The Haphazard Blog

Tag: president obama

2016 Olympics

by on Oct.02, 2009, under Politics

There is an awful lot of glee that Chicago didn’t win the Olympics today. It’s silly that so much of it is simply because President Obama supported it and went to Munich to make the case.  How many of these people were chanting U-S-A! at rallies within the last year? Now they cheer when the United States is knocked out of the running for the Olympics. The first to declare others are unpatriotic and somehow this isn’t? Completely disingenuous, and I wish I could say it was surprising.

Here’s a thought. Instead of making it all about President Obama you support a completely valid reason to not hold the Olympics here. Hosting the Olympics is getting more and more costly. Unless it is done smart and makes use of much of the existing infrastructure, there is going to be massive debt that will be paid for decades after the Olympics are long gone. Chicago, or any city in the United States, really does not need the international spotlight. The primary beneficiary of the Olympics in Chicago would’ve been politicians getting a very large national stage and private corporations profiting from the actual games and the myriad of projects required to prepare the city for the games. The taxpayers, both locally and nationally (I’d expect some type of federal stimulus to help fund this), would’ve borne the cost of it.

This is really the main reason politics, especially at the national level, drives me nuts. There is so much disingenuousness when they speak. This would never happen since the people who would actually need to make it happen are the ones that would be affected, but in an ideal world, “we the people” would vote in the people who would fundamentally change the way congress operates.

  • Term limits (1 for Senators (6 years) and 2 for Representatives  (8 years)) to reduce or eliminate conflicts between legislating and securing money for re-election
  • Reduction in salary to the average salary in the United States as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau, adjusted for inflation annually ($43,362 in 2005). They represent their constituents and should be paid more like their constituents.
  • Eliminating political action committees (PACs). PACs are ways for companies to get around (somewhat) election contribution laws. In addition to being able to contribute to candidates, they can campaign for them as long as they don’t coordinate with the candidate.
  • Further reducing the per-person yearly contributions. The gap is still rather large between a typical small donation and the maximum limit of $2,300 ($4,600 per couple). If the limit is lower, there is less of an incentive to cater to high money donors and more of one to reach individual constituents.

I think actions like this would tip the scales back to the people away from lobbyists and special interest groups. I’m sure they’d find other creative ways (jobs after their terms end?) to try and push their influence, but it would be nice to start somewhere. When you have Senators admit so freely that they let lobbyists write legislation and there is little outrage, I think it’s evident that “we the people” are more than likely going to get the short end of the stick while a minority benefits the most.

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