Obama’s Wealthy Supporters

     According to a New York Times article, Barack Obama’s joint fund raising committees have received, just in the month of September, donations from more than 600 donors in amounts of $25,000 or more.  So, despite what commenter Helen L. wrote, Obama isn’t relying on just $5 and $10 contributions from ordinary people.  He apparently has lots of those evil rich people on his side.

     I’m not trying to make a case that there’s anything wrong with those contributions.  I’m for freedom, remember?  I’m against unconstitutional restrictions on campaigning. 

     I’m pointing out how ironic it is for the candidate who loves the poor and castigates the rich to have so many rich donors on his team.  Why does Obama spend the money on advertising instead of “spreading it around.”  That’s what he believes in, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t he be giving it to poor plumbers and waitresses?

     I’m not stupid–well, not very stupid!  I realize that it takes money to run a campaign.  As I said, I see nothing wrong with any candidate getting big bucks from willing donors.  Go for it!  But don’t say one thing and do another.  It’s called hypocrisy.

     Don’t talk about wealth as though it is something dirty, and then spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to become President.  Don’t say that money needs to be distributed to the poor so that everyone has the same opportunities, and then spend huge sums of money to buy TV spots.  Don’t claim to be for change, and then run your campaign the same old way–with donations from rich industrialists who will count on your support once you are in the White House.  At least Republicans admit that they are on the side of big business.  Obama claims to be against big business but certainly isn’t against receiving their big bucks.  One of his donors is CEO of Duke Energy.  Another is the CEO of Travel Guard, an affiliate of AiG.  Yes, that’s the same AiG that got a huge government bailout.  Hmm. . . .

  An article in the Los Angeles Times lists other major donors to the Obama campaign, including lots of corporate executives and movie stars.

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6 responses to “Obama’s Wealthy Supporters

  1. Helen L (that’s me) said, the email messages ask for $5.00. Here’s one I (she, me) got yesterday:

    Helen —

    Right now, we have one last chance to strengthen our field operation and expand our reach even further.

    This Friday, we’re making the very last, hard decisions about allocating our resources. And it will all come down to where we stand financially on Thursday at midnight.

    We need to make decisions about strengthening our efforts in key battleground states — and identify opportunities for expansion.

    You can decide where we fight — and how strong our team will be. Please make a donation of $5 or more before the deadline.

    I know it’s been a long campaign. And I know you’ve been asked to do a lot.

    I hear you.

    But right now, I’m asking you to remember what’s at stake for our country.

    After 20 months of fighting to bring the change we need, we cannot hold back now. We need to dig deep because what we do — or don’t do — between now and Election Day will make all the difference.

    Please make a donation of $5 or more before the deadline to expand the final map of battleground states and strengthen our field operation:


    I’d like to fight for votes in every corner of the country. But the reality is that we need to focus and redouble our efforts for the final push.

    Thank you for making sure this campaign has the resources to compete in as many states as possible,


    RG’s Reply: Thanks, Helen. I’m happy to leave an appeal for Barack Obama here. People are smart enough to choose for themselves.

    It seems to me that you were implying that the bulk of Obama’s donations have been in small amounts from ordinary people. He has implied so himself. How does it make you feel that a lot of the contributions are coming from corporate executives? What kind of change is that?

    Do you think that people’s $5 or $10 donations are going to buy them even a tiny bit of influence compared to the thousands that he is getting from businessmen?

  2. Oh come on RG, he’s running for President, you raise money and spend it, you don’t use a campaign’s fund for social welfare. This is politics. And the fact Obama has wealthy supporters, including Warren Buffet, is because a lot of wealthy people think Obama’s policies are better than McCain’s, just like Colin Powell thinks Obama is more ready for a crisis than McCain. And who said wealth is dirty? Obama has pointed out that he is wealthy, he is one of those who will have to pay more taxes if elected. Wealth isn’t dirty, but those who really benefit from the system have a moral obligation to help those who are not benefiting so that more people have true equal opportunity. The idea that Obama or the democrats are “anti-wealth” is simply wrong.

    RG’s Reply: Scott, nobody says wealth is dirty. They just say that they are going tax the rich and spread the wealth around. They blame “big business,” especially “big oil” for the economic problems we face. They threaten them with capital gains taxes and nationalization if they don’t stop making so much money. (Of course they also threaten nationalization when corporations don’t make money. What’s a businessman supposed to do.)

    If Obama were pro-wealth, then he wouldn’t talk that way. He’d let people keep it.

    Scott, it’s still ironic. It’s ironic in the way that you point out. Some of these rich donors will be hurt by Obama’s economic policies, but still they give. It strikes me that in some cases (the CEO’s) they are trying to buy influence, just as campaign donors always do. In other cases (the movie stars) they simply “hate Bush” and will do anything to get a Democrat elected.

  3. “…those who really benefit from the system have a moral obligation to help those who are not benefiting so that more people have true equal opportunity.”

    A moral obligation, yes…a government mandated obligation, I should hope not. If we should talk moral obligations, maybe we should set forth a personal police officer alongside every single person to make sure they always make the right “moral” decision. Just imagine, no more rape, no more fraud, no more murder, the world is great!

  4. RG, I understand what you’re saying even if others are missing your point. Perhaps it’s impossible for some folks to see their candidate as capable of doing anything whatsoever wrong. This speaks more to a person’s need for an idealized other than it does to the moral superiority of that candidate.

    Obama pledged to use only federally financed campaign funds, which have limits; then he violated his pledge. He has broken a number of important promises and seems at this point able to say whatever he likes and have it believed. Today in a speech he said “income has declined for the past four years” in a speech, and the government statistic shows an increase. I am sure if I can use the web site, his army of attorneys and volunteers can, too. He knows he is lying; but he does it anyway.

    Simlarly, he promises an agenda of redistribution of wealth, and mocks the candidate who takes up for the plumber (if you haven’t seen that on video, you should… it is so hurtful) and working man, says he is for the waitress and lower class masses, but then curries favor of the wealthiest.

    It’s hypocritical and ironic of him, but then I don’t recall who ever said Obama was principled.

    RG’s Reply: He isn’t principled, but he is for Hope and for Change. I’m not even sure that his feet touch the ground when he walks. I understand people have even tried to touch the hem of his garment. :) All this from a person who says just what people want to hear, and then does the same old politically expedient and morally vacant things.

  5. P.S. It is probably a mistake for me to write “he knows he’s lying.” I believe strongly that he does know, based on some of my past professional work, but I suppose I should have said “I strongly suspect.” It would take a book to write why I think so.

  6. I think we have different views on the impact of society on our outcomes. I think most wealthy people are only wealthy because they are able to operate in a state with secure laws, stability, and the lack of disorder or rebellion. They have benefited immensely from this; it’s not just their work. Hard work and even brilliance in a society less stable and secure might only be enough to survive. Part of why we are secure is that there is enough social welfare and government services to prevent widespread unrest and dissent. Politically, if the gap between the rich and poor grows too great, then societies weaken. That brings all down. Many people who benefit greatly recognize they are part of a community and they’d not be in the position they are in without a strong system. That is enforced by government, due to lack of a feasible alternative. Therefore, they do not mind paying more taxes, knowing in many cases that their higher tax bill is greater than the income of some hard working folk in low paying jobs. They don’t want a hammer equalizing everyone, they want a functioning society. We can disagree how best to achieve that (and I agree completely that BLAMING big business or big oil is not right), but Obama’s claim that the wealthy should pay more has a logic to it.

    As for politicians lying, come on Eve. Noting that Barack Obama is a liar is easy. He’s a politician running for President. Lying is a qualification for the job! Politicians lie, it’s a law of nature. Seriously though, in most cases I suspect what we see as lies are really changes in mind. He may have meant it when he said it, but then later realized that it’s not a good thing. So it may be less a lie than changing his mind and thus breaking his promise. And if there’s anything politicians do more often than lying, that’s break promises. For all the demonization of Obama by the right, or praise by the left, he is, at base, just a human politician.

    RG’s Reply: Scott, I think you raise some very valid and important points in the first paragraph. I agree wholeheartedly that it is in the best interests of the wealthy to help foster and maintain both economic and social stability. I wish more people understood it and acted on it voluntarily. Maybe you and others are right that our poorer citizens would simply die of poverty if left to voluntary assistance. I am willing to accept a minimal safety net. (I know that I have benefited directly and indirectly from the safety net myself.)

    The problem is that our politicians will not stick to a minimal safety net. It has grown and grown and grown. Please, if you haven’t done so, read Obama’s proposals on his website. Billions and billions of dollars worth of more bureaucratic agencies and departments are what he plans to create. We complain all the time about budget deficits and our huge national debt, yet about half the qualified voters plan to put someone in office who will spend even more money that we do not even have. His taxes on the rich will supposedly pay for it all. If I had more money than I have, I would bet you a sizeable amount that Obama will have to raise taxes much, much more than he promises if he can get all his proposed programs approved. His 95% pledge will drop down to 90% then 85%, etc. Or else he will raise the rate higher and higher on the 5% until they simply give up and move all their capital (and perhaps themselves) overseas.

    “Therefore, they do not mind paying more taxes, knowing in many cases that their higher tax bill is greater than the income of some hard working folk in low paying jobs.”

    That’s fine. I’m proud of them to an extent. However, if we are talking about actual millionaires, they could do a whole lot more to help the poor than simply pay their taxes. Being willing to pay taxes is an ethical attitude, but taking away other people’s money and giving it away isn’t. Why not just ask all the guilty millionaires and billionaires who are happy to pay taxes to just give 75% of their income to the government and let the other rich folks, who don’t feel guilty, keep what they have? (Don’t you dare bring up fairness in this context; it certainly does not apply.)

    In fact, if it is good and right to tax rich people, just take all their money away and spread it around. I know that is a ridiculous statement, but my point is that there must be some limit to how much we tax people. Don’t you think?

    “Obama’s claim that the wealthy should pay more has a logic to it.”

    Everybody believes that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Who doesn’t? And isn’t it a bit dishonest to suggest that they don’t already? Especially when a lot of people already pay no (as in zero dollars) in income tax. You can’t get lower than zero. Actually you can, since a lot of people somehow GET money back that they never paid.

    You and Obama are trying to make people to believe that Republicans have caused the lowest income people to pay an unbearable amount of tax while the rich people are smirking and paying nothing. As you well know, this is more about the group in the middle, who are willing to pay their fair share but don’t like being told by Democrats that they are the “rich” who are not paying enough already.

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