Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

Do the Rich Rule America?

By       Message Chuck Collins     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 8/26/15

- Advertisement -

Reprinted from otherwords.org

Indeed, it seems like a presidential hopeful must have at least one billionaire backer -- and ideally several -- to be considered a credible candidate. Roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks gave $5 million to the Scott Walker campaign. Houston billionaire Toby Neugebauer gave a $10 million boost to Ted Cruz. Oracle CEO and billionaire Larry Ellison gave $3 million to Marco Rubio.

This political patronage system effectively disenfranchises ordinary voters.

Since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for unlimited political sending, the pace of contributions has only escalated. Super PACs have already raised $258 million for this election cycle -- more than 16 times the total from this point in the 2012 race.

- Advertisement -

Unfortunately, this is just the tip of iceberg.

From flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6551534889/: Money
Money
(Image by 401(K) 2013)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

The wealthy are major contributors to a vast array of other lobbying groups masquerading as tax-exempt social welfare organizations. The Koch brothers alone have vowed to give and raise nearly $1 billion for these kinds of groups and related work by think tanks and universities during this electoral cycle.

These organizations don't have to disclose the identity of their donors, even as they increasingly influence our elections.

The Federal Election Commission has effectively thrown up its hands in attempting to regulate this secret money. As a result, untold additional millions will flow through these tax-exempt corporations, providing the super-wealthy with another avenue to influence the outcome of state and federal elections.

This isn't just a new Gilded Age. As Campaign Finance Institute president Michael Malbin says, this may even be a new "Platinum Age."

What can we do?

Encouraging movements are forming in response to the corruption of our electoral system. So far, 70 former members of Congress have come together to form the bipartisan ReFormers Caucus to press for campaign finance reform. And a new group,99Rise, has launched a campaign to expose and eliminate secret money from our campaign finance system.

- Advertisement -

Carter laments that the present system of campaign finance "violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system."

A century ago, Louis Brandeis expressed similar fears for our fragile experiment in self-governance. "We must make our choice," the future Supreme Court justice said. "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

We must make our choice: democracy or rule by the rich?


 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good (www.inequality.org). Chuck is also a co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Twenty Billionaires Have More Wealth Than Half U.S. Households

Do the Rich Rule America?

A Tax Plan to Rally Around: The Buffett Rule

The 99 Percent Spring

Bank of America's Healthier Roots