Obama has recently come under heavy fire from Republicans for his focus on attending fundraising events for the 2012 Presidential Election. This is naked hypocrisy. Republicans have spent unlimited energy railing to tear down limitations to campaign funding. The Supreme Court, in what might prove to be its worst ruling ever, fully agrees with the GOP that corporations and people should be able to donate as much as they want in the name of free speech. In essence, Republicans are attacking Obama for what they forced him to do.
We are going to need a lot of pennies...
The cause: the extremely rich feel they are taxed too much. The extremely rich want “business-friendly” Presidents and legislators that fight against regulation, corporate social responsibility, and especially what they somehow construe as “the redistribution of wealth.” The extremely rich used to be limited by transparency laws and individual controls on campaign donations. Not anymore. Now the extremely rich can drop $10 million into a super PAC, just like Sheldon Adelson did this week, and sit back and watch the carnage. Their hope is that a Republican President will lower taxes, saving the donors even more money than they donated in the long run. It is nothing more than an investment.
The predominance of the extremely rich over the Republican party is clear, and very poorly understood. So many of the Republicans are poor people who struggle to eat and pay for their medicine but are devout social conservatives thanks to their religious beliefs. The extremely rich are in effect fighting against these people, since it is the government programs their tax dollars support that provide assistance to those during harder times. It is the only example in politics of two completely different forces, one blatantly attacking the other and beating it into a pulp, that vote together. This is how broken the American Republican party has become.
Money flows into candidates from different areas. The 2008 Election saw Obama amass nearly a billion dollars, much of it from small donors who gave $10. It was so inspiring because it was the people, not interests, that were supporting candidates. It actually looked something like democracy. People were overjoyed.
Yet thanks to the Supreme Court, democracy has been abolished. Now we are at the mercy of forces that are fighting only for themselves, that take no time to wonder how everyone in the country is doing, that aim to change the system permanently in their favor, regardless of the consequences. Lobbying was always ugly, but now it’s hideous. Republicans are lining up extremely rich donors with the promise of: “donate lots of money now, and we will save you lots of money in the future.”
Republican whining about taxing the rich is ludicrous. There is no argument that can be made; it will always be more desirable to be rich and taxed more, than to be poor and not taxed at all. What Republicans forget to remember is that taxes pay for things like police, who stop and catch criminals, and who make it safe for our children to walk to school in the morning, and who make it safe for us to park our Jaguars on the street while we go to talk to our wealth advisor. Taxes also pay for nice roads to drive those Jaguars on. It is important for the rich to live in a nice, clean, safe place. This is what our taxes provide.
But the fight against taxes will never end. The Tea Party misuses history to rebuff tax legislation. Any extra cent that the government says it needs is looked upon as “big government” and will surely be misspent. This is why Obama needs to attend so many fundraisers, he needs to tell the country that he cannot win without each individual’s help. The power of the extremely rich today is just too great for traditional tactics. Let’s hope that the everyday people of the country oblige, before our democratic society is officially sold.