Your Views: Big-money interests need to be reined in
How many billionaires were there in the U.S. in 1956? The answer to this question is zero. Even the wealthiest man at the time, Paul Getty, wasn’t a billionaire. How many billionaires are there today in the U.S.? Today, there are 565 billionaires. What has led to this transfer of immense wealth into the hands of a few people? The change can be attributed to the domination of the political process by the wealthy.
During President Eisenhower’s time, income over $400,000 was taxed at a rate of 92 percent. The wealthy had no incentive to accumulate wealth and plowed “excess wealth” back into the company and the community. The middle class grew and the income gap between the CEOs and the workers was small.
The book “Dark Money” states that in 1971 a “brilliant battle plan was developed by Lewis Powell to have the conservative business interests reclaim American politics.” The wealthy began pouring millions of dollars into political systems of this country.
In 2016, the Kochs’ private network of political groups had a bigger payroll than the Republican National Committee and had 1,600 paid staffers. Earlier, the Supreme Court ruled that “money was free speech.” It also ruled that corporations were people. These rulings allowed billions of dollars of corporate money to flow into the political process.
We must amend the Constitution to prevent this big-money influence. Until this happens, you, the little guy, will end up paying most of the taxes and losing your share of the American Dream.
STEVEN J. DOELDER