How much is your daily latte?

Probably something like $3. Assuming you have 4 a week, that’s $48 a month or over $500 a year! This is not a blog post about Fair Trade, nope, this is about political campaigns in the United States.

It’s not a new development that campaign fundraising is “dirty” business, but it certainly has escalated in recent years.

Last night I heard Bill Bradly from Americans for Campaign Reform (and former US Senator from NJ, Democratic Presidential Candidate and NY Nick) on the radio. He was talking about public financing for federal campaigns. His angle: it is far cheaper to pay for candidates congressional campaign than to let them raise the money and owe all kinds of favors to all kinds of people. These favors have a way of turning into very expensive earmarks in the federal budget.

How much cheaper? Well publicly financing campaigns would cost just $6 a year for every American. But it really represents a per capita savings. How is that? Well earmarks cost over $200 a person in 2005! (NOTE: the website says “citizen” but uses the number 300 million. Last time I checked there were 300 million or so people living in the U.S. but not all were “citizens”).

Anyway, back to that Latte, I would give up two lattes a year to get money out of politics and restore some integrity to the process. I’d give a week or more of lattes!