Udall and Coburn Propose Not Spending Money
Yesterday Senators Mark Udall and Tom Coburn introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of Presidential Election Campaign Funds for party conventions after 2012. Many people don’t even know that the federal government puts over $36 million into the parties’ presidential campaigns. There are a couple things to mention about this proposal.
First, it prohibits use of funds for presidential campaigns after 2012. So this wouldn’t save us a dime for four years. It tends to make you think that maybe this proposal is just election year politics.
On top of that, the money to be saved is only 0.002% of the national deficit. It’s $36.6 million with a deficit of more than $1.5 trillion. To put this in perspective, I made this chart:
Even though the proposed savings here is such a small fraction of what needs to be cut, and even though this is done in the heat of an election year when it’s probably not being done for all the right reasons, we should embrace this proposal. Getting any senator to give specifics of what to cut is a feat. (To be fair, there are exceptions, and Coburn is usually one of them.)
We need to balance the federal budget. There is no chance that we can sustain adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt each year. Even though this proposal is barely cutting into that deficit at all, it’s a start. And Senators Udall and Coburn should be commended for their efforts.