Who needs motor yachts and racehorses when you can own a politician?
The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how elections in the U.S. are becoming the playground for billionaires. They find a candidate they like (or despise), and then throw tens of millions of dollars into either their campaign or the other candidates. (See “U.S. ELECTION: A BILLIONAIRES’ CIRCUS,” “ELECTION INTEGRITY: BEST AND WORST STATES,” “BILLIONAIRE’S BOY GETS DADDY’S MONEY TO RUN FOR SENATE” and “U.S. ELECTIONS: DUH-MOCK-RACY. BIG MONEY RULES.”)
Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of the nonprofit Open Secrets, told The New York Times last week that the election season has broken records “with our broken records.”
She said that by last Thursday, the total spent on these campaigns—including non-billionaires—will come in at about $16.7 billion in 2021 and 2022. The number marks an all-time high. To put it into perspective, Americans spent $14 billion on midterms in 2018.
But now enter the billionaires.
Collectively, they have spent $880 million as of Friday and will likely easily surpass $1 billion by the time all is said and done, according to Americans for Tax Fairness. That number marks a 44 percent jump in spending.
CNBC reported that 18 of the 25 biggest spenders this election season are Republicans and these individuals outspent Democrats by $200 million so far. The biggest overall donor is George Soros, who spent $128 million on the midterms to support Democrats. CNBC said Richard Uihlein, the Wisconsin shipping supply magnate and Republican supporter, spent $67 million, which puts him in second place.
TRENDPOST: It is worth mentioning that the precise amount that these billionaires gave is likely much higher than what is being reported. The New York Times admitted that the figures that were tabulated are likely to be underestimated because of a “complicated shell game—given to political organizations that in turn give to other political organizations—masks exactly who is giving how much to whom.”
The funding goes into the murky world of 501 (c) (4) organizations that never have to reveal their donors.
Frank Clemente, executive director at Americans for Tax Fairness, told CNBC, “If we are going to have a democracy that works for everyone, we need to greatly curb the influence of billionaire money in our politics.”
We have noted that in America, which was once called “The Land of Opportunity,” the only way to land in the top of the political field is for those paved with the most money.
TREND FORECAST: There is nothing new under the sun. Politicians rely on big donors to get elected, and then, once elected, make sure to repay them. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially in Washington, D.C., which is why nothing ever gets done.
The donations usually go to PACs that are closely tied to Republican and Democrat hopefuls, or even specific causes. These billionaires once had to funnel their money through political action committees, but a 2010 Supreme Court ruling ended that requirement.
The same names are always in the mix, like Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s founder, and rookie Samuel Bankman-Fried, a 30-year-old crypto billionaire.
As we reported on 20 April 2021, the “WALL ST. GANG SPENT $3B ON 2020 ELECTION CAMPAIGNS.” In this case, Republicans got 47 percent of the dough and Democrats, which play the “liberal” line, pulled in 53 percent of the money. Plain and simple, without big money behind a candidate running for office, the chances of beating one of the two-party mobsters is slim and none. (See “POLS EMBRACE CRYPTO CAMPAIGN FUNDING” and “HOW BIG TECH MAINTAINS ITS MONOPOLY.”)