If you need evidence of the damaging effects of corporate personhood on our democracy (and our wallets), then look no further than the US tax code. Tax rates have been declining for all taxpayers for decades, but the largest decreases have been distributed to corporations and the wealthiest 1%.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — By now only five people seem to believe that money doesn't buy influence in politics. Or, more accurately, they just don't care. Recently the Supreme Court addressed the issue of campaign contributions in deciding McCutcheon vs. FEC. In the SCOTUS opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts and four colleagues held that money in politics corrupts, or appears to corrupt, only in cases of quid pro quo bribery.
In other words, you can have a politician on retainer just so long as he never itemizes the bill. For everyone to whom that looks wrong, it turns out you actually think it's fine. You must have been looking at some other country where corporations get the same rights as citizens.
Of course everyone knows better. The voters know it, the politicians know it, people spending this money know it. And, whether they protest too much or not, the Justices know it. Politics matter, and when massive amounts of money roll around the system, it affects all of our lives in very real ways. Such as...
WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to today’s Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, a campaign finance case with vast implications for the electoral process, the Move to Amend Coalition released the following statement:
"Once again the Court has made its loyalties clear, and they lie not with the American people. The wealthiest individuals already have the power to finance campaigns and now the Court has made that even easier. We reject the Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon and call on the American people to build a movement to force Congress to overrule the Court through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations do not have Constitutional rights and money is not speech and campaign spending at all levels can be regulated."
Wisconsinites voted by huge majorities in thirteen communities in favor of instructing Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to propose and support — and the Wisconsin state legislature ratify — an amendment to the United States Constitution that clarifies three issues:
1) that money is not speech; 2) that corporations are not entitled to the same rights as natural persons; and 3) that Congress and the states can limit election-related spending to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field.”
This continues our trend of never yet failing when the vote for the We the People Amendment is put directly in front of The People at the ballot box. Congratulations for a job well done to our volunteer organizers in Wisconsin!
Today the Supreme Court hears yet another corporate first amendment rights case: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This case is not about free speech, which has recently captured the outrage of Americans with Citizens United and the pending McCutcheon case. It is about religious freedom.
Who would have thought that we'd see the day corporate lawyers would argue that for-profit corporations can practice spirituality?