Billionaires Know Where Their Bread Is Buttered

The presidential money wars are raging, as future Republican nominee Mitt Romney has outraised President Obama for the second consecutive month.

Since he locked up the nomination, the former Massachusetts governor has become a money-raising machine. His campaign and the Republican National Committee took in $106 million in June, nearly 50% more than the $71 million President Obama and the DNC raised the same month. And that was the president’s best month of fund raising ever.

Romney’s campaign and the RNC hope to take in $800 million by Election Day. That would surpass the $750 million the president raised in his winning 2008 campaign.

And it doesn’t include the untold hundreds of millions of dollars Super PACs like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads will pour into races at every level—it already has announced a $40-million television ad buy for the fall.

More than half the president’s contributions are under $250 each, and Romney has been gaining among small donors, too. But the vast majority of his contributors are people who can give the maximum, and the Super PACs are like a billionaire’s boy’s club.

Some hedge fund billionaires who supported President Obama in 2008 now have jumped ship. The billionaires who passionately oppose the president, rather than enthusiastically support Romney, typically label him a “socialist” (although they may want a glimpse of what real socialists believe).

As The New York Times reported:

Several top Obama donors said privately that Mr. Obama’s attacks on Mr. Romney’s private equity career, the president’s handling of White House relations with business leaders and his criticisms of tax rates for the wealthy had made it harder for some of his allies to raise money on Mr. Obama’s behalf from the financial sector and other industries.

Last weekend, Romney held lavish fund raisers at the Hamptons mansions of financier Ronald Perelman and energy magnate David Koch. Entrance to the latter event was a staggering $75,000 a couple.

Protesters outside Romney fund raiser at billionaire David Koch’s mansion in the Hamptons. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek.

The Los Angeles Times got the juiciest quote of all from one attendee:

“I don’t think the common person is getting it,” [a New York City donor] said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies–everybody who’s got the right to vote– they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income– one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

So, “everybody who’s got the right to vote” doesn’t comprehend things the way superior billionaires do. And if the baby sitters and nails ladies were smart enough, they’d understand how their interest is perfectly aligned with that of billionaires.

You can practically taste the sense of entitlement dripping from every word.

President Obama has been rightly lampooned for his reliance on Hollywood contributions (maybe they and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are his only source of big donors left). But this is of a completely different magnitude.

The Koch brothers don’t want any environmental regulations to stop them from making more billions, and hedge fund and private equity magnates don’t want to pay more than 15% or at most 35% in taxes.

The president supports environmental  regulations and raising top tax rates. Mitt Romney has said he will eliminate many regulations and cut tax rates by 20%. That’s why they oppose the president and support Romney. It’s just naked self-interest. Period and end of story.

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