The public issue that our team will address throughout the course of our project will be the perceived ineffectiveness of the U.S. federal government. More specifically we will attempt to fix the problem of excessive campaign finances and contributions that has allowed the political influence of wealthy individuals and large corporations to undermine the integrity of American politics.
The overarching issue of ineffective government has serious implications for the future of our nation and the rest of the world. Significant crisis presented by growing problems such as our crumbling infrastructure and rising debt have the potential to destroy the American economy and our way of life. Additionally, as exemplified by the financial crisis in 2008, issues within America can have far reaching and devastating effects throughout the world. Beyond the scope of national problems, tackling global issues such as climate change requires the participation of the United States, something that we continually fail to do. All of these issues require an effective government, which we do not have in the United States.
The most basic way that our federal government enforces its influence is through enacting laws. An inability to pass laws is therefore a reasonable marker of government ineffectiveness. Since the 93rd Congressional Session began in 1973, there has been an express declining trend of laws enacted. We have reached the point where the 114th Session (the most recent completed session) enacted only 329 laws; that is less than half of the 772 laws enacted in the 93rd session ("Historical Statistics about Legislation in the U.S. Congress", 2018).
There are many underlying factors that are contributing to the ineffectiveness of the federal government, and excessive campaign financing and contributions present a factor that can be mitigated through an independent business venture or by partnering with existing businesses.
In our modern day political system, money continues to be a major influencer. As we move into the future, the separation between money and politics continues to decrease. In 2012, the total federal election spending totaled out to be over $6.2 billion, which is double the $3 billion that was spent in the 2000 political campaign (Prokop, 2014). Furthermore, the views of the public have soured over the roll of money in politics. A collaborative poll between the New York Times and CBS News, conducted in 2015 stated that, “In a rare show of unity, Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, agree that money has too much influence on elections, the wealthy have more influence on elections, and candidates who win office promote policies that help their donors” ("Americans’ Views on Money in Politics", 2015). In fact, 84% of respondents to the poll reported that they felt money had too much influence in politics, and only 4% believed that politicians never promoted policies to directly benefit their campaign donors. On an even bleaker note, 46% believed that the campaign financing system needs a complete overhaul, but 58% held pessimistic views on if any change could be made ("Americans’ Views on Money in Politics", 2015)
It is in these bleak prospects that we see an opportunity for an independent business venture or a partnership with an existing business. We are proposing partnering with social media platforms or developing an independent media platform that is devoted to informing voters on candidates platforms, while remaining independent of any political party and having a neutral stance on political issues. All candidates will gain exposure through the new business or the partnership so that more voices are being heard in politics and the people have options they believe in rather than choosing a lesser of two evils.