Our Diverse American Deserves a More Representative Democracy

• Mar 05, 2015

Moyers & Company By: Heather McGhee

When Congress narrowly missed another government shutdown in December by passing the “cromnibus” bill, much of the press coverage focused on Capitol Hill’s ongoing dysfunction. However, buried inside the bill was yet another blow to campaign finance regulations, dramatically increasing the amount of money donors can give to political parties.

A single couple can now give up to $3.1 million to a political party over a two-year election cycle, a six-fold increase.

Less than 1 percent of 1 percent of people have the means to take advantage of these eased rules, and therein lies the danger. This disparity means that most Americans lack the political capital to influence the policy decisions that affect their lives. As Demos’ foundational report Stacked Deck has shown, the priorities of those who can afford to write these large checks do not line up with the policy views and basic economic needs of the majority of Americans, such as restoring a strong minimum wage floor and adequately funding education.

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