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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Which is Really the Party of the Rich?



For some time now, Democrats have perpetuated the myth that Republicans are in the pockets of big business and therefore the party of the rich. It’s a great political tactic because, of course, we are all against the rich; that is, those who pay the majority of our taxes in this country. But what is the truth?

OpenSecrets.org is a bipartisan website specifically designed to track the varied sources of political money and where it goes. Among one of its many useful purposes, it lists the top one hundred individual and organizational donors to national politics. So where does all that political money come from and where does it go?

Not surprising, at least to me, is the fact that the number one political donor organization in America is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, whose primary interest is to keep government jobs out of the private sector. In other words, these are the employees of big government who naturally want to keep their jobs in big government. Not only does this union (whose money comes from employee income derived from our taxes) donate the most political money in America, but it also gives 99% of its donations to the Democrat party. (Which makes me wonder how that influences their federal job performances during Republican administrations.)

By fact, five of the top ten organizational donors to politics in America are unions (their percent contributions to the Democrat party in 2008 are in parenthesis), including: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (98%); the Laborers Union (92%); the Service Employees International Union (94%), and the Carpenters and Joiners Union (87%). The Teamsters Union ranks 11th (92%). (In fact, five of the second top ten organizational donors are also unions who give 92% to 99% of their donations to Democrats.)

Now consider if it is reasonable to believe that 90+% of union members are democrats.

Others in the top ten are the National Association of Realtors who donate 58% of their money to Democrats, the National Education Association who donate 85% to Democrats, and the American Association for Justice, whose idea of justice is to donate 96% of their money to Democrats.

Only two big businesses are represented in the top ten and they are AT&T and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. Although AT&T donates 59% to Republicans, Goldman Sachs donates 73% of their money to Democrats.

In summary, the Democrat's allegation that Republicans are in the pockets of big business comes from a single thorn in their side, AT&T, which is the only organization in the top ten who gives more to Republicans than to Democrats and by a significantly smaller margin than the other nine top ten organizational donors who overwhelmingly support the Democrat party.

So who is really the party of the rich? And, if big money runs the country, who really has injected that money into American politics? Seems to me the Democrats are in the pockets of big unions who are clearly the rich in this country where it concerns political donations. Check it out.

Anton Kaiser was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and retired in Rapid City after serving twenty-seven years as a U.S. Army infantry officer. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and holds Masters Degrees in Business and in Public Administration from Webster College, St. Louis, MO. He is also a veteran of Vietnam, Berlin, Operation Just Cause (Panama) and an honor graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS.


Anonymous said...

The obvious flaw with Mr. Kaiser's argument is that working class folks like myself have to pool our money in the form of political action committees in order to have our voices heard. The dollars contributed by PACs that Mr. Kaiser mentions do not indicate that those who voluntarily contribute their hard earned dollars are rich - it simply shows that there are a lot of working class folks contributing. We are not rich, but united we can make our country the best that it can be.

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