• By The Financial District

465 U.S. Billionaires Spend $881-M For Midterm Bets

A small group of billionaires who come from the top 0.000002 percent of wealthiest people in the U.S. have spent nearly $900 million in the federal midterm runoffs this election cycle, a new report finds, and could reach $1 billion in political spending by the time the cycle is over, Sharon Zhang reported for Truthout.


Photo Insert: the vast majority of this spending — $643 million, or 73 percent — comes from just 20 billionaire households, including prominent figures like the Koch family, Peter Thiel, George Soros, Michael and Susan Bloomberg, and Jeffrey Yass.



A report released Thursday by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) said just 465 American billionaires had donated an unprecedented $881 million by the end of September — even before last-minute campaign pushes in the last five weeks before Election Day.


This is already more than the amount that billionaires spent in the entirety of the 2018 midterm election.



Further, the vast majority of this spending — $643 million, or 73 percent — comes from just 20 billionaire households, including prominent figures like the Koch family, Peter Thiel, George Soros, Michael and Susan Bloomberg, and Jeffrey Yass. Of the top 10 donor families, eight lean Republican while two lean Democrat.


This is a staggering amount of money spent by an astoundingly small number of people in order to influence elections that will affect the entire US population and beyond.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The data is a stark illustration of the vast amount of influence that billionaires have over the political system that has been afforded to them by conservative tax cutting and Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which allows billionaires and corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.


Indeed, as the report finds, this small group of billionaires has spent 27 times more on this election than they ever spent around 2010, when Citizens United was decided; in the 2010 election cycle, for instance, billionaires spent $32 million.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

The majority of the $881 million spent this cycle has gone toward Republicans, by a three to two margin, ATF finds. Democrats have received about 39 percent of the funding, while 59 percent has gone toward Republicans.


The rest of the funding, 2 percent, has gone toward causes that most progressives oppose, like supporting Israel or cryptocurrency, ATF finds.



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