The Government By The People Act

Money has corrupted our political system, but there's new legislation aimed at putting government back in the hands of the people.

On Wednesday, Democratic Representative John Sarbanes introduced the Government By the People Act, and it’s already been endorsed by at least 30 progressive organizations. According to Demos, this legislation would increase “the power of small contributions that ordinary citizens can afford to give, providing incentives for congressional candidates to reach out to average constituents.”

The new bill has four key provisions, including creating the Freedom from Influence Fund to match small contributions 6-to-1, and providing a $25 dollar tax credit for individuals who make donations. The Government by the People Act would also increase matching funds in the last two months of a general election to counter outside spending groups, and it would create People PACs to join the voices and power of ordinary citizens. Karen Flynn of Common Cause said, “The Government by the People Act is a shot of powerful medicine for the cancer of big money growing within our body politic.”

We should not give up on the fight to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and our nation must proclaim that money is not speech. But, this act can help restore the political power of real Americans. Corporations and billionaires do not deserve more speech than the rest of us, and our politicians should report to all voters – not just their big-money donors. The Government by the People Act will help make this possible, and we must call on our lawmakers to make this bill a reality.

Thom Hartmann
Thom Hartmann is a progressive nationally and internationally syndicated talkshow host (also simulcast as TV in 40 million homes by Dish Network/Free Speech TV), and New York Times bestselling, four-time Project Censored winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents. Follow Thom on Twitter @Thom_Hartmann
  • IndyTom

    Unions don’t deserve more influence either.

    • Daniel

      Agreed. That’s why we need to overturn citizens united, so that corporations and unions can’t throw money at politicians. This bill will increase the power of the individual, weakening the relative power of unions and corporations.

      • IndyTom

        Except unions were exempt before CU and will probably be again.

  • WilmaSonoma

    The details on this bill are so slim I have no idea whether it will do anything or not. I have spent all morning trying to get specifics on the bill and so far, I have not seen ANYTHING that leads me to believe this is something that is going to go forward. The people who do not want to support this will find ways to throw monkey wrenches into the works. I hate to say this, but my opinion of Congress, President, and executive leaders of cabinets and agencies are so throughly corrupt at this point, and I do not trust Nancy Pelosi, so who is going to support this bill and why and what are the details? THAT is what I want to know and so far, there is no real way to tell! I do believe we need to overturn ‘Citizens United’, you get no argument from me there, but this bill WILL NOT DO THAT!

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LISTEN: The World in 2:00 - September 29, 2014

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the U.N. General Assembly.