Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Campaign contribution is simply a polished term for bribery

The biggest political scandal is the one that aids and abets others — the pay-to-play system that buys up Congress, pollutes our political system with special-interest cash and deep-sixes the kind of bold reform agenda that we voted for and need.

In just the first quarter of 2010, the finance, insurance and real estate sectors spent more than $123 million on 2,057 lobbyists. Any bets on whether the final financial reform bill will create the kind of robust, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would serve as a watchdog with teeth?

The health-care industry has contributed more than $200 million to congressional candidates in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Is it any wonder that there was no public option in the final bill, or that Medicare isn’t able to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors the same way the Veterans Administration does for veterans?

Big banks and Wall Street financial firms spent more than $500 million since the beginning of 2009 on lobbying and campaign contributions, the center reports.

Big oil and gas spent nearly $170 million lobbying in 2009 — nearly $1 billion in the past 12 years — and has given more than $140 million to members of Congress in the past 20 years. Is it any surprise that we’ve seen so many exemptions from environmental studies for oil-exploration plans? Or that the climate bill is stalled and insufficient to confront the global warming crisis?

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision — which awarded corporations the rights of citizens when it comes to electioneering, allowing them to use their coffers to manipulate political discourse — the prospect of a Congress “brought to you by (insert corporate sponsor here)” has only grown.

[Washington Post]

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One Response to “Campaign contribution is simply a polished term for bribery”

  1. This is correct up to a point: money does buy access. However, if our federal government was limited to the powers enumerated to it by the Constitution, there would be no purpose for these corporate power grabs. If Congress had no power to choose winners and losers, setup subsidies and loopholes for certain industries, there would be no need for these enormous ‘donations.’
    If we are really concerned about corporate influence, the solution is to reduce the power that the national government wields, not arbitrarily decide that certain groups can support political positions and others cannot.
    Peace be with you.


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