The Citizens United Sell-Out
In Citizens United vs. FCC, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are equivalent to people, and thus have the same first amendment rights. Thanks to this ruling, it is blatantly obvious that our elected officials have sold out to multinational companies at the expense of the American people.
Any attempt to abridge these new corporate rights (for example, the McCain-Feingold bill, which limited campaign donations) is a violation of the Constitution, which was designed for people. This disastrous decision has paved the way for companies that care more about overseas profits than America to destroy the country.
“We have to pass a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United ruling that brings forth the radical opinion that a Corporation is not a person and a handful of billionaires cannot pollute and take over the political system by spending unlimited sums of money in secret to elect candidates who support their agenda,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said.
For example, why has President Obama been pushing terrible trade treaties originally crafted by the Bush administration? Maybe because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is for them, and they are the largest single donating group to political parties in America.
Despite the fact that numerous studies (from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Economic Policy Institute) showed that KORUS would not be beneficial for the economy, elected officials passed the job-killing “free” trade deal. This is because their campaign donations are dependent upon keeping their corporate benefactors happy.
Thanks to lax campaign laws, the political process has been usurped from the American people by the ultra-rich, who are working to ensure they stay extraordinarily wealthy, at the expense of everyone else. According to the CIA World Factbook, only the wages of the top 20 percent of earners in America have risen since 1980.
This is directly attributed to the emphasis on the financial sector at the expense of manufacturing and a change in tax laws to benefit those at the very top the most. If Americans want to implement necessary change to our economic and trade policies, we must take a long and hard look at our legislative process. Undoing the Citizens United system would go a long way toward restoring U.S. sovereignty and creating policy that benefits the American people, instead of corporations and foreign interests.