Demos has a new report on income inequality and how the wealthy buy inordinate influence in the political system. For example:
The imbalance is even more pronounced when accounting for contributions to Super PACs. During the 2012 election cycle, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave a combined $91.8 million to Super PACs. It would take more than 322,000 average American families donating an equivalent share of their wealth to match the Adelsons’ giving. The Adelsons gave more to shape the 2012 federal elections than all the combined contributions from residents in 12 states: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
The result is that issues that lower-income Americans think are important, like affordable healthcare and prioritizing jobs over deficit reduction, are ignored in our political system. We’ve heard it all before but this report puts it together in one place and it’s an ugly picture.