The McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is a natural progression of Citizens United. It determines whether an individual can contribute an unlimited amount of money to any candidate.
Currently there is a total of $123,200 that can be contributed by one person to candidates, national political parties, and certain PACs. This includes the $48,600 limit that can be given to candidates.
The Supreme Court ruled that the $123,200 is unconstitutional. Individual limits per candidate remains. This means ideologically similar plutocrats can now form informal consortiums and provide unlimited money to politicians of their choice.
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Politicians currently spend an inordinate amount of time raising money for their next election. It means that the moneyed interests have the ear of the politician, not its constituents. If one has any doubt about what this means one simply needs to look at today’s reality.
• Twenty-eight percent of all disclosed donations, $1.68 billion, was given by 31,385 people, 1 percent of the 1 percent.
• The median donation of the 1 percent of the 1 percent was $26,584. That is about half the median yearly income of Americans.
• Polarization? Four out of 5 of the 1-percent-of-the-1-percent donors gave all of their money to one party or the other.
Is there any doubt why today’s politics have become so caustic and polarized? It is a battle between the plutocrats. The average American citizen is simply a spectator seemingly without power.
Elections matter. Americans are not impotent. The fight by the working middle class and the poor to get their message out with the plutocrats’ stranglehold of the traditional media will be difficult. However, as long as the internet remains open, steady work by the grassroots can mitigate this travesty.