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Congratulations, Mr. & Ms. Middle Class America – you’re all the rage in the present presidential contest!
Jeb, Hillary, and all the rest – even The Donald – say their campaigns are all about YOU. Well, don’t look now, but after each one promises that they’ll do the most for the Great Mass of the Middle Class –sshhhhh – they disappear into to the shadows and scurry off to schmooze with the little group of Americans they truly love: The super-rich, who’re shoveling the big bucks into nearly every presidential pretender.
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More than half of the huge sums of campaign cash that’ve been funneled so far into the secretive SuperPACs of the Republican candidates has come not from regular folks, but from – get this – just 130 fat cats and the corporations they run. Jeb Bush got a million dollars each from 26 of his SuperPAC backers; Hillary Clinton took a million each from nine funders; of the $16 million in Marco Rubio’s PAC, 78 percent came from only four donors; and Ted Cruz got the most from the fewest, taking practically all of his $37 million from just three fat cat families.
So, while candidates for the highest office in our land are soaking up applause for the grand rhetoric they’re giving to the middle class, they’re quietly sacking up millions of dollars by pledging their steadfast fealty to the ruling class. Donating millions is not an innocent or noble political transaction. Written on the backs of their checks is their corporate agenda, trumping the people’s agenda.
Ironically, it’s Donnie Trump, the bombastic billionaire, who candidly admits that these so-called “gifts” amount to the outright, plutocratic purchase of politicians. He’s long been a campaign donor in order to secure political favors, he confesses, and it works: “When I need something from them, they are there for me.” There’s a word for that: Corruption.
“The Affluent Ante Up for the Presidency,” The New York Times, August 15, 2015.