Starbucks CEO Says No More Campaign Money & I Agree


I would think it would be difficult to find anyone happy with politicians in DC, no matter their politics. The country is fed up with both President Obama and Congress. I'm fed up with them. And now? Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is fed up with Washington, too.

Schultz is so done with them, in fact, that he's encouraging people not to give political donations. In other words, instead of talking about your dissatisfaction, put your money with your mouth is -- or rather don't put your money anywhere near Washington, no matter the candidate. 

Cut them off. Close those wallets. Hit 'em where it hurts.

According to Schultz, money is the way to get change from political leaders who have "chosen to put partisan and ideological purity over the well being of the people." He told CNNMoney: "All it seems people are interested in is re-election. And that re-election -- the lifeblood of it is fundraising."

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Schultz, a Democratic donor who paid out $183,650 almost entirely to Democratic candidates, is recruiting other CEOs and even passed on a letter to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ stating:

I am asking that all of us forgo political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally, disciplined long term debt and deficit plan to the American people.

It seems fair. It seems more than fair.

Why throw good money after bad? The country is a mess. It's hard to find anything good about the economy, and I think it will only get worse until these politicians we elected truly start making very hard cuts and fiscally disciplined choices that will be very unpopular, including entitlement programs such as welfare, Social Security, and the like.

In my household, we are having tough conversations about how to decrease our own debt of school loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Nowhere in these discussions are we raising "our debt ceiling" by applying for more credit cards or worrying about what the neighbors will think. Instead, we are making the following cuts to our family budget:

Refinancing existing debt? Yes. 

My husband taking a risky new job and taking the bus to work to cut gas bills? Yes.

Drastically reducing dining out? Yes.

Cancelling our phone line, Blockbuster, and Netflix accounts? Yes. 

What's more, we have a ZERO school clothes budget this year. We are getting creative and reusing last year's school supplies. I am cutting and coloring my own hair and everyone else's hair in our family. We question every grocery purchase. 

Most important, living within our means has become our priority. We have become a cash only family the last few weeks. No cash? No buy. And most of the time that means: no buy. We are shrinking our priorities and cutting to the bone. I am sure we are not alone.

We need our politicians to do the same. 

Our government has gotten too big and has not figured out the real priorities. Like my family, they've been accustomed to the "buy now and pay later" way of life. But eventually it has to stop.

Not only that, but we elected our lawmakers to lead, not just be re-elected. We need politicians to understand that they may not be popular and may not get re-elected, but they must makes cuts -- not make more debt. It will be the right thing to do. We need politicians that are focused on making change in one term rather than planning careers and starting their re-election campaign only months after elected.

We elected these leaders to do what is good for the country, not what is good for their political party.

Right now, with this debt over our heads, I truly feel our country is in a treacherously precarious situation that not only threatens this generation's well-being, but the future solvency and very existence of our country. Business as usual is not working. We need new blood or at least to exert pressure on the old guard by hitting them where it hurts in their campaign piggy banks until they think about their country more than their re-elections. That's exactly the sentiment behind Schultz's plan to cut off DC where it hurts.

What about you? Have you donated politically in the past and will you now? More important, are you cutting back in your household budgets and do you expect your leaders to do the same?


Image via quinn.anya/Flickr

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