From Indecision Forever:
Did somebody order the most immaculately perfect example of how the Citizens United ruling will be used to up-end democracy in this country? Because the Atlantic Wire just provided it.
Apparently, 25 percent of all the money flooding into the presidential race this season is coming from a mere five percent.
Oh, wait, did I say five percent? I meant five people…
An analysis of January's campaign-disclosure filings reveals that 25 percent of all the money raised for the presidential race that month came from just five donors. That select group gave $19 million to various super PACs, often in support of more than one Republican candidate. Those numbers come from both The Washington Post and USA Today, though neither gives a complete list of those five top donors of 2012.
However, a look at the biggest overall donors reveals who have been the biggest supporters of this whole campaign and the outsized level of support they've provided — and some indication of how they hope the race will play out. The limit on individual contributions that can go directly to a candidate is $2,500, but when giving to a super PAC the sky is the limit. And a handful of wealthy individuals have already crossed the $1 million threshold in giving.
Now, some of you may be saying that this represents an abject perversion of "democracy." And that may be true. For now.
But I'm sure these five rich dudes will buy up all the dictionaries and fix that soon enough.
Think about that. Out of the millions of dollars spent in the Republican primary in January, one-quarter of it came from just five people!
What do you think those five people are buying with their millions? More tax cuts for the rich, of course. That goes without saying. Every Republican candidate is promising that. But what else do you think they expect to get by spending this kind of money?
And how do you think your $30 donation will stack up to that? What kind of influence do you think you'll have, with your puny donation and your single vote?
And yes, the Democrats will be using SuperPACs, too. But every single Democrat on the Supreme Court opposed that Citizens United decision which declared that corporations were people and money was speech.
That disastrous decision, which overturned longstanding precedent, was decided entirely by those Supreme Court justices who were appointed by Republican presidents. This is what we've done to ourselves by electing Republicans.
Now that money is speech, some people have a lot more "speech" than the rest of us. And like Mitt Romney, they got that "speech" at least in part because they pay a lower tax rate than you do. (Of course, Mitt Romney inherited wealth. And his young sons already have a $100 million trust fund. Well, I'm sure you started off your life with $100 million, too, didn't you?)
And now that corporations are "people," wealthy CEOs don't even have to spend their own money to buy politicians. Now they can spend yours, if you own stocks or mutual funds in your IRA or 401-k (assuming that you're lucky enough to have a pension plan). You might own part of these corporations, technically, but they control them.
And as I say, we did this to ourselves by electing Republicans. Hmm,... it's no wonder they're emphasizing those loony "culture war" issues. Who would vote for them, otherwise? Would ordinary Americans vote against their own interests like this if they weren't made to fear other people?