When huge corporations pay for favors in Washington, who ends up at a disadvantage? That’s the question posed by John Palmer, Business for American Promise Bay Area Council Member, in a recent op-ed in the International Business Times. With large amounts of expendable capital, big corporations have the ability to tailor policy decisions to benefit themselves while quashing competition.
“Running a small business requires stepping up to responsibility,” John writes. “But the ability of entrepreneurs to compete in the marketplace or attract and retain employees is being systematically undermined because they no longer have a seat at the table in policy discussions. Small companies may make up 98% of the U.S. employers, but they don’t have lobbyists, and they don’t give to Super PACs, so they are cut out of the real decision-making about healthcare, prescription drug costs, gun-safe schools, teacher accountability, tariff exemptions, tax carveouts or the stability of our financial system.”
The Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court rulings, among others, allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money influencing elections and policy decisions. Politicians, seeking election and reelection, work to raise enough money to run viable campaigns, often feeling pressure to turn to sources with large checkbooks. Once elected, they pay favors to these large companies and industries by shaping policies that stack the deck in their favor—and put our nation’s small businesses at a systemic disadvantage.