New Study Reveals Super Rich Have More Political Influence Than Corporations in 2012 Elections
Individual Donors Contribute 44% of $6 Billion on 2012 Elections
It appears that the good old boys club, the G.O.P, might be going so far to the right that it is actually hurting big business. Typically the two groups are assumed to be one in the same, especially since the Citizen’s United decision which allowed corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money for campaign ads. A recent study shows that Republicans are leaning further to the right to compete with Tea Party candidates and this is hurting the business community. Corporate America is now trying to distance itself from the far right ideology of the G.O.P. because if they don’t, they lose half of their business.
The G.O.P. has almost become anti-government with declarations to “shut it down” if their demands are not met. If the government were to actually shut down, then it would be not only the American people that would suffer, but the big corporations would lose out on a great deal of money.
The amount of money spent in the 2012 elections was an increase from the 2008 elections by $1 billion, giving it a total of about $6.3 billion. This was an enormous waste of money that was used to buy television ads. An even more startling statistic is, “the top 0.1% of individual donors contributed more than 44% of total campaign contributions.” – (NY Times)
The same group in 1980 only accounted for 10% of campaign contributions. This just goes to show how much individual donors actually have invested into politics nowadays. If there are about 300 million Americans, rounding down, this means that 300 thousand of them accounted for 44% of the donations to political campaigns.
Individual donors have more political power over our country than corporations do. These super rich donors are not contributing to campaigns for business reasons, they are doing it for a different reason. “… substantial research in political science suggests that individual donors favor more ideological candidates and are less strategic in their giving. Big, frequent donors are particularly extreme.” – (NY Times)
Billionaires have more to do with the game of politics than big corporations while being ideologically motivated by their choice of candidate. Corporations being connected with a political party has been going on for a long time, but apparently they don’t have as much leverage as someone like Sheldon Adelson.
If big business decides to contribute to a candidate, then typically they are doing this for the reason of making more money. This process must have a delicate balance though because if they choose someone who leans too far on either side the political spectrum, then their business could suffer catastrophic losses. Individuals with billions of dollars aren’t necessarily going to be concerned about losing money.
Has the love of money been the deciding factor for why individual donors are contributing so much of it for elections? Just think of what we could have done with an extra $6 billion in this country. Why is our country so obsessed with drama being intertwined with our elections in the first place? The news media, until the recent events in Syria, have already been discussing who they think is the presidential candidate. Should television stations allow free campaign ads as long as they are serious? Wouldn’t it be great if our country actually acted mature enough that we could simply allow each side to state their case and then we go vote without all of the finger pointing and the soap opera that follows?
Hopefully I am not alone on this, but shouldn’t we have a different type of process for elections in America? These things seem to be like Christmas, they keep starting earlier and are dragged out for a long time before the event even occurs. There are many people who get sick of turning on the television during the election period, which seems to last almost a year nowadays, and getting bombarded with smear ads. We just want to vote and be done with it, don’t we America?
The point is that we look too far ahead toward another group of candidates and we could actually be getting things done now instead of just waiting for “our party” to be in office. If we shortened this process like other countries have done, then perhaps it would be straight to business with less shenanigans taking place distracting us from progress. Individual donors wouldn’t have quite so much pull if we set restrictions on how much and what kind of advertising candidates could receive. After all is said and done, this country could begin attempting to fix the constant gridlock that surrounds Washington.