Millions are too much

Would you be willing to spend millions to get a job?

Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards are. So are the rest of the current presidential candidates.

Clinton made the news recently for raising a record-breaking $26 million and transferring $10 million from her Senate funds for the first quarter of the 2008 fundraising cycle. CNN reported her goal is $75 million, but political analysts are expecting some candidates to raise about $100 million.

That estimation doesn’t seem unlikely. Romney leads the Republican candidates with $23 million, and other candidates aren’t that far behind. Both Giuliani and Edwards have $14 million.

All together, the four of them have raised about $77 million, not counting Clinton’s transfer. That figure doesn’t even include all of the candidates vying for their party’s support.

That much money seems like overkill for the first quarter of fundraising. The presidential primaries haven’t even happened yet, and these people have raised more money individually than most people will ever see in their lifetime.

Though they are gearing up for campaigning in ’08, it’s still only ’07. They aren’t even really competing against other parties yet. They’ll use this money to gain support from people who are already going to vote for them. They aren’t trying to get people to jump to the other side of the fence – they’re just trying to get people to come to their particular part of the pasture.

On top of that, only one person gets to be president. Only one person runs for each party. If Clinton were to win, right now, that would mean about $51 million would be wasted. All of that money gone, either to advertising, research, travel and other operating expenses, instead of going to some other worthy cause.

It’s hypocritical that these candidates who are running for president on the grounds of wanting to provide for the people and their future are willing to risk so much money on a job that is in no way guaranteed.

The candidates need money to campaign, there is no doubt about that. But does it need to be so high? Are their campaigns really that expansive at this point that they need all of this money? We need to start asking ourselves, when is it too much? Is raising this much money being morally and fiscally responsible?

Now, some of the blame needs to fall on the people who donate this much money. It’s great that they are politically conscious and involved, but if they have that much money to give to politicians, we hope they are also as giving to other deserving causes.

When the money gets this high, it loses all meaning. Who can honestly picture $77 million and all the good it could do? There are so many charities, organizations and other research that could use these millions. Most of the candidates running come from a political background and have a great deal of name recognition. Do they really need all of this money to get elected?

It’s sad to think that so much emphasis is put on having enough money to run this country. Silly us – we thought it was having the right ideas and the work ethic to put them into place.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.