Money In Politics

Ok...I'm still figuring out how to post. I posted this in my blog, but I meant to post it in usapolitics so I'm reposting it.

 

Some of you may be getting sick of me beating the drum about money in politics. I am of the opinion that money in our political system is the number one issue we need to face before we can have a rational debate about any other problems. With the Citizens United decision, all the power has been shifted to corporations and the wealthy who almost universally sponsor conservative candidates. The bottom line is that corporations have an immensly larger amount of funding available to support Right-wing candidates than grass roots funding and other groups can generate to fund Left-wing candidates. Conservatives may applaud this decision because this could virtually guarantee that conservative philosophy will rule the land since 94% of elections are won by the candidate with the most money. The problem with that as I see it, is that American policies are being shaped by only the wealthy. This takes power out of the hands of "We, the people." That's not what our founding fathers had intended. All I am trying to do by laying out this comparison is to illustrate where the philosophy of each party stands on important issues and who benefits. I am not suggesting that either party is 100% guilty of anything, nor 100% innocent. This is just a layout of the basic philosophy regarding where each party stands on some very important issues. Certainly, many more issues could be listed here since the Right and the Left don't agree on anything anymore. Do we have class warfare in this country? You bet we do!

 

On The Right

Republicans are for:

  • Tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Tax cuts for corporations
  • Deregulation that helps major corporations including oil, coal, mining, parmaceutical companies, insurance companies and the finance and banking industries to increase profits
  • Subsidies for major corporations including oil, coal, mining and finance
  • Citizens United
  • Massive military spending
  • Foreign Nation Building
  • Military intervention in oil rich dictatorships
  • Privatizing many services which traditionally have been provided by government including our penal system, education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, infrastructure and more

Republicans are against:

  • Federal healthcare coverage for all
  • Federally run prisons, schools, healthcare, retirement income, highways
  • Ending campaign financing as it stands
  • Equal pay for women
  • Equal rights for the LGBT community
  • Equal rights for anyone who isn't Christian
  • Protecting the environment if it gets in the way of business interests
  • Equal voting rights for groups that might vote democratic
  • Providing benefits for those who are unable to help themselves

Sponsors:

  • A relatively small amount from grass roots fund raising
  • A handful of extremely wealthy individuals
  • Most from extremely wealthy individuals and corporations via Citizens United

Who benefits:

  • The top income brackets within our populous

 

On The Left

Democrats are for:

  • Healthcare coverage for all
  • Federal funding for education, infrastructure, healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, more
  • Providing benefits for the poor and downtrodden
  • Equal rights for all regardless of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religious beliefs
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Protecting the environment
  • Preservation of wild lands, wetlands, wildlife, national parks and national forests for the benefit of future generations
  • A graduated tax system based on taxing most, those who are most able to pay

Democrats are against:

  • Citizens United
  • Tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Removing regulations that were implemented for the protection of the masses
  • Many subsidies for corporations
  • Military intervention
  • Privatizing essential services which have been provided by the government

Sponsors:

  • Most funding from grass roots fund raising
  • Unions
  • Environmental groups
  • Equal Rights organizations
  • Human rights organizations
  • Comparatively little funding via Citizens United
  • Comparatively little from wealthy sponsors

Who benefits:

  • Masses of people who belong to and support these various groups, and that these groups and organizations represent in turn.
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Comments (17)

  1. monkeygirl21

    I think the more we post our case the better. At least we can say we are not giving up!

    June 22, 2012
    1. Munkyman

      Perseverance wins again & again, those who’d rather it not exist know this & understand the art of distraction is their best tool. Who remembers Haiti & how we were gonna fix it up & extend a genuine helping hand to the people. Most people forgot about it as soon as the next humanitarian disaster came along & instead of helping the people we made rich people richer with our charity thanks to poor stewardship, we didn’t keep our eye on the problem & we didn’t stick to our promise. We knew the risks & we ignored them in favor of the next “shiny thing” to catch our eye & jerk a tear.

      June 23, 2012
  2. 12SunOryx

    This is why I am all the way Left.
    Marxists want to completely end corporate control over America, by any means necessary. Not even bring things back to ‘the way they were’, but stop them from ever being able to do it again. Nationalize our banks, and put big money under Democracy and democratic control. End corporate welfare in favor of human welfare, which is much less expensive.
    Demilitarize the planet, since we have bases all over the world. Our government is bought by arms dealers and we need to re-take. They are destroying our economy. I will not compromise on these issues. We are turning into something worse than the Soviets were. All we need are a complete Republican takeover to form a one-party system, and a systematic purging of anyone on the Left, and America is officially as bad as all the Communist nations it likes to criticize. And with the way things are going I see that as a definite possibility.

    June 22, 2012
  3. gbakere

    12SunOryx…you said,
    “All we need are a complete Republican takeover to form a one-party system, and a systematic purging of anyone on the Left, and America is officially as bad as all the Communist nations it likes to criticize. And with the way things are going I see that as a definite possibility.”

    For whatever it’s worth, I see it as a definite possibility as well. We so hated the Soviet hardliners. Now we have a mess of ‘em in our own country on the Right. Wtf? I think the difference is that our hardliners are driven by money. The power brokers in America are every bit as ruthless as the past Soviet hardliners or any of the well known mobsters of our past. It’s strictly business. They’ll do whatever it takes. The more of the world they control, the more money they make and money is power. Control the USA and you control the most powerful nation in the world. Control the USA and militarily force opposing nations to their knees…or perhaps not…but the power brokers don’t see the not. The power brokers don’t understand people and the extreme lengths that people are willing to go for freedom and fairness. If the power brokers are victorious, their victory will be short lived in history.

    The way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with incentives for everyone to improve living standards. I like capitalism. Greed is subjective but I believe that human nature is greedy. I like the idea of a society that provides incentives so anyone can make as much money as they desire, but that advancement must not come at the expense of others. Everyone must pay to maintain a fair, orderly and safe society. The life of a McDonalds worker is no less valuable than the life of David Koch. In fact, I’m sure there are far fewer people who would like to see the death of the average McDonalds than would like to see the death of David Koch. We are catering way too much to the greed of only those at the top. That’s the Republican platform. That’s what Republican politicians are paid to lie, cheat, steal and manipulate in any way possible for.

    We have a campaign financing system which allows all politicians to be bought by special interests and wealthy individuals. The difference is that the Right is being bought for the benefit of a few to profit. The Left is being bought by interests that masses of people benefit from. That is why I side with the Left. That said, large contributions to political campaigns must be outlawed if we are to have a system where our elected officials represent those who cast the votes as opposed to those who pay the bills.

    June 22, 2012
    1. 12SunOryx

      I never agreed with the Soviet-style politics, and often criticized their approach to it. But I see the same tactics emerging in my country from the Capitalists. It makes it increasingly difficult for me to maintain my previous political methodologies, and I really hate that. I use to be against the one-party system, against the stifling free speech, against the ultra militancy.
      I’m not saying I agree with it now, just seeing how the Right-Wing is doing things lately… The growing terrorist groups I see forming around the world as well, as a result of the extremist ideology. I cannot remain a passive observer anymore. The whole NWO conspiracy theories, in spite of all their hyperbole, are actually not terribly off. Except the truth is the elites are doing all of this out in the open, in a rather mafia-like manner.

      I do not agree with Capitalism though. I think the incentive should be for labor, not for wealth. Wealth should be a reward for working, and right now the people who work the most, make the least amount of money. Meanwhile, hardly anyone of the Capitalist class works at all. The whole system is rigged, the goal is money and society is neglected, and workers are actually punished for their hard work. Its just not right to me.

      I think we need a radical Left in this country. The Right keeps getting more aggressive and the Left remains passive to them. I think we need a more aggressive Left to fight them. Because I don’t like the way things are going right now. We need less rights for the wealthy and large corporations, and more rights for the individual.

      June 22, 2012
  4. gbakere

    I disagree only in the respect that hard work is often not smart work. People should be rewarded for ideas every bit as much if not more than for hard work. With all of it however, we’ve lost a level of fairness in this country. For myself, if I were a wealthy man, I would want to take exceptional care of my employees. Apparently Google is an outstanding place to work. Because they value and reward their employees, Google is one of the most sought after places in the world to get a job. They expect a lot from their employees and if you’re not cutting the mustard, you won’t be there long but if you are a productive member of their team, the benefits are outstanding. I remember a few years back, seeing an interview on TV (I think 60 minutes) with the CEO of Costco. Costco’s worth had risen rapidly under his leadership which is one of the reasons they wanted to do the interview. Costco’s average employees made double what Sam’s Club employees made. The CEO made something over $300,000 per year which was extremely low pay comparitively speaking, for running a company the size of Costco. Many corporate executives thought he was crazy for having such a low salary but when asked about it, he said that he thought that making 10 times what his average employee made was pretty good pay for what he did. For a man in his position, having the expertise to run a company like that and with the level of responsibility placed on his shoulders, he was truly a humble man and it appeared he had his priorities in the right place. People like that are extremely rare. Virtually all people are greedy – just to different extents. While I believe in a mostly free market economy, I also believe in the right of employees to gain power through collective bargaining. I believe in government regulations to protect the masses from tyrannical greed. It’s government’s job to protect us from tyrants, which is another reason for not allowing tyrants to have the ability to finance politics.

    June 22, 2012
    1. 12SunOryx

      We appear to place an exceptional amount of value on intellectual property today. Which is odd to me, because its another example of creating value out of nothing. Thats what the wealthy are doing now; creating value out of thin air. In this case, by claiming ownership of an idea, or a thought. I’m not saying ideas are worthless. But I do think its odd we live in a culture where a single idea can make you a billionaire. And people breaking their backs working on top of a roof for 12 hours a day will remain poor their entire lives. It just seems to me like a society that doesn’t have very good priorities.

      June 23, 2012
  5. Munkyman

    An issue we’ve been wrestling with since we were just a confederation. One of the hotter topics in the Federalist Papers. A minor factor in the duel that ended Alexander Hamilton’s life.

    June 22, 2012
  6. Munkyman

    As for the lists, I have to say they seem to convey that you find yourself a Democrat & that Republicans are just bad people. I take issue with this knowing there are many Democrats that don’t favor marriage rights for same sex couples & that Dick Cheney the “man behind the curtain” has a great relationship with his openly lesbian daughter & I’m certain he’d want her to have any happiness she reasonably desired including her own Mrs. Cheney. The Log Cabin Republicans again put a little more grey in your argument on that issue.

    Now all that said I think both parties are hopelessly corrupted by the money of special interests. In that big bag of grass roots et al you don’t mention the $20-$30 thousand dollar a plate dinners where corporate fat cats buy, multiple plates in exchange for influence. This type of fund raising is quite common in both parties.

    As much as I hate the Citizen’s United ruling it was an gross attempt by the court to make campaigns more fair. Unions give very large contributions & spend still more on their own ad blitzes. Unions represent about 14% of Americans & they have too much influence for that so the Court in it’s less than infinite wisdom decided to let anyone play by the rules unions have been playing with for decades. I think the wiser thing would have been to curtail union lobbying & donations instead but, the way the Court works that was not an option. The Court is only allowed to consider what is brought to it, it’s not allowed to be “proactive.”

    Wealthy sponsors like the Kerry-Heinz family or perhaps the Kennedy clan, maybe the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? The list of wealthy sponsors in the Democratic camp is just about as long & wealthy as those in the Republican camp.

    Now for Jill, because I’m sure if she happens by this will be read by her as me sticking up for the Republicans, I’m not, not at all I’m pointing out neither party has the moral high ground & that they are both in the ethical sewer. Moreover I am encouraging anyone & every one to vote their conscience not just for the person they think will win or the person who tells them the tastier lies, if we stop supporting them in the ballot box their corruption will leave with them & then the government is once again ours to lose control of… should we take our eye off the ball again the next time the “good times roll.”

    June 23, 2012
    1. gbakere

      Munk…
      While I don’t agree that there is an equal amount of financial influence from both sides, you have illustrated my point, which is to take the power of moneyed influence out of politics all together. You’re absolutely right…raising money with outrageously expensive dinners is insane when we are supposed to have a democratically elected, “by the people” government. We are supposed to have a “one man – one vote” system. Instead, when 94% of elections are won by the candidate with th most money, we have a very calculated, “how many votes can be purchased?” system. Sheldon Adelson alone, will likely contribute roughly 5% – 10% of the money for the Romney campaign. If all unions combined contributed 50% of the money financing Obama’s campaign (which they won’t), on a per person basis, it’s barely a fraction of what Adelson puts out.

      Yes, there are extremely wealthy power brokers on both sides but the Right has many more. When you consider the philosophies and motives of each side, the Right is fighting for favortism toward the wealthy and the Left is fighting for favortism toward the masses. I had been a Conservative a while back. If I felt things were going too far to the left, I could consider voting conservatively again. There are just too many things about the unfairness of our system that made me move to the left. America has the widest income disparity in the industrialized world. America has virtually the highest incarceration rate in the world. America has the worst healthcare system in the industrialized world. We’ve been continuously cutting back on funding for education. While I would agree that throwing money at our educational system won’t necessarily make it better, continuously cutting funding can only make it worse as demonstrated by our corresponding slide in world rankings. Our highways are in horrible disrepair. Acquiring funding for simple maintenance of what we already have has been like pulling teeth. We once had the greatest highway system in the world – not anymore. Our corporations and our wealthy are enjoying the lowest tax rates in over 50 years. Ummm…is there any correlation here? Duh…

      Religious influence suggests that only God has the power to change the environment despite scientific evidence that polution is causing the overall rise in temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. Also, fossil fuels are a finite resource. Other countries have taken the lead to develop alternative energy sources. Brazil has become very advanced and a player in the industrialized world, yet vast portions of Brazil still live a third world lifestyle. Brazil is 100% energy independent and is miles ahead of us on that front. Many parts of Germany have solar panels on virtually every rooftop. Other countries including China are putting huge resources into alternative energy. They’re leaving us in their dust in a rapidly emerging market. Despite all this, we are still funneling huge subsidies to our oil industry and the Right refuses to acknowledge the need to develop new energy resources and technologies. And who is a major contributor to the Right?…the oil industry. It makes it appear that politicians on the Right are being paid to preach their stand of “Christian values.” After all…divide and conquer is the philosophy of the Right, benefitting the wealthy over the interests of the masses. Just ask Scott Walker.

      June 23, 2012
      1. Munkyman

        We actually have one of the finest health care systems in the world & that is why just about anyone who can afford it get’s treatment here, Switzerland, South Korea. Now we don’t have the most reasonable healthcare system & the concept of profits in healthcare is outright illogical in my opinion but, we’ve got some of the very finest health care in the world.

        We may just be letting those others absorb the costs of learning about alternative energies in practice as they did when we began researching things like highspeed rails in the 60’s & sold working proto types to the Germans & Japanese who’ve borne the costs of testing usage & finding out the real world hazards we can now avoid as we upgrade our rail system. It’s not always wise to be 1st.

        June 23, 2012
      2. Munkyman

        & again I don’t favor the right or the left I think we need to be very careful because thanks to the right & the left we’re losing the middle at an alarming rate.

        June 23, 2012
        1. livepast60

          I didn’t see the policies of the middle listed,

          June 23, 2012
          1. Munkyman

            perhaps because so few care about them anymore, they’re not a dependable voting block.

            June 23, 2012
            1. livepast60

              Does that mean there is really only left and right?

              June 23, 2012
              1. Munkyman

                nope no more than ignoring the evidence that the world is round will make it flat.

                June 23, 2012
                1. livepast60

                  Did you catch the pebble yet?

                  June 23, 2012