April 14th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #815 'Givin' it up for . . . the deficit'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is fast raising money for the next race for the White House, as are his potential challengers. And in today’s edition of my priceless advice to the top official in our land, I have an idea about how some of that money might be put to better use!

Dear Mr. President,

I don’t often have good ideas. Frankly, it is possible that I’ve never had one, although my notion for airlines serving free shrimp po-boys to everyone who has to take a middle seat still seems promising.

That said, I have had an inspiration. As I’ve read over all the plans being trotted out for budget reduction, including yours, I’ve thought, “Well, I see the sacrifices that we, the voters will have to make, but what about you, the leaders?” You’ve made quite a noise over this notion of going after the rich, and certainly a good many of our top political types not only have a lot of money, but also have an open door for raking in much more than the rest of us in the form of campaign contributions.

So here is my idea: In the spirit of sacrifice, why don’t you work up some legislation requiring half of all money raised for campaigns to be given to deficit reduction? Think about it. You alone have designs on raising a billion dollars. You could reduce the deficit by a half billion, and still have a half billion with which to wage your re-election campaign! Which should be more than enough since this new law would require everyone else to also give up half their campaign funds.

Since we’re expecting the Republican challenger, whoever he or she is, to also raise a pretty plump piggy bank of donations, we could easily be talking about a full billion dollars worth of deficit reduction before we are done, especially if you can rope those outside political groups into the scheme.

After all, when so many people are struggling just to keep their houses, isn’t there something unseemly about you political types raising more money than ever for your interests?

Maybe I’m way off base here, but give it a thought and if you have time give me a buzz. I think we could be onto something here!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jo Ann

    I was at a good friends house this afternoon and we just had the exact same discussion. If Obama can raise a billion dollars for his campaign, why can't he then donate it to reduce or deficit! It's pretty hard for us POOR SLOBS to understand why we keep paying more and more in taxes, but the President and other politicans just think it is acceptable to run campaigns with these type of numbers!Donald Trump looks better and better everyday!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  2. valerie seath

    Like any good family budget, you don't raise the ceiling to encourage further debt, you simply cut expenses! I know it isn't rocket science and you've probably heard it before, but how about our "hired help" in DC taking a cut in their paycheck just like the rest of us our doing? Oh, no, they keep getting pay raises while those of us who are paying their wages are going under.

    I could keep going on and on about what shouldn't be cut, but what is important now is to start seeing some action from our officals who are probably getting wages of $200K plus not counting benefits.

    April 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  3. kachina

    Dear Political Pirates,
    Cut Military & let Nato pay the cost!
    Cut Giving Foreign Countries our tax dollars!
    Cut Politicians benefits & NO benefits after leaving office!
    Increase funding to Education, Medicare\Medicade!
    Raise Taxes on Wealthy & Corporate Pirates!
    You people have almost destroyed America. Your names will forever be remebered in the light of dishonor & disgrace bordering on treason & crimes against humanity!
    Grandmother of Six

    April 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  4. Adelina Fernandez

    I am a retired Missouri Public School teacher. I have been paying for my health benefits since I retired. If the illustrious senators and representatives would choose to pay for their health benefits once they stop serving wouldn't that help with the deficit? A dollar at a time will go a long way...

    April 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  5. Bridgett Nesbit

    Keeping them honest (love your show) I would love to find out how the governments budget works with a few "we the people," adjustments, considering Congress' concern for balancing the budget and making America profitable again it should be a no brainer and give us a good indication of who deserves to speak and vote for us. It would be a show of their investment of America, How much money would be trimmed from the budget if we reduced their pay to 12.00 an hour, ridding them of lobbyist agendas, huge campaign budgets and perks given because of backdoor politics. For eight years the rich have been able to save and now it is time to spend (a ten year break..greedy), if they can not find it in the budget...their pockets and pocketbooks will be just fine.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  6. Bill, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I am 66 years old worked all my life in a hot sweaty machine shop. Paid my taxes on time. But I have never seen this country so divided since the Vietnam War. At that time it was mostly the youth who did not want to die for another country. I agree with them now, I did not agree and still do not agree with the way they attacked our servicemen who were only doing their duty. Today we are divided because we are becoming a nation of rich and poor with the middle class becoming a thing of the past. If you are on the wrong side of the tracks, the responsibility for balancing the budget is being put on your backs. It is mostly our children who are fighting the three wars our country made the mistake of getting us into. There are cuts being made in education and our children are having less of an opportunity to get a college education. Our homes are losing their value if you are still lucky to own one.

    Meanwhile on the other side of the tracks, big companies like GE pays no taxes and receives over three billion in tax incentives. The most wealthiest people like Warren Buffett which he totally admits to, pay less tax than his secretary. Wall Street was lifted back up by our tax money and are now handing out big bonuses like one nothing ever happen. The rich go on their way driving gas guzzling cars and eating in expensive restaurants. Their kids go to private schools and to the best colleges. They have the right to do that because they work hard to get where they are. All I and many others like me are asking is for them to pay their fair share. Why do the republicans and tea party members want to protect them like they're so fragile they cannot be touch.

    This is why I think we're becoming a nation of rich and poor. The way the taxes are set up, our nation cannot become anything but a two class nation. But there is one thing are elected official should remember. We elected you, YOU! who are now working for us and are supposed to be looking out for our interests. Not the special interest groups or the powerful lobbyist which are controlling how things are being done by putting large sums of money in your campaign funds. We're not stupid and you are a fool if you think we are. We see what is happening and we're getting mad. I'm 66 years old with two artificial knees and a bad back, but I am ready to march at a moment's notice. I am tired of politicians going on TV and acting like a used car salesman, double talking and outright lying. Remember you are not fooling anyone.

    Sincerely, Bill from Pennsylvania

    April 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm |