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April 16, 2014

Director, Represent.Us

Money in Politics Is Taxation Without Representation

Yesterday was Tax Day. Most of us will have dutifully paid our taxes to a government that no longer represents us. Policy decisions on nearly every issue, regardless of public opinion, are decided in favor of a select few who can afford to write massive checks, host campaign fundraisers, and hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists. That might read as an exaggeration to some, but it's a verifiable fact of the American political system. A new analysis of 1,779 recent policy outcomes by researchers at Princeton and Northwestern found that "economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," while average citizens -- the people in "We, the People" -- "have little or no independent influence." Why? Because if you want representation in today's Washington, you must buy your way in.

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