Today, Vox.com published “40 charts that explain money in politics.” Chart after chart shows how expensive politics is now, the explosion of federal PACs, how the money is spent, and the rise of dark money.
We love that Vox has turned its attention to the problem of money in politics, but these charts don’t actually explain much. They describe the problem. They don’t explain it. And they certainly don’t offer up any solutions.
So what does explain the problem? Well, we made a chart:
Basically, there’s more money than ever in politics but it’s not coming from everyday Americans. It’s coming from wealthy donors and special interests.
In fact, elected officials are so focused on raising money, it’s nearly all consuming. A leaked memo by Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn shows that 80 percent of her time is spent fundraising. That’s 2,201 hours asking wealthy people for money! No wonder more than half of voters believe Congress considers their campaign contributors first.
With such an emphasis placed on fundraising, it’s clear the voices of everyday people are being drowned out. The turn away from regular people is what’s driving the problems described by those 40 charts.
That’s why we need solutions such as the Government By The People Act, which would increase the power of small donors, and incentivize lawmakers to listen to their constituents with publicly financed elections.
It’s clear that to solve this issue, every voice needs to speak out on how the current system is hurting our democracy.
Be sure to add your name to the Government By The People Act here: Of, By, and for the People