Everyone knows it takes lots of cash to get elected: politicians who don’t raise enough simply can’t compete. Some of the donations come from ordinary Americans, but as election spending increases, we’re rapidly being priced out.
Over the last two decades, election spending has exploded: U.S. senators need to spend almost three times what they did in 1990. But middle-class incomes haven’t kept up: they’ve only risen 66 percent, and that just matches inflation. So who’s footing those huge campaign bills? The top 1 percent of earners have seen their incomes steadily rise – by 136 percent in 20 years. They, in turn, are the ones funding our politicians and their campaigns — and profiting from their increased influence in politics.
The truth is, campaign money is now another form of speech. And while you may have the same voice you’ve always had, election spending is up and other people are getting louder. Your politicians may not hear you over all the noise.