected officials to focus on currently? Arrange in order of most important to least important and tell us why.

A. Military Spending
B. Medicare and Medicaid
C. Job Creation
D. Making College Affordable
E. Improving K-12 Education
F. Improving the Housing Market
G. Improving the Credit System/ Increasing Loans
H. Labeling GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
I.  Fair Taxes (poor not paying a higher percentage of tax than rich)
J. Other (anything that you think is important)

17th Amendment Analysis

How do you think the balance of power in our government is affected by taking away the state legislatures right to appoint senators and giving that to the people? (The people now have the power to elect the House of Representatives, Article 1 Section 2, and the Senate, Amendment 17)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of  such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to the affect of the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the constitution.

Article I.

Section 3.
Clause 1.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.(See Amendments)

Clause 2.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first class shall be Vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies. ( See Amendments)

Facts On Presidential Candidates And Campaigns

Accurate, truthful, factual information can be hard to find especially in politics. The links below are from non-partisan sources seeking to educate today's voters and provide information on the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of ads, debates, speeches, interviews, new releases, and emails:

Issue Positions- Mitt Romney

Issue Positions- Barack Obama

Issue Positions- Ron Paul

Politifact- A Project of the Tampa Bay Times to Help Find Truth in American Politics

Executive Actions and Key Votes- Barack Obama

Voting Record- Ron Paul

Mitt Romney- Governor of Massachusetts

Public Statements- Mitt Romney

Public Statements- Barack Obama

Public Statements- Ron Paul

FactCheck monitors the factual accuracy of ads, debates, speeches, interviews, news releases, and emails.

Ask a Political Question

How U.S. Tax Dollars Are Spent

Have you ever wished you could get a receipt from the federal government for how your tax dollars are spent? Now you can:   and

Homeland Security Budget:

State and Federal money spent on the war on drugs:

Adding up the cost of Government bailouts:

Top 6 U.S. Government Financial Bailouts:

Total cost of foreign wars:

Our Insanely Big $1 Trillion National Security Budget:

Why Are We Still At War?

Curiously something many of us still know little about. There is a lot of information out there but not many agree on the answer to why we are at war. What is the real, official reason that we are at war? Why are we cutting some of the hardest hit programs,(medicare, social security, food stamps, etc.), affecting people who are unable to help themselves in a harsh economy in favor of a 10% cut in the defense budget? Cost of war: When do the Americans that can afford to support the war start sharing a part of the responsibility to support the war? Cost of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans: Shouldn't those who can afford to support the war pay the price before those who can't? Please leave a comment if you know why we are still at war..or even if you have an idea.

10 Ways To Save Money

Having a written plan on how to spend your money will help you to prioritize and buy the most important items  first and the less important items only if you have enough money left over. If you have some credit card debt or are falling behind on payments starting a budget might be the life raft you've been searching for. A budget may also allow you to increase your savings by cutting out some of the impulse buys you may have made before starting to budget.

Cutting the coupons out of your Sunday newspaper, from the fliers that come in the mail, and from the front and back of some store receipts can easily save you $40.00 or more each month. Some products may have instant coupons on them in the store or a coupon you can use later. Boost your coupon savings by printing them from various online websites or swap unused coupons with your friends, co-workers, or neighbors.

Using pump bottle containers for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, and shave cream can triple the length of time they last. Buy them already in pump bottles, reuse empty pump bottles, or buy empty pump bottles at the store.

Bar soap lasts much longer than liquid hand soap for washing your hands. Spice it up and buy castile, vegetable glycerin, or goats milk soaps with essential oils!

Check Out Some Great Soaps:

Pick out your favorite black, green, or herbal tea in tea bags(or loose) and make a pitcher of tea with 2 or more tea bags (depending on the strength of the tea and size of your pitcher). Only a small amount of hot water is needed to brew the tea (around 4 cups or so), you can add more cold, plain water when the tea has brewed; 2-5 minutes for black or green and 5 minutes or more for herbal teas. Have some fun with it and mix different types together. However you do it, you will save money and benefit your health.

Buy Teas Here:

Farmers market prices are often lower than grocery store prices. Many farmers markets also accept SNAP (food stamp benefits). Farmers market produce is often much fresher and tastier than what you can buy at the grocery store! Most markets carry a wide variety of unique foods and may include other/ non-food items for sale as well.

If you have a yard or even a small deck or porch try planting a garden. Just think of how much one tomato costs? With just one plant you could potentially get dozens of tomatoes. If you have kids planting a garden could be fun, educational, and rewarding (in more ways than just the food!).

Buy Garden Seeds Here:

Before hopping into your car ask yourself, "Do I need to take the car?". Try incorporating walking, bicycling, taking your city bus, or riding your moped or motorcycle if you have one. You'll save yourself money, get in shape, and you might even meet some new friends!

Instead of just throwing away that plastic grocery sack use it as a trash can liner in your home. Simply tie them when full and throw away.

Buy as many items as you can from thrift stores, garage sales, or online auctions. You can find many popular and unique items at a fraction of the retail price.