Skip to comments.Power of one percent
Posted on 10/22/2012 10:07:29 AM PDT by Jyotishi
Obama and Romney bank on the rich few
As the US presidential election prepares for its November 6 grand finale, the race between incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney has only intensified.
But this has not been so much in terms of how to swing the last of the undecided voters or how to best consolidate one's traditional support bank. Instead, it is now all about money and loads of it. Who can raise how much money? Who can spend how much money? And finally, who will outdo the other? These are the questions that are now shaping the real story behind the US presidential election, and they will eventually determine the form of the next term of the American presidency. Because, make no mistake: When people cast their votes in favour of a particular candidate, they do so in the hope that the would-be President will protect their interests. But when they make monetary contributions (especially large contributions going up to several million dollars) to the election campaigns of political leaders, they more often than not expect to be re-paid with political favours such as preferential legislation, special appointments, Government contracts etc. The contribution may have been made directly to a candidate's electoral war chest or it may have been routed there through other means such as the Political Action Committees. Either way, the principles remain unchanged. Take, for instance, the manner in which Mr Obama paid back' the biggest contributors to his 2008 election campaign, who were mostly big corporates. He appointed Mr Timothy Geithner the man who had ignored the derivatives scandal even as it played out under his nose, leading to the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, as his Treasury Secretary.
According to the Centre for Responsive Politics, a bi-partisan group that monitors election spending in the US, this time around Mr Obama has raised $432,197,459 and spent $345,723,446, while Mr Romney has raised $279,343,000 and spent $228,921,635. This is interesting, given that the Republican Party has traditionally been the one with more money power in fact, Mr Romney started out with a huge monetary advantage as well but clearly Mr Obama has proven to be an effective fund-raiser. That the incumbent President's top three campaign donors are the University of California ($706,931), Microsoft Corp ($544,445) and Google Inc ($526,009) is telling; just like Mr Romney's list of top three contributors Goldman Sachs ($891,140), Bank of America ($668,139), JP Morgan Chase & Co ($663,219) is possibly the result of his own Wall Street background.
Either way, the fact that both Mr Obama and Mr Romney have spent such huge amounts of money to, in effect, connect with the American aam aadmi [common man], is ironical, to say the least. For this election cycle alone, the two candidates, their parties and their supporters are expected to spend an estimated six billion dollars. And only a fraction of that would have come as small donations from individual supporters. Little wonder then that well-known economist Joseph Stiglitz defined the American democracy as one that is, Of the one per cent, by the one per cent and for the one per cent.
So it’s Good Ole Microsoft Corp, hah? Ripping people off with their semi-cooked products and then channeling the money to Obama coffers. Oh, well, what can we do. They are a monopoly.
That might explain some of the ads...
is there a point to this tripe?