Originally posted on http://ift.tt/13mgxE0 :
I spoke yesterday with a visitor to the U.S. from a developing nation who said “in my country, we call it corruption. In America, you call it lobbying. But it’s the same thing.” He’s right. The record $6.3 billion was spent on the presidential and congressional elections of 2012 is likely to be closer to $8 billion in the upcoming election cycle. Most of it is coming from the very rich. In last year’s midterm elections, total spending by the 100 top donors exceeded that of the 4.75 million regular Americans who made smaller donations of $200 or less. And much of it is secret, through nonprofit “social welfare” organizations that the IRS doesn’t even police any longer for fear of Republican reprisal; Republicans have already defunded part of the IRS.
The relationship between the corruption of our democracy and widening inequality is direct. Big money gets political favors that entrench and enlarge its wealth, which gives it even more political clout. We must get big money out of politics. (1) Reverse Citizens United, (2) Expand public funding of campaigns, (3) Require full disclosure of all individuals and corporations that donate. Make a ruckus. Join Common Cause (which I chair). Save our democracy. Make a ruckus. From Robert Reich.