Political Conventions: Pointless Schmooze-Fests Cost Taxpayers $136 Million
That's right -- as the U.S. economy continues to shit the bed, taxpayers are shelling out more than $136 million so members of the country's two major political parties can have booze-infused, week-long parties to do little more than schmooze and hang out.
The Federal Election Committee has dropped $18 million for each of the two national political conventions -- the Republicans in Tampa, Florida, and the Democrats in Charlotte, North Carolina -- and that's only for things like booze and balloons.
In addition to the $36 million for party favors, Congress has allocated $50 million for security at each of the two conventions -- which brings the total amount of taxpayer coin for this year's political conventions to $136 million.
Let's take a look at what those of us who pay taxes are getting for our money, shall we?
On the Republican side, GOPers will get drunk in Tampa, talk about how abortion is bad, how the gayz are bad, how immigrants are bad, how Obamacare is bad, how Jesus is good, how Ronald Reagan was fucking awesome, how the debt is too high, how taxes are too high, and ultimately nominate Mitt Romney as the party's nominee for president.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats will get drunk in Charlotte, play with balloons, scream "four more years," ignore the national debt, talk about how businesses are evil, how corporations are the work of the devil, how Mitt Romney never paid taxes, how poor people are entitled to your money, how Paul Ryan wants to put black people "back in chains," how Republicans want to push old ladies off of cliffs, how and ultimately nominate Barack Obama as the party's nominee for president.
Newsflash: we've known both of these guys are going to be their respective party's nominee for months -- in Obama's case, for four years. Does it really take $136 million in taxpayer funds to make it official?
The FEC started footing part of the bill for political conventions in 1976 in an attempt to guard against special interest groups getting too much influence by ponying up the cash for the pointless parties. In 1976, political parties each received about $2 million. But the FEC law includes a "cost of living adjustment" to keep up with inflation. Since then, the number has ballooned to more than $18 million for each party. See the numbers for every convention year on the FEC's website by clicking here.
As for guarding against special interests, the taxpayer coin does literally nothing -- click here for a New York Times article detailing how private companies (many of which have business before Congress) still drop millions of dollars on political conventions (read: try to win influence).
So, as you continue to flip through the want ads -- and the national debt approaches $16 trillion -- the country's politically connected are partyin' away...on your dime.