As Republicans in the Senate pushed a giant tax overhaul last week, the media took on many angles, from winners and losers, to subplots ranging from politicized churches to actor Paul Newman’s charitable foundation. But one dimension deserves far more attention: the role that vast sums of political money — much of it unleashed by Citizens United and other court cases — played in setting the agenda.
Republicans in Congress have been surprisingly forthright that they are pressing ahead a broadly unpopular set of tax code changes to satisfy their major donors. It is no secret that large donors have more sway than the average voter — but we have truly crossed the Rubicon when donor demands become an acceptable justification for major legislation. This should put to rest once and for all any doubts about the real-world impact of the Supreme Court’s evisceration of campaign finance law.