This might be a game changer: Sands casino CEO Sheldon Adelson just donated $10 million to the biggest pro-Romney SuperPAC, and he claims there’s a lot more where that came from. He’s indicated that he’ll go at last up to $100 million as a rough ballpark, but Forbes reports that his real number is actually bigger: “limitless.”
Forbes points out that Adelson is worth $24.9 billion, and that his recent $10 million donation is equivalent to $40 to a family of 4 with a net worth of $100,000. Donating hundreds of millions of dollars—or whatever amount it would take to overwhelm Obama’s fundraising efforts—wouldn’t make a dent in his personal fortune, and he seems to be serious about about doing just that. “No price is too high,” says Adelson.
His reasoning sounds lifted verbatim from a Fox News segment:
What scares me is the continuation of the socialist-style economy we’ve been experiencing for almost four years. That scares me because the redistribution of wealth is the path to more socialism, and to more of the government controlling people’s lives.
U.S. domestic politics is very important to me because I see that the things that made this country great are now being relegated into duplicating that which is making other countries less great.
I guess it’s understandable why very rich people would hate the phrase “redistributing wealth.” But this line of logic always amazes me. It’s as if these people have never heard of the New Deal, which “redistributed wealth” to the tune of pulling us out of the Great Depression. It’s as if they’ve never driven on a highway, for that matter, which were all built by pooling dollars to create something collectively that we would never build otherwise.
The things that make this country great aren’t just an every-man-for-himself free-for-all that allows guys like Adelson to get insanely rich. It’s a hybrid free market and social-minded approach that both allows guys like Adelson to get insanely rich and also gives him a road to drive on when he walks out the front door of his house.
Beyond Adelson’s line of reasoning, what’s troubling about his promise of “limitless” funds is that it almost guarantees Obama’s wealthy backers will feel pressured to match, making it basically a zero sum game but ensuring that political dialogue becomes a matter of inundating voters with paid messaging. That’s not how voting was supposed to work. But it’s the new reality of how things are.