Mexia News Editorial: Dollars and nonsense

The 2016 presidential election is still more than 15 months away, but judging by the fundraising efforts of the laundry list of candidates, money is no object, it is the only objective.
It takes money to win an election in the United States, we should expect nothing less of our capitalist approach to all things, but the money flowing into campaigns these days is frightening.
To date, the money reported by Republican Jeb Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton – to include the unaffiliated political action committees (PACs) formed to support them – would fund the budget of Mexia ISD for nine years. Their combined total is about $177 million.
We could pay for nine years of public education for the children of Mexia with what two candidates have raised in the early going for one election, and the money has only just begun rolling in. That is something we should all be embarrassed about and shows a true lack of proper priorities.
Four Democratic candidates – two of which have just entered the race – have amassed nearly $80 million. A larger field of 13 Republicans have accounted for just over $270 million in campaign funds. That's $350 million and climbing among all candidates.
Of that total, most comes from the Super PACs, where donors remain anonymous. We should not be so comfortable with the idea that millions can be raised and spent to get someone elected in this country without some accountability on where the money comes from.
A recent poll showed that 84 percent of Americans – Republicans and Democrats alike – believe that money has too much influence in elections. The key problem with that figure is those we elect fall within the other 16 percent and are not eager to budge on campaign finance reform. There is a proven formula to win and keep an office and it involves millions of dollars.
Money can't be the deciding factor in a true democracy. If we want to maintain any hint of a true democracy we must act to lessen the impact of money in our elections. Whether it is to even the playing field or diminish the influence of business and wealthy donors, the first step in making every voice matter is to make every dollar matter less.