Economy Lee Camp Original Politics

Lee Camp: New Data Shows U.S. Government Has Been Bought For $14 Billion

Hands holding up dollar bills
401(K) 2012 / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Lee Camp / Original to ScheerPost

This past weekend I was sitting in my hot tub that’s really just a bathtub that’s really just my neighbor’s bathtub that he lets me use when he’s out of town and doesn’t know I found his apartment key — and it occurred to me: I don’t think most Americans are happy with our political system. I don’t know why not. 

I’ve got it! I just remembered. It’s because both mainstream parties are owned by corporate America, stand for the same shit, and they haven’t actually been face-to-face with a regular blue-collar human being since they fathered the first of their 14 children and the surrogate mother happened to bring her boyfriend to the birth (or as the rich call it, “the human baby transfer to its rightful owners”).

And sure enough, a new survey verifies that most Americans are not happy with the false choice between two political parties. The new poll from NBC News found that the Democrats and Republicans are about as popular as the horseback hemorrhoid clinic located near where I live.

“According to the the poll, 44 percent of participants said they viewed the Republican Party negatively, 34 percent that they viewed it positively and 21 percent said they were neutral. … The Democratic Party’s ratings in the poll were fairly similar, with 48 percent saying they viewed the party negatively, 33 percent saying they viewed it positively and 18 percent saying they were neutral.”

Plus, I imagine those positive numbers are actually higher than they should be, because anyone willing to take an NBC News phone poll is already not the sharpest tool in the insane asylum. That poll doesn’t count the vast number of respondents who did not answer but instead graphicly described what the pollster could do to themselves given the right kind of genitalia, lubricant, and a Posturepedic adjustable bed (but you have to burn the bed afterwards).

There are a lot of reasons so many people hate the two corporate parties, but one of the biggest ones might be just how thoroughly they are bought off by the “One Percent.” (And no, I don’t mean the percentage of people who like Trident’s new Indian Curry Explosion™ chewing gum.) I’m referring to the One Percent who are disgustingly wealthy — people who own ponies for their children to play with and children for their ponies to play with. Those individuals essentially own all our politicians. (Also for their children to play with. … Which explains why Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand were forced to dress up like Snorks for an entire month. Or maybe they just needed the snorkels to be able to breathe while under an avalanche of bullshit?)

But yes, our politicians are more bought-off than ever before. A new analysis from Americans For Tax Fairness found that total billionaire contributions have soared over the past few years. The cycle before the Citizens United decision only saw $16 million worth of donations from billionaires to campaigns. This past cycle saw $2.6 billion worth of donations. 

And how does that much money impact our elections? Well, the candidate who spends the most wins in the Senate around 80% of the time and wins in the House close to 90% of the time. But the reality is actually worse than those two numbers illustrate because they don’t cover the fact that the two parties who spend the most money win 100% of the time — A third party (non-corporate) candidate basically wins 0% of the time. Only the puppets of corporate America get to fill the Senate chambers with their endangered species ragout spittle and high-end beer farts.

But I’m sure it’s just as bad in other countries, right? Some things are universal, like existential angst or the awkwardness when your barber starts telling you about his botched prostate exam. But the multi-billion dollar purchasing of elections, it turns out, is not a global phenomenon. 

In Britain, as the BBC reported, “In the 2017 general election, 75 parties and 18 campaign groups reported spending more than £41.6m between them.” That’s roughly $54 million American dollars at the time.

Meanwhile, as OpenSecrets has noted, just two people, the late Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Adelson “set a new record for donations from individuals in a single election cycle [2020], giving $172.7 million.”

Just two casino magnates spent three times as much as all of Britain on their elections. (Sheldon Adelson is now dead. We don’t yet know if he was able to bring the politicians he purchased with him.)

Well, what about France? In France “… the amount of money a presidential contestant is allowed to spend during the campaign for the first round is limited to 16.8 million euros. The limit is raised by an extra 5 million euros for the two finalists competing in the second round.”

So basically French presidential candidates spend less on their entire campaigns than Bill Gates spent on the Mylar happy birthday balloons he bought for Jeffrey Epstein in 2016. Ironically, the balloons spelled out, “You’re not old. It’s just that everyone around you is underage!” (It was funny at the time, I’m sure.)

How about Germany? Do their oligarchs own the system as much as in the U.S.? Deutsche Welle reported, “In 2017 … parties spent €92 million ($109.6 million) combined on their election campaigns, according to the Federal Statistical Office.” Only $109 million spent on their elections, and yet still a Zungenwurst with a bow tie won a seat in the Bundestag. (Zungewurst is a form of tongue sausage, but arguably several tongue sausages also won U.S. senate seats during the last cycle.)

So, all of this begs the question: How much did the U.S. spend? The 2020 election cost $14.4 billion. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Mozambique! And they have makonde masks that help with fertility — so you know they’re bringing in some cash. (If I had wanted to go for the pun, I would’ve said “you know they’re movin’ some units.” But I would never do that.)

Point being — This. Is. A. Rigged. System.

No wonder the latest polls show both corporate parties are thoroughly disliked. It’s time to acknowledge that our system has been 100% purchased by the One Percent, and that even the best candidate on their best day is still no better than a Zungenwurst. 


  1. Gotta hand it to ya, Scheer- bland usual no research, just tickle the ears and submit status quo popular type articles that tell the masses what they already think, and the way that they like to hear it. Real courageous and informative. NOT>
    In “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom wrote:
    Democracy-“What the majority decides is the only tribunal. It is not so much its power that intimidates, but its semblance of justice. Tocqueville found that Americans talked very much about individual rights, but that there was a real monotony of thought and that vigorous independence of mind was rare. Even those who appear to be free-thinkers really look to a constituency and expect one day to be part of a majority.

    They are creatures of public opinion as much as conformists- actors of non-conformism in the theater of conformists who admire and applaud non-conformism of certain kinds that radicalize the already dominant opinions.” 
    End quote

    In a democracy, there is a widespread and virtually unanimous agreement regarding the basic fundamental political principals of freedom and rights, so the open forum of debate and reason gives the establishment an overwhelming advantage over those with a novel approach, especially with one that opposes the norm of governing concepts. It is extremely difficult to change a society that has for centuries been ruled by conforming, that is not accustomed to free thinkers who do not fit into conventionality’s boxes. Groupthink.

    Those who study political science are introduced to communism, socialism, parliamentary rule, democracy, totalitarianism, and the like. The students in the educational institutions at times master the concepts and learn to discern for themselves individual preferences and variations. But who has been a trail-blazer to recognize that in this day and age, there are now shadowy appearances defining past ideals. At this time, there are no more true democracies, no communist countries, no pure socialist nations, nor parliamentary republics. The filthy rich and powerful entities now rule every nation in secrecy, in what now can be called hegemonies.

    As far as democracies go, it is virtually impossible to maintain one in a body larger than a small parish. While the majority of a portion of a nation may elect people to represent them in decision-making for the nation, once the person is elected, those who voted for him cannot force him to govern as they wish. The electoral process has proved to be inadequate, as those people who were elected have repeatedly proven to legislate contrary to their campaign promises, and seem to develop a different character upon winning office.

    I can safely say that in virtually every important legislation that U.S. politicians make into law, they have made a decision that the citizens would have made differently if educated thoroughly regarding the full picture. Choosing some representatives from a limited pool is not true democracy, it is just a nation picking the least distasteful choice of a few lawyers to make decisions that will ultimately profit powerful people, not the majority of citizens.

    This was illustrated when Hillary defeated Trump in the public elections by a wide margin, three million votes (so we are told- I think that it was much more)-yet the politicians placed Trump into presidency.    
    The first section of “Angry, Loud and Clear Truth” will expose the growth of the Roman Empire, the role of the Vatican, and how the United States is an extension of Rome. Christianity’s role in world affairs and governance, the exceedingly powerful secret societies, the deceptions and how and why they were laid out, and the affect that they had on humanity, will all be made clear as I explain simply and convincingly, with enough facts and evidence as more than ample evidence. You will perceive the duplicity of people whose names you are familiar with, and you will be furious to finally comprehend how those whom you once admired were complicit in our destruction, and even


    1. You make a compelling argument.
      Lots to digest, after a lifetime of media induced brainwashing. (mine)
      Thanks for the link.
      Keep preachin’.
      Every now and then, you crack the facade.
      Concerning nine-eleven, I can’t promise the same results.
      Lots of people are completely invested in the official narrative.
      Any alternative is to horrible to accept.
      The government cares about me, and protects me.
      It would never murder me.
      It only kills bad people.
      Deaths of innocents are a tragic mistake.
      Collateral damage.
      Ice cold language.

    2. Michael Lewis Kahn, “Khan!” Captain James T. Kirk, the Starship Enterprise, “The Wrath of Khan.

      1. Ahh, blow Baum Steve. The deep commentator. Funny is not your middle name. But, blow, well, that takes a lot of doing. Blow? Bloviating? Can’t wait for your retort.

      2. Paul Haeder, aaaahhhhh no Paul Hater. Your grade school insinuations and clumsy attempts at double entendre confirm your shallow intellect . I have heard it all and I have to say most of it was entertaining enough to allow me to laugh. Yours however elicits pity, nothing but pity.

    3. Wow!!!! Pimping your book by writing a rather lengthy, empty response. Money doesn’t drive modern politics? No research in the man’s article? I suggest you just stick to peddling your obscure books.

    4. @MIchael Lewis Kahn
      I agree with the large majority of what you wrote aside from your first paragraph, which is nothing but a warrantless insult, and is in fact provably false. Lee Camp provided statistics to support his claims, and those statistics clearly required at least some research. Furthermore, I don’t know what rock you live under, but this post is the opposite of what the vast majority of people hear/see/read on a daily basis regarding this issue. I don’t see why you felt that you needed to begin your response with baseless and mean-spirited insults.

      As to your Hillary/Trump comment: You gave the wrong example. Clinton’s theft of the nomination from Bernie Sanders is the real story here, not which scumbag ended up in the White House. I agree that the electoral college should be eliminated, but that’s such a minor detail — compared to things like implementing proportional representation, eliminating private campaign financing, and replacing the executive branch of government with a more representative parliamentary form of government — that it’s barely worth mentioning.

    5. Nice word salad. You clearly like the sound of your own BS. I was hoping for some refutation.

  2. Nice piece. This country has been thoroughly corrupted by money and is controlled by the rich. It’s disgusting.

  3. We are given a choice by the two dominant parties (no democrat or republican politician gets any significant position without proving loyalty to the globalist agenda) of a few lawyers, rich people, and /or politicians to choose from. The Bush family owns the ballot machines which are run by the CIA. Regarding the Trump election controversy? = Get over it. We don’t really know who we elected for many decades. The people have been played. Democracy as we know it, to have a representative government is a sham, and always was one. The freemasonic founding fathers knew what they were doing, as they lined their pockets with loans from France that bankrupted the nation with Rothschild money. They were rich and many were slave owners, including Jefferson, who wrote “All men are created equal…rights of life, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.” while he owned 180 slaves. A few people in their pursuit of happiness have destroyed the happiness of billions of others. Did they word it incorrectly and in ignorance? These were not stupid men. They could have said ” the rights to be free of oppression, deception, exploitation,” but instead chose the aforementioned words. And they made sure that we have freedom of speech to allow for deception and guile, and the freedom of religion so that the worship of Satan is allowable and approved of. And you are angry at the idea of your politicians being bought. That is the tip of the iceberg. THINK, PEOPLE!!

    1. It’s Presidents Day.
      We’re making a little progress.
      Now we have big sales on mattresses and appliances, to celebrate our founding fathers.
      At least we aren’t offering discounts on slaves, including free delivery.
      I wonder if I can get a deal on “my pillow”.
      It’s not funny, but it lets my shake my head and chuckle a bit.

  4. Poll poll poll. Or pole pole pole.

    If there were to be real debates, real critical thinking, real public discourse, real engagement, real thinkers, real back and forth, real deep knowledge, real deep caring, real deep understanding, real deep global view, real deep localized participation, you know, participatory democracy, well, we would not need the har-har of a Lee Camp.

    Politics? Or, is it the billionaire class, the overlords, those who have bought the media, the military, the medicines, the energy, the AI, the data, the law, the education, the finances, the real estate, the prisons, the schools, the chemical industries, the mining, are they the ones we should also be slamming down like some WWF fun night? Think of the 3300 billionaires and more than 36 million millionaires in and out of the putrid political schema who need take down after take down.

    Blame Home Depot-Raytheon-JP Morgan Chase-Safeway-Pfizer-Ford-Boeing-State Farm-Century 21-ABC-CIA-EPA-FDA and all of them for the perversions set upon the masses. Blame the 10 percent, One Percent and the 19 percent. Eichmann Soft Shoe all over the place.

  5. The wealthy have always owned the political systems of their respective countries. In fact, countries are best understood as labor/resource boundaries owned by the various oligarchies/monarchies (the queen of England is related to the czar of Russia, and the king of Spain, etc.). In America, the hegemony of the masses is best achieved through–ostensibly–“free elections”. Expect the divide between the wealthy and everyone else to increase as the intersection of population, depleted resource base, and environmental degradation meet. Their solution will be dictatorships and mayhem–hopefully, a concerted people’s uprising can counter this minority authoritarianism…

  6. Right on all counts, Lee. What can anyone do about i? I don’t vote for the idiots and if my choice isn’t on the ballot, I write in her/his name. I don’t think a change will happen in my lifetime. The US propaganda is too complete. “When everyone thinks the same, our job is complete.” Example, Putin has no intention of attacking Ukraine, yet every day the MSM talks of tension, crisis, threat when all that comes from the West, not Russia.
    Ask Lavrov, Polyanskiy or Putin their intentions, not the stupid americans. You’ll get straight answers instead of stupidity.

  7. Your figures are wrong for Germany.

    Currently, the US dollar is worth 0.8 euros. The amount that was spent on German elections was 73.6 euros.

  8. New data for the same old story. What’s bizarre about this boilerplate is that the US and other nations across the world are under various states of siege to state-of-emergency dictatorial rule, and all this commentatator can come up with for controversy is canned criticism that reached its expiration date decades ago, or longer.

    Unfortunately, he’s not alone in the job of keeping audiences sleeping through a global coup. There are all too many on what now passes for the left who by purse or persuasion themselves are performing just as the 1% would have for rollout of their rigged system of transnational totalitarianism likewise decades if not longer in the making.

    Here it’s worth quoting Mark Crispin Miller at length in regard to the convoy in Canada (and elsewhere), where martial law is marching forth under Trudeau’s tyranny:


    While all eyes have been on Canada, there also have been massive Freedom Convoys, and joyous multitudes applauding them, and turning out to help them, all around the world. We’re seeing it (despite the usual blackout by the quisling media) in Australia, where 1.4 million vehicles, and between one and two million protestors, have taken over Canberra, Australia’s capital, the people calling for an end to all restrictions, and the ouster of that once-free country’s quisling politicians. There, too, the biggest protest in that nation’s history has been just as peaceful as it is diverse—a wondrous mass display of solidarity, to re-assert our fundamental human rights, spontaneously led by many thousands of real workers.

    So where’s “the left”? Australia’s “left” is on the other side—just like “the left” in the United States and Canada, there being no diversity among them, as they’re all one in their boiling hatred of that mass resistance, and in fanatical support of the state/corporate juggernaut coercing universal “vaccination.” So, on this unprecedented global confrontation, there is no disagreement whatsoever between US “leftists” like Noam Chomsky (the first public figure to propose detention of the “unvaccinated), Amy Goodman, Michael Moore (“Get off my fucking bridge!”), Chris Hedges, Thom Hartmann, the Trotskyites at WSWS (World Socialist Web Site), Sen. Bernie Sanders and Stalinist noisemaker Bob Avakian, the liberals at MoveOn, and many of the “woke” contributors to Truthout, Nation of Change, Truthdig, Counterpunch, Portside, the Progressive and The Nation. Nor, on this working-class resistance to the bio-fascist order, is the fearfully like-minded US “left” in any disagreement with its counterpart in Canada, typified by Naomi Klein (who deems the Great Reset a “boring” topic), Henry A. Giroux (who says the truckers are attempting to destroy democracy), “woke” neo-Nazi Justin Trudeau (whose government trained Ukraine’s feral National Guard), and the sanctimonious rabble of Canada’s “left” parties (and let’s throw Neil Young in there, too); so that “the left” throughout all North America is absolutely unified against the workers.

    And so is the Australian “left,” as the doggedly Marxist Red Fire demonstrates in “Straw Man: ‘Fascism’ in the Freedom Movement,” a devastating piece out just today, nailing the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), Socialist Alternative (SAlt), Solidarity, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the Trostkyist Platform (TP), the Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA), the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and the Socialist Alliance (SA) for their hostility to the assembly in Canberra—a multitude “largely middle-aged and Anglo-European,” as SA’s Green Left Weekly airily (and inaccurately) sneers. While it’s hard to picture Julian Assange condemning the protesters in his country (what they’ve done to him is what they also plan to do, eventually, to every COVID dissident), it’s even harder to hear Caitlin Johnstone’s voice amid the protest in Australia—since she’s written nothing on what’s happening in her country (though she lives in Melbourne, right under Dan Andrews’ iron heel).

    Red Fire admirably nails what’s happening everywhere:

    Despite the largest political movement in modern history consistently mobilising against government repression which is a clear move to replace liberal democracy with fascism, the Covid left (formerly the lockdown left) have instead decided to double and triple down on their abject betrayal of the working class. As we have previously argued, the treachery of the ostensible left parties on Covid surpasses that of August 4, 1914. At that time, virtually all “socialist” parties the world over backed “their own” ruling class and marched into the slaughter of the first World War.[6] Today the Covid left, from the very start of the civil war launched by big finance capital, have aggressively sided with “their own” imperialism while having the temerity to lambaste millions of working and oppressed people as “far-right” or “fascist” for mobilising against Covid fascism.

    Thus “the left” has finally moved beyond the fatal splintering tendency that paralyzed the (real) left from the days of Marx and Engels through the Sixties and Seventies (when such splintering was deftly aggravated by the FBI and CIA and their affiliates worldwide). Whereas such total solidarity was once envisioned as the surest means of liberating all the “workers of the world,” this “left” has come to it at last by squaring off against the working class— and so against the rest of us as well.

    And so it’s time now for the rest of us to recognize that this “left” is itself the enemy it used to warn against—a “left” that hates the working class, and wants to see its independence smashed, its peaceful protests halted everywhere, whatever that may take, so that those “far right” truckers stop insisting on their “freedom,” get their boosters and go back to work, delivering the goods that “leftists” need from Amazon. Thus this “left” is on exactly the same page as John D. Rockefeller when he had the miners massacred in Ludlow, Colorado in 1914, and as Leon Trotsky when his troops crushed the Kronstadt insurrection in 1921. To put the case in a more timely way, this “left” wants to see the working class throughout the West controlled as tightly as it is in China, where there are no strikes or labor unions, guns are not allowed, everyone is always under absolute surveillance, and dissidence is punished with financial strangulation, as Justin Trudeau is now trying to starve the truckers into silence, in collusion with GoFundMe and the banks—a fascist combination that this fascist “left” applauds, to its eternal shame.

    So let’s agree that this “left” has to go, along with all the predatory players that it now serves with such unprecedented unity and livid zeal. And as we call it out for what it really is, let’s also stop dividing We the People into “left” and “right,” because those terms are finally meaningless in this apocalyptic fight, in which you’re either on the side of right, or in the wrong.



    Our insurrection will be impure!

    US Convoy (2/23-3/5)

  9. Enjoyed your interview with Roger Waters, i’ve been reading the history of organised crime in America, and it seems the democrats, more than the republicans, have always been bought and paid for by vested interests. These days there is no difference between the two. Love Redacted Tonight and long may RT survive

  10. I found out this is much worse than Lee described when I ran for Congress as a 3rd party candidate. I was part of the Sanders campaign and thought I would receive Our Revolution (just to name one) support since I was the only candidate supporting universal health coverage. To receive OR support a candidate MUST state that. Although my Dem Party candidate opposed universal health she received money and support from OR. I contacted OR about this, but they had decided to support the Dem through a “closed meeting.” Both parties feared me for various reasons. I’m a decorated Vietnam Veteran and pointed out the incumbent Republican voted against funding veteran suicide prevention programs. He called me liar in the press, but, when I contacted the newspaper to refute his claim, pointing to his RECORDED voting record, they refused to print my letter. Both refused to debate me and insisted I was never invited. When the League of Women Voters stated they would hold a debate and I would be part of it, the Dems and Reps actually worked together to torpedo the event. I contacted local media and offered to turn over the emails that had been forwarded to me showing this collusion, but they all again refused to print it. Lastly, Facebook cut off my funding the very same as they did to Tulsi Gabbard by stating I was not a real candidate. When I sent them all the filing documents along with the ballot, etc., Facebook absurdly stated I could have faked all the documents and websites. Calling an election rigged is an understatement.

  11. Everything in this transcribed portion of the Redacted Tonight episode is true and correct. However, meaningless statistics aside, this has been true for many decades. In Political Science 101 in 1972, we were taught that the rich run things and that the politicians we elect are merely their tools for getting things done. (This course was taught by a Chicago city council alderman who saw the system from the inside and could thus describe it credibly without having to guess or theorize.) The first book the professor had us read was Tammany Hall, which was written in 1905.

    The point is that the rich and powerful have been running society for over 100 years, and using electoral politics to pretend that the people actually run things through their elected representatives. This is not news. The issue is, what is the solution? I can see nothing but a large population decrease that allows us to return to living in naturally small communities where everyone knows each other and this kind of shenanigans would be unheard of. But that’s a very long term goal. In the meantime, we could get proportional representation and eliminate private campaign contributions, to name just 2 things right off the bat that would improve a very bad situation.

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