Last Sunday’s New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission reports and Internal Revenue Service records shows that the fund-raising arms race has made most of the presidential hopefuls deeply dependent on a small pool of the richest Americans. In brief, fewer than four hundred families are responsible for almost half the money raised in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Major hat-tip to Slogger Kevin F for compiling this list of Congressional quotes on the topic of monied political lobbying in the US:

• “You have to go where the money is. Now where the money is, there’s almost always implicitly some string attached. … It’s awful hard to take a whole lot of money from a group you know has a particular position then you conclude they’re wrong [and] vote no.” — Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.

• “Lobbyists and career politicians today make up what I call the Washington Cartel. … [They] on a daily basis are conspiring against the American people. … [C]areer politicians’ ears and wallets are open to the highest bidder.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2015.

• “When you start to connect the actual access to money, and the access involves law enforcement officials, you have clearly crossed a line. What is going on is shocking, terrible.” – James E. Tierney, former attorney general of Maine, in 2014.

• “Allowing people and corporate interest groups and others to spend an unlimited amount of unidentified money has enabled certain individuals to swing any and all elections, whether they are congressional, federal, local, state … Unfortunately and rarely are these people having goals which are in line with those of the general public. History well shows that there is a very selfish game that’s going on and that our government has largely been put up for sale.” – John Dingell, 29-term Democratic congressman from Michigan, in 2014 just before he retired.

• “When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore? You just sit there and take votes and you’re kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money.” — Dale Schultz, 32-year Republican state legislator in Wisconsin and former state Senate Majority Leader, in 2013 before retiring rather than face a primary challenger backed by Americans for Prosperity.

• “The alliance of money and the interests that it represents, the access that it affords to those who have it at the expense of those who don’t, the agenda that it changes or sets by virtue of its power is steadily silencing the voice of the vast majority of Americans … The truth requires that we call the corrosion of money in politics what it is – it is a form of corruption and it muzzles more Americans than it empowers, and it is an imbalance that the world has taught us can only sow the seeds of unrest.” – Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2013 farewell speech to the Senate.

• “I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents. … That’s the voice that’s been missing at the table in Washington, D.C. — the people’s voice has been missing.” — Michele Bachmann, four-term Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, in 2011.

• “The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in 2009.


I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have posted here to say that privately donated political monies are the root of most evil in democratic politics across the world. In Italy, it gave them Berlusconi. In Britain, the Tubby Torygraph Twins are backing Boris Johnson. Here and in the US it has given us unmanageable national debt, bodybags, and the hastened recruitment of Muslims by Jihadists. In Australia, it’s given them Tony Abbott – the man with Nothing to Hide, especially between his ears. And most importantly, it saddled us with Thatcher, Blair, Cameron and Osborne.

Observe: prior to 2010, George Osborne lambasted Beijing for its “despicable” record on human rights. Today, he waves his bum at their members 24/7.

But still, some Sloggers write on the threads here, “I’m not giving my taxes to these buggers, they get enough already”. I do not and never will understand the mentality behind that: it strikes me as a mulish disregard for the blindingly obvious facts. Ban all cash donations and monetised lobbying, and you end the power of private, unelected money over politics for good. Let it carry on, and the end of the World beckons.

You think this alarmist? A few points will suffice:

* Does anyone seriously think we would be persevering with derivative-diluted globalised banking and neoliberal economics, if the politicians we “elect” weren’t controlled by such interests almost completely?

* Is there a single citizen left anywhere in the West who really believes that we would have blown $25 trillion on global bank bailouts if Congressmen and MPs weren’t owned by Wall Street and the City…and every institution in the US and Europe were not run by Goldman Sachs alumni?

* Hands up all those who think that, had we invested in research to enable progression beyond oil as an energy form years ago, we would give a monkey’s chuff about the Middle East, Islamism and Ukraine? Texan oil has lobbied against all alternatives to oil, and provided 50% of recent Presidents.

* The application of QE in the US, UK, China and Japan has not worked and continues not to. Yet endless bouts have been applied at higher and higher levels. This has been a primary reason for dangerously nuclear Sino-Japanese friction of late. Mercantile globalism is an idea almost devoid of either logic or track-record, but it continues to be seen as the way forward….and multinational companies continue to use this idiotic model to move money around to evade tax. Anyone spot the connection between this pattern, and the overwhelming hold Big Business has on Western legislatures?

The entrance of Big Money support into democratic politics has and will reduce the greatest contentment of the greatest number, constrain citizen liberty, increase wealth disparity, espouse policies antithetical to private individuals, discourage risk-taking creativity, and ultimately lead to war. There isn’t a rice paper of difference between this unhealthy relationship, and that between Islam and the States it controls.

Which bit of this do the money-donation system supporters not get, please?

The best thing we ever did in the West was to secularise the State. The worst thing we ever did was to let Mammon take over the pernicious religious role.

The ONLY way to restore the balance is to penalise corporate donors until their donations can be banned by Law.

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. The first step on this road is down to US.

Yesterday at The Slog: & yet another 4 reasons to leave the EU


  1. endless bouts of QE have been applied at higher and higher levels

    It only made matters worse so the amount increased each go because it was to feed the problem not the cure.


  2. If they (the Labour party) had wanted to find someone on the minimum wage all they had to do was speak to the security staff in the lobby at their own party HQ.



    I don’t know if would truly make any difference. Even if political donations were stopped I suspect the same people would still be active behind the scenes. Rather than party donations they would be upping the other methods of control/influence in current use, stroking egos (politicians fall for it every time) or ‘helping’ in a more personal way, sinecures, jobs and openings for friends and family etc.

    It is not just donors that have unwarranted and usually malign for the man in the street influence. Look at how much power NGOs of all stripes have, be they environmental ‘charities’, childrens’ charities, ACPO, Local Government Association, etc, etc. They don’t donate much money but they do provide activist support, moral masks and other appearances based support.

    No, only some form of true democracy that bans ALL private lobbying and engages the public with open debate before voting in plebiscites on ALL Statutes and especially budgets has a chance of working. However it would be necessary to do something about the lack of education and common sense prevalent in today’s electorate first.


  4. To quote Jim Rickards’s statistics about debt created to economic growth . In the 50s and 60s 1 dollar debt got 2.4 of economic activity , by the 80s it got 0.41 cents and now $1 of debt created gets just 0.03 cents.of economic activity.
    If that is the case it demonstrates well, the futility of the system as it is and ramifies all that has been said here about the need for a new model.


  5. As a Professional and ex labour supporter I am the type of person they now seek. Corbyn has my vote! May be he has dubious chums,but at least he resembles a human.


  6. “But still, some Sloggers write on the threads here, “I’m not giving my taxes to these buggers, they get enough already”. I do not and never will understand the mentality behind that”

    John, I really cannot for the life of me fathom what you find so complicated.
    Lets take your proposition first, stop private campaign contributions.
    How in hell are you ever going to do that. It is impossible to stop.
    Look, despite everything, the socialist is not as stupid as some might think. Loathsome yes, stupid, no.
    If you are an uneducated idle shiftless no mark incapable of providing for yourself, who do you vote for.
    You vote for those who buy your vote is who.
    And how is that bought, It is bought by the same people who make campaign contributions,telling their candidates to buy the votes which is precisely why they make the campaign contributions.
    It doesn’t affect them, they want more taxes and more dependency. They love it, and when it comes to crunch, no socialist is ever going to let you or anyone else push through legislation that turn their gravy tap off.
    In short, it is now impossible to stop campaign contributions to buy politicians to buy the votes that guarantee the rabble their benefits.
    The ONLY way you can make any stand is stop paying taxes, I haven’t paid taxes for over 25 years, zero none zippo, and I make a damned good living helping others escape that fraudulent theft of labor from those middle class who do have ability, and build everything that you see around you, precisely to buy the votes of the rabble to keep the elites in place and ultimately their grip on power.
    Only an out and out tax strike, can bring them down.
    Why do you think they enact legislation to take down some kid making a few quid on ebay when no banker or oligarch gets even so much as glance at his pile in Luxembourg.
    Don’t believe me. Watch what happens in Venezuela and Greece when the taxes vanish completely and watch who gets the biggest knife in the guts.


  7. When the chancellor needs to sell state assets at a billion pound loss (33%), with only one day’s public notice to ‘institutions’ – Goldman, Morgan etc, we know that there is a hidden cash flow crisis in the country’s ever rising debt.


  8. ‘Is there a single citizen left anywhere in the West who really believes that we would have blown $25 trillion on global bank bailouts if Congressmen and MPs weren’t owned by Wall Street and the City…and every institution in the US and Europe were not run by Goldman Sachs alumni?’

    Sadly there are millions in the UK. Most Corbyn supporters approved of Brown’s economic policies including the bank bailouts. Only yesterday, I heard a stream of left-wing commentators ignoring the fact that Brown paid anything for RBS, when the bank was almost certainly insolvent, ignoring the fact that years after the crisis RBS is still making losses and instead criticising Osborne for selling the government’s stake in this pile of sh!t for as much as he could get.


  9. I suggest your followers who wish to understand how geopolitics are played out head over to Needleblog and behind the dark subject we can find the agendas behind Northern Ireland, Libya, etc. Currently Ted Heath is the “Dish of the Day”.


  10. @ Gil good post , excessive taxation is as criminal as ‘ private ‘ central banks . The real question is how to fund infrastucture etc while taxing as little as possible . Workers and entrepreneurs who benefit from a structurally sound ecomomy shouldn’t have any qualms financing said structure to a certain degree .


  11. @Joh Baker

    I absolutely agree, It was how capitalism was built in the beginning. People worked out what was needed and built it, They built everything from schools to hospitals, and it was only after thieving corrupt bureaucrats and politicians got hold of and stole the infrastructure from those private capital built beginnings that we see the endemic wholesale theft and rape of citizens.
    Stop paying taxes and destroy those bureaucracies, then the private local entrepreneurs can rebuild efficiently and hopefully without wholesale mass banker wall st and the most bloated inept thieving . gang of corrupt bureaucrats and politicians ever seen


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