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Trump’s Tax Plan Reveals the Sway of Big Donors on Policymaking

September 27, 2017 | Adam Smith

Washington, D.C. – The tax cut plan unveiled by Republicans today reveals the sway big donors have over policymaking in Washington, said money-in-politics reform group Every Voice.

“A plan that mostly benefits big donors, while endangering funding for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and many other critical programs, is a clear sign that Washington is not working for everyday Americans,” said Every Voice president and CEO David Donnelly. “This is a plan of, by, and for big donors, not of, by, and for the people. When you have a political system in which big donors pay for access to politicians and outside groups have the power to threaten politicians’ reelections, it’s no surprise you’ll have politicians who’ll lose sight of the interests of their constituents.”

According to analysis from Americans for Tax Fairness, the tax cuts could total $6.7 to $8.3 trillion with up to $5 trillion of unpaid-for tax cuts. These cuts will mostly benefit the richest Americans and corporations. 

As Republicans prepared to roll out their tax plan, their leaders have been spending time fundraising from the big donors who will benefit:

  • Yesterday, President Donald Trump raised $5 million for the Republican National Committee and his 2020 reelection campaign from 150 wealthy donors in New York City, many from the real estate and financial industry who paid six-figure sums for the company of the President.
  • In July as lobbyists geared up for a battle over taxes, a high-profile lobbyist Ken Kies hosted a fundraiser on Nantucket for House Speaker Paul Ryan as a chance for wealthy individuals willing to give $2,500 to $10,000 to spend time with the Speaker.

Outside groups, including Koch network groups, have pledged to spend millions to support the Republican tax cut plan. During a closed-door meeting of House GOP members yesterday, the Executive Director of the outside group American Action Network previewed ads for Members in a blatant attempt to show them what could run in those Members’ districts.

“While this has become politics as usual in Washington, we aren’t doomed to accept big-donor democracy as our fate. We can reduce the power of big donors, and ensure everyday people have a voice in our political system by passing commonsense money-in-politics reforms that empower politicians to run with the support of small donations from constituents back home,” said Donnelly.


Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone. Learn more at everyvoice.org.

Every Voice and Every Voice Center have recently come under new leadership. We will be expanding and diversifying our efforts to promote a democracy that works for all of us and responds to the voices of everyday people. Watch this space for specifics later in 2019.