Anyone who tells you that corporate lobbyists, wealthy special interests or wealthy individuals don't have a major effect on campaigns and the way your elected officials vote is simply lying to you - straight out. The fact is, they have a huge impact. And in Congress, it couldn't be more true. It is not the way the founders of our country ever intended it to be. The fact is that the average U.S. citizen has very little or no impact on the way Congress votes.
We are now in a second Gilded Age just like the late nineteenth century, when a handful of robber barons monopolized the economy, kept wages down, and bribed lawmakers. While today's robber barons take joy rides into space, the distance between their gargantuan wealth and the financial struggle of working Americans has never been clearer.
The rich have enough political power to cut their taxes to almost nothing. And sometimes literally nothing. By 2018, the 400 richest Americans paid a lower overall tax rate than almost anyone else.
Candidates & Officeholders
Politicians need votes, certainly, to win election and re-election, but they also need money. And while an individual's vote carries an expectation that the candidate will look out for constituents' interests if elected, a campaign contribution may carry an expectation that the money will get repaid in the form of favorable legislation, less stringent regulations, political appointments, government contracts or tax credits-to name a few forms of payback. So where is all this money coming from? Who's giving it? Who's getting it?