In last Sunday’s fifth annual “Spring Cleaning” issue, Outlook contributors said life would be better without nuisances such as flip-flops, the state of Texas and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. When we invited readers to suggest other things that should be tossed and vote for the best of those ideas, about 10 percent of more than 1,100 respondents voted to throw out the controversial 2010Supreme Court decision that paved the way for super PACs and greater corporate influence in politics.

“Get rid of Citizens United,” wrote commenter “Sactoman.” “Declare that for political purposes corporations are not people.”

“Money corrupts politics,” wrote “Brosephus.” “No outside money from ANY source, otherwise we may as well hold elections on eBay.”

Not everyone agreed: “Ayn Rand warned us about people like yourself,” wrote “Pilot1,” criticizing those who would limit corporate spending in political campaigns.

A large number of readers also voted for doing away with tax exemptions for religious organizations.

“Churches have become political machines,” wrote “Cfrost1.” “If a church does charitable work then exempt money spent on that specific work. Otherwise treat them as what they mostly are: political organizations and/or for-profit organizations just like any other business.”

Other readers suggested dispensing with unlimited terms for legislators, the war on drugs and the Second Amendment. However, perhaps the most unexpected spring cleaning candidate was a seemingly innocuous adjective that’s been popular at least since Sean Penn’s turn as surfer Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” more than 30 years ago: the word “awesome.”

“It is overused to the point that it has lost all meaning,” wrote “DoggieMom.” “If just about everything is awesome then nothing is. Niagara Falls is awesome. The Grand Canyon is awesome. Your new pair of shoes isn’t.”

— Outlook staff

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