Pay to meet the President

Access to your president is for sale. Do you care?

Fat cats can now contribute $500,000 to an outfit the President has approved. For that half-a-million the donors get to meet with the President four times a year. Do you care?

Most of the mainstream media do not seem to care. They have yawned at this revelation. The public has not raised any hue and cry.

Now, some folks say this has gone on with previous presidents. True, Bill Clinton sold overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom. But then, he would sell most anything. And a lot of his selling involved various bedrooms.

I don’t believe it went on with the Bush’s. If it had, you can bet the media would have jumped on it. And if the last Bush had done it, President Obama would have blamed him for sure. Still, it is no secret that if you lay down enough money in Washington you can get the president’s ear. Any president.



Some folks say contributions like these don’t really buy any influence. They are mostly for bragging rights. “Well, last week, when I had breakfast with the President…” That does not make a lot of sense. You can get your picture taken with the President and brag about talking with him for a lot smaller contribution than half-a-million.

Common sense ought to tell us that fat cats did not get fat wasting their money. They contribute $500,000 in order to buy some influence. They therefore expect to receive the influence they paid for. Their boards of directors don’t approve such outlays unless the companies are buying influence. And getting a return on the investment.

Now, the President doesn’t stuff the check in his pocket and say “Thanks for the money, Mr. Fat Cat. How can I help you?” But one of his aides will be in contact, for sure. He’ll be in contact to make sure the next $500,000 will be coming. And he’ll answer the phone and listen when the fat cat wants something. And he will do his best to deliver.

Sure this is corruption. Sure, this country is rife with such. From various mayors to congressguys to the White House. Nixon’s vice-president, Spiro Agnew, accepted envelopes stuffed with cash.

Do you care? Would it do any good if you did? Would anybody listen if you complained? Can you imagine in your wildest dreams that any of our politicians would ever mention such influence buying?

Seems to me that most Americans could give a fig. They believe the system is rigged to help the guys who cough up the dough. They believe most members of congress get kickbacks in one form or another. So when news like this leaks out they shrug.

Meanwhile, it is all part of a big game within American politics. Every person who works within the political machinery knows influence-peddling and influence-buying go on. Every Senator, every member of the House knows. All the lobbyists know. Every political staff member knows.

And yet every one, to a person, will pretend this stuff does not go on.

That is a symptom of total corruption. Do you care?

From Tom... as in Morgan.

Find Tom on Facebook. For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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