- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2002

So much for Republicans being the party of the wealthy. According to a new study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, that moniker more appropriately belongs to the Democrats.

"Republicans raised more than Democrats from individuals who contributed small and medium amounts of money during the 2002 election cycle," the report notes, "but Democrats far outpaced Republicans among deep-pocketed givers." Among donors who gave more than $200 but less than $1,000, Republicans enjoyed a substantial $68 million to $44 million edge over Democrats. The margin was closer among those individuals who gave $1,000 or more: The GOP took in $317 million, compared to the Democrats' $307 million.

But among the fabulously wealthy, the Democrats cleaned house. Donors of $10,000 or more gave $140 million to Democrats, while only $111 million went to Republicans. Among those individuals who gave $100,000 or more, the Democrats raised $72 million compared to the Republicans' $34 million. And when it comes to the millionaires' club those kicking in $1 million or more the Democratic Party skunked the GOP, $36 million to $3 million. Needless to say, despite the near-parity in overall amounts $384 million to the Republicans vs. $350 million to the Democrats the number of individual donors to the GOP exceeded those to the Democratic Party by more than 40 percent.

In other words, in 2002 a select group of bigwigs dumped big money into Democratic causes, while a broad base of folks donated respectable (but not overwhelming) amounts to Republican candidates. That goes a long way toward explaining the Democrats' shallow support in the midterm elections, and should give an indication of which party's agenda has been hijacked by the big money-men.

But it also sheds light on the president's first round of tax cuts arguably the highest-profile domestic referendum in the midterm elections. We can't help but notice that only those who are so stinking rich that money doesn't matter supported the Democrats' opposition to tax cuts. Meanwhile, the many more who form the backbone of America's economy supported the Republicans. As the White House and congressional Republicans prepare a new tax package, we hope they bear that in mind. And just to show that there are no hard feelings, we'll still support tax cuts for the limousine liberals. With all that extra change in their pockets, maybe they'll put it to more productive uses than propping up the rejected policies of the Democratic Party.

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