These are all examples of the vast dollars that could be used for providing universal comprehensive healthcare, quality education and improving our infrastructure.
In order to support this political economy, our legislators spend most of their time raising dollars instead of doing their job of passing legislation to help their constituents. They raise funds from individuals and the political action committees (PACs) that feed their re-election campaigns. There are PACs whose ideals I support, but I prefer to give my donation to an individual campaign only during an active election cycle where it will send a bigger message of endorsement. Besides, there are always individuals or larger PACs who can give more than I ever could.
A current example of an issue being derailed is the voters' demand for healthcare reform. We have watched the message massaged by the professional political messengers with millions of dollars being spent daily on air, on paper, and campaign coffers. The reform choice of single-payer healthcare (or Medicare for All) was eliminated at the outset from the range of feasible options thanks to heavy influence by lobbyists' campaign dollars. The weakened economic mainstream media have provided very limited coverage of Medicare for All because they would lose advertising revenues from one of their major sources, the health insurance carriers. We, the voting public, are entitled to have our votes have meaning and not be diminished by those who can spend more on each vote. We must have true campaign finance reform.
Achieving true campaign finance reform is hampered by the fact that those responsible for its enactment are the current beneficiaries of today's campaign finances. Our legislators receive funds for their next election and the people who are available to help shape the message for campaign finance reform would be lobbying to put their industry out of business. Therein lies the problem. Our votes are worth less than the money for future campaigns.
I have run for office twice: once for township supervisor and once for state representative. I ran on issues that impact my community. I may have lost each election, but because of my strong showings, my ideas won and were enacted shortly after each campaign. I can sleep at night because I did not sell my soul and my campaigns were honest discussions of issues, not personal attacks on my opponents. We can have meaningful election campaigns but we need to have significant campaign finance reforms. Follow the money!