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May 15

The myth of Citizens United v. F.E.C.

tax distribution changetax change

Every material claim by campaign-finance “reformers” is a Lie. In 2010, the Supreme Court handed down a decision entitled CITIZENS UNITED V. F.E.C., holding that the First Amendment forbids the government from censoring videos based upon certain “campaign-finance-regulation” arguments. Since then, an army of “reformers” have claimed the decision would unleash “unlimited” spending on political campaigns and would turn American politics into auctions and allow the private sector to unduly influence government.

It has now been 5 years since the decision. Democrats ended up vastly outspending Republicans in 2010 but were crushed in the midterm elections. Then in 2012 the situation was reversed, with Republicans outspending Democrats in battleground congressional races and in the presidential race; but Republicans were walloped. Then in 2014 the situation was reversed again, as Democratic superdonors vastly outspent Republican donors but saw losses across the board.

Above are a pair of graphs showing the gradual changes in income tax distribution by income levels. Notice that the richest 1 percent in the private sector have been soaked more and more in recent years. (And the trend has only continued since 2010.)

If the private sector’s richest 1 percent were really in charge of American government, you would think they could do a better job of rigging the tax structure for their own benefit!

Every material claim of campaign-finance reformers is a lie.