Cross-posted from Thom Hartman Blog
Rich brat billionaires and giant transnational corporations have hijacked our political system. CNN is reporting that Shelly Adelson, the same man who dropped a cool $150 million during the 2012 election cycle to defeat President Obama, is now talking about spending tens of millions more in the 2014 midterm elections. According to CNN, sources inside the Republican Party have said that Adelson is prepared to make as much as a $100 million "investment" in the 2014 midterms, trying to help Republicans win back control of the Senate.
And make no mistake about it; when rich people or corporations put money into politics or politicians, it's an investment, and they're expecting a financial return, whether it be in lower taxes or fewer regulations. Adelson's modern-day investment binge followed the 2010 Citizens United ruling that legalized it, so that back in 2012, Adelson planned to spend $100 million and ended up spending at least $150 million.
Meanwhile, as Shelly Adelson is corrupting our democracy with tens of millions of dollars in Chinese gambling cash, Wall Street bigwigs are doing the same thing. The Financial Times reports that Wall Street executives, like Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, are throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at the 2014 midterms too.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Griffin alone has given big bucks to five different Republicans in Senate battleground states, and has given at least $800,000 to various Republican groups. Oddly enough, it's Griffin and his buddies in the finance industry who helped propel President Obama into office in 2008.
Wall Street overwhelmingly supported the Obama campaign in 2008, an investment that has apparently paid off well, as not a single bankster has gone to jail on Obama's watch. But they wanted more than that, so because of the Obama administration's relatively small efforts to reel in the finance industry, Wall Street has decided to put its money in the hands of Republicans.
Shelley Adelson dumping $100 million into our democracy and Wall Street executives having a change of heart and trying to buy up seats in the Senate are just two examples of the rampant bribery that's taken over American politics, which is considered both immoral and illegal in virtually every other developed country in the world.
Thanks to the Supreme Court, and its decisions in Citizen's United, Buckley v. Valeo, and arguably starting with the infamous Powell memo, the wealthy elite and corporations have slowly but surely been able to gain near total control over our democracy and political system. And as the wealthy elite and corporations are profiting off of their investments in Washington, the rest of us are living in a very different America than we had just a generation ago. It's now an America that, despite its great wealth, looks more and more like a third-world country each day.
Our entire infrastructure, from our roads and bridges, to our electric grids and transportation systems, is stuck in the 19th century. Our intellectual infrastructure - our students - are failing and a trillion dollars in debt. Our once strong and flourishing middle-class seems like a distant memory, as wages are at record lows, and median household income has fallen by 7.8% since 2000 alone. And let's not forget our healthcare system, which still doesn't work for all Americans.
The rapid rise in power of the wealthy elite and corporations, and the rapid fall of the American middle-class are the very predictable outcomes of the decisions made by the Reagan Administration in the 80's to turn America into a country that worked very well for the wealthy elite and big business, but poorly for everyone else. And the Supreme Court has significantly helped speed up that process.
We need to start restoring some sanity to our society and political system, and that starts by bringing an end to the legalized bribery that has allowed billionaires like Shelly Adelson and Wall Street executives like Ken Griffin to buy and sell politicians. It's time to reel in the rich brats and corral the giant transnational corporations that are destroying all that America once stood for.