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To Keep Americans Safe, We Have to Get Billionaires Out of Politics

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/08/keep-americans-safe-we-have-get-billionaires-out-politics


The problem I have with Mr Hartmann is that he never discusses Democratic administrations the same way he discusses Republican ones.

There no mention at all as to how the Billionaires ran the Clinton and Obama administrations and how they lobbied those Governments to pass legislation that would line their pockets with more lucre.Obamas bailout of the bankers was all about saving the billionaire class. There no mention of Billionaires like Bill Gates that contribute to the Democratic party in return for favors. There no mention at all of all the Democrats opposed to Medicare for all lining up at the trough to get money from the Health care industry.

In this one article he mentions the Trump Administration, The Bush Presidency and the Reagan Presidency. The Obama and Clinton Presidencies somehow escape scrutiny. Why is that?


Two laws, if passed, could immediately fix America:

  1. Public Funded elections. Not a dime can be donated from any individual/corporate/organization source to a campaign. People seeking office would have to meet a certain criteria to be able to run, and $$$ for the campaigns must come from the Public coffers.
  2. Any time there is a War, or military action around the world that we are involved in, Congress’ relatives must serve first.

Perhaps Mr. Hartmann is all-too-aware on which side his bread is buttered.


Which ultimately is as harmful to citizens in the United States of America as are those Billionaires.

Abroad the USA is seen as always having double standards , one rule for them and a different one for everyone else.

Not just get them out of politics but also must eliminate the billionaire class. We should not even have a society where someone can amass a billion dollars because we all know that billions (or multiple billions) come at a huge cost to pretty much everyone else, including the environment and natural resources and our democracy.
I dont think most people have any concept of how much money a BILLION dollars are. It’s like measuring the distance from the Earth to the moon in inches, that is the kind of magnitude we are looking at.

And no, contributing to charity (that is tax deductible mind you) is not the answer. We should have a society and systems in place where people and causes are taken care of so that we dont have to rely on (or hope for) the charity of billionaires. Some charitable organization is no substitute for a social safety net, for a fair and equitable taxation system, for livable wages, access to healthcare, student loan relief I mean have you heard of the Bill Gates Unemployment Office? Or the Jeff Bezos Medicare for All charity? Bill Gates running some fancy charities funneling money from one organization to another with large overhead and fancy buildings with a few dollars tricking down to some remote project in Niger is not even meaningful charity. We need tangibles. Day to day relief.

As Edgar Villanueva in his new book “Decolonizing Wealth" wrote, "the basis of traditional philanthropy is to preserve wealth, and that wealth is fundamentally money that’s been twice stolen: once through the exploitation of natural resources and cheap labor, and the second time, through tax evasion.

We also need to rethink our entire economic and political structure and dismantle these institutions of systemic oppression, from Citizens United to term limits in Congress and the SCOTUS to the tax code to this bullshit meritocracy idea where people have to justify their existence with great, high paying jobs or else just be ok with being cogs in a wheel where they are considered unworthy and disposable by society.


That’s what i logged in to write! Yes absolutely and we must be realistic about this, not imagine half-measures “fixing America.” We need to have global land reform, wealth reform, and democratization of wealth, with strict wealth cap, strict income cap, and fair-share minimum income that allows ALL to have a secure life.


One key reform / restructure i promote is to abolish the limited-liability, investor-owned corporation. The first such corporation was the Dutch East India Company, literally developed to carry out colonization, and that is what the corporate DNA requires: Colonize wealth and property and people, claim them as corporate property, and operate for the sole purpose of accumulating more wealth. It is an economic operating system designed to destroy everything, and we can see the outcomes, socially and even more importantly, ecologically.


We need an economic Bill of Rights!


Absolutely, which FDR was working on. We need so much reform, we need an entirely new Constitution.


To keep America safe, we have to get persons as Trump and McConnell out of America, as it appears that nothing less will do.

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As much as I respect Hartmann, your point is valid. Whether it’s him on the left, or so-and-so on the right, their work is to comment on The Spectacle, not necessarily to reduce its harms.


TO Keep America Safe, We cannot allow billionaires to exist.


And along with them, their too-big-to-fail corporations.


He is a DNC propagandist. He shovels the BS of ‘changing the party from within’ while making excuses and obfuscating for the Corporate wing. He cuts off callers that do not promote that ideology and will never allow an honest argument. He pretends to be progressive, but when push comes to shove, he ‘gets in line’.


A 1000% tax on political donations over $1,000.00
A 1000% tax on self funded campaigns


Extremely well written article… IMHO!
Factual, concise & lays it all out so neatly & simply that you can just “hopscotch” right thru it! Sure, is just the billionaires at top of influence pyramid, but…think, “hopscotch”. Hop, skip & a jump & “there you are”. Am sure he could add a few more to his list, as could we, but no need ~ he hits the high…er, low… lights. We get the point. He is correct ~ must gt the “B’$ out of there! Now!”

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Well said!

Cuz’ they aren’t in office currently. When they are, there is nothing but scrutiny & criticism ~ the type that, were it to happen as harshly as it does over smaller matters when other side gets in, we may not be in such deep shit right now!
While both sides in our moneyed politics may do same kinds of things, they do not even begin to compare in scale, or in attitudes. 1 side is much more greedy, at large & it does much more damage due to the intensity & degree “the dirty” is being done.

Public funding of campaigns, with free & equal airtime given by all the major media outlets, is the only way we will get money OUT of our political campaigns! Then, & only then will we have a chance for a gov’t that works for best interest of the people & the Country. Like it is supposed to. With the free/equal airtime to be donated by MSMedia, costs of campaigning might get down to where don’t have to be millionaires or billionaires just to tun for office!?
What would the public financing cost us – American taxpayers?
At one time it had been figured out by smarter math heads than I am, & they said it would cost $1 for every man, woman & child in the U.S… One dollar each.
The weathiest people & corporations would fight against it happening – fight tooth & nail against it. They are used to buying the gov’t they want & everything is done to please the richest ~ the “donor class”. They don’t pay taxes…that’s for “little people”. They pay more directly & get what they demand from politicians. Their money isn’t to be wasted on things they don’t want or care about. It’s all about “them”…getting what they want with their big bucks. Corporate bailouts & handouts are becoming all too common in DC circles! Can’t help the onea who actually need it most ~ tgat’s where taxes go up & funding of programs go down, to pay for the excesses of the far to wealthy few. But that & nothing less is what it would take to clean up Wash., DC.

To keep Americans safe, we have to separate billionaires from their billions and redistribute that wealth.