Decision 2016 has shown America a lot about our political system and our country dynamics. It has also shown that everyday Americans are not just opposed to money in politics, but that it’s corruptive influence has led to an out of balance system that most individuals have lost faith in.
Poll after poll shows a distrust, disenchantment, and disillusionment with government by everyday Americans. But it is critical that Americans choose to engage with their elected officials in the effort to find real solutions to the very real reality that money is running policy right now.
Good news is there is a very simple way to start this conversation with your elected officials - and you can do it right now.
A few months back the Patriotic Millionaires partnered with our good friends at Countable.us - an organziation that brings a revolutionary tool to everyday Americans - to highlight key legislation. Their technology gives all Americans an easy way to contact their elected officials about specific legislation via video, email, or a phone call in just moments. That’s right, you can leave a message for your representatives telling them what you want them to do - after all, representatives are elected to represent the people, right?
The Patriotic Millionaires think there are crucial bills that represent first steps to addressing money’s influence in politics. Take the time and leave a message with your Congresspersons about some of these bills - make sure that as they arrive back from a long August recess they see they have some serious work to do.
Eliminating Tax Advantages for Investment Fund Managers
Campaigning to pass The Carried Interest Fairness Act has been at the center of the Patriotic Millionaires’ efforts this year. The carried interest tax loophole is the egregious loophole that allows private equity managers to pay taxes at a capital gains rate rather than at ordinary income rates - that’s a rate that can be as low as half what everyday workers pay. There is popular demand to close the loophole and both major presidential candidates support it, so why haven’t officials passed the bill through?
If you think it’s time that Congress proved they are owned by the private investment, leave your message by going HERE.
Raising the Minimum Wage to $15
Trickle down had it’s moment - and proved itself a spectacular failure. Now, the imbalance between the wealth of the richest 1% and the lowest paid workers is spiraling out of control. 58.3 million Americans earn less than $15 - a basic wage that will allow workers to participate in the economy, thus creating a virtuous cycle of economic growth. Not only does a raise benefit individual low wage workers, but indexing wage raises provides stability to businesses planning labor costs, boosts local spending, and creates a demand for jobs. It is a win-win that rebalances wealth and strengthens the economy.
Think it is time that Congress get on board with the move that has already seen great success in places like Seattle? Leave your message HERE.
Empower Citizens With a Public Campaign Finance System
A 2012 FEC report showed that the average cost of a House seat is $1.7 million and the average cost of Senate seat is $10.5 million. So far in the 2016 election, spending on congressional seats is reaching hundreds of millions, with key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio seeing tens of millions of outside spending. Think about that - if a seat costs that much, and is being funded by individuals or interests outside of the individual state, what is the expected return? What are candidates promising for private contributions? And how is this tipping the scales away from regular Americans and towards wealthy special interests?
Shine a Light on Dark Money in Elections
What is more unsettling than the influence of money in elections? The influence of dark money. Every two years, hundreds of millions of dark dollars are being spent in elections to buy influence in campaigns. High dollar donors can contribute to Super PACs, Trade Associations, or Unions that then spend large amounts in elections. These groups do not have to disclose their donors. Americans deserve to understand where candidates are gaining support, and in who/what wealthy interests are investing. True transparency will empower individuals with the knowledge to make smart choices when it comes to November.
If you agree that more transparency is a necessary step, click HERE to leave a message.
Our government was elected to govern the people, to implement fair democratic policies, and to strengthen the American economy. Let your elected officials know you are holding them accountable by leaving them one (or several) messages.