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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 04, 2014

 
It's not that they're rich, it's that they're insanely rich

by digby

This Letter to the Editor makes the point I've been trying to make for years now. It's the sheer vastness of their wealth that makes the difference:

To the Editor:

Re “Justices, 5-4, Void Key Spending Cap in Political Races” (front page, April 3):

There is a deep connection between the old news about the rapidly growing wealth gap in this country and the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday striking down the longstanding and regularly reaffirmed aggregate limits on how much an individual can give to candidates.

It has always been the case in this country that there have been rich people — quite a few of them. These were people who could afford to send their children to private schools and colleges, they had nice houses — maybe a vacation home — perhaps a housekeeper. They certainly led different lives from ordinary middle-class and working-class people, but they lived on the same planet.

Yet with today’s income distribution there are many people with personal wealth of over half a billion dollars and quite a few billionaires. Those people do indeed inhabit a different planet from the rest of us. And for them, the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelsons and George Soroses, spending $3.6 million every two years in federal elections, as the Supreme Court decision would allow, is literally inconsequential.

If we must be governed by those whom the billionaires choose to fund, then the social contract really has been ruptured. And it is only the five Pollyannas on the Supreme Court who would have us believe that those who have unlimited cash to spend on elections will not call the tune.

Why else, after all, would the superrich spend their money on candidates instead of buying another Damien Hirst pickled sheep?

CHARLES FRIED
Cambridge, Mass., April 3, 2014

The writer, a professor of law at Harvard and solicitor general under President Reagan, filed a brief in this case supporting aggregate limits.

This is an old story on this blog, I know.  But I continue to think it's important to point out that when you have 75 billion dollars as the Koch Brothers do, you could spend a million dollars in every House race and it wouldn't even make a tiny dent in their fortunes.


One more time, here's the perspective:



The Koch's have 75 billion.

Here's another little illustration that brings home the point:

Republican presidential hopefuls may be worried about how many millions casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson will give to their 2016 campaigns, but the money means little to the GOP super donor.

In the two days since he hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition’s meeting with several possible 2016 Republican candidates at his Venetian Resort and Hotel, Adelson personally made $2.1 billion — 21 times the $100 million he reported giving away during the 2012 presidential election.

Politics is an inexpensive hobby for these people.


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