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Did the Tea Party's Biggest Campaign Donors Tax Themselves?

Foster Friess Last week, Foster Friess (right), one of the biggest private contributors to the the Republican party, complained to The Los Angeles Times that super PACs -- the political organizations that are allowed to accept unlimited political donations -- are too secretive about how they spend their money. "You have no idea of the financial structuring of a lot of these outside groups in terms of how much went to the actual delivery of a message," he told The Times, "versus how many dollars were taken off as fees to the people running them."

While impressive, Friess' $5 million in donations pale beside the political contributions of many Republican donors. The 2012 presidential election was one of the most expensive in American history, with just over $1.6 billion in direct spending by the candidates and up to three times that amount contributed by various PACs. A large part of this money came from donors like Friess, many of whom were especially interested in maintaining -- or increasing -- tax cuts for the rich.

Had Romney won, this investment would have paid off mightily. For example, Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire who pledged to spend $100 million on the Republican candidate, would have saved an estimated $2.3 billion under Romney's tax plan.

But while things may not have worked out for many of these wealthy contributors, they may have worked out for the economy. After all, campaigns are labor-intensive affairs, resulting in boosts to short-term job creation, small-scale manufacturing, and other economic activities. In other words, the huge amounts of money that Friess and his fellow contributors passed along did exactly what government spending is supposed to do: They created jobs and stimulated the economy.

In light of that, it's worth asking what percentage of their incomes some of the top money men contributed to the campaign -- and how it compares with the tax rate that they could expect to pay if the Bush tax cuts expire. We've created a gallery of the top six Republican contributors, looking at the best estimates of their income and their political donations in the last year. Take a peek:

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Evan doesn't seem to understand that when the taxpayer is broke he won't get those welfare checks.

November 26 2012 at 4:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How long before AOL/HuffPuff fires Bruce for stupid stories?

November 24 2012 at 1:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Did any and I mean anyone of the movie stars tax themselves How about George Soros or Bill Gates Hey wake up this is a stupid article and maybe the press will take the time to go after ALL the politicians Please start being with america and do the job you use to do and protect america from all politicians You may just be the biggest failure in america and thats hard since our education system is now behind 14 third world nations

November 19 2012 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

O the irony! These big money GOPs who hate the working class accidentally helped stimulate the economy. How great is that!

November 19 2012 at 4:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ccm989's comment


November 19 2012 at 5:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to freethedems2012's comment

You are deliberately and seriously distorting facts if you think that "rich people" were trying to get rid of Obama in order to "lower their taxes". We were trying to get rid of the liberal concept that it is fine to borrow and buy every happiness today and pass the bill to future generations. You not only do Americans a disservice with your distorted view of the "news", you look like a Marxist sycophant with no concept as to what the duties of a normal news reporting organization should be doing. Clearly, you do not care.

November 19 2012 at 1:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hamcallk5co's comment

So true.

November 19 2012 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

we would have all benefited from a clear Obama agenda ....

November 19 2012 at 12:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rgmac12's comment

Socialism/Communism is never good.

November 19 2012 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

God is with you Israel, even if the U.S. president is not. God is more important.

November 19 2012 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama is willing to drive us off the "fiscal cliff" for the sake of his communist attack on the "wealthy" (one-half of taxpayers are single filers, and their tax rates wiil skyrocket on hard-earned income over $200,000).

If he sacrifices the middle class for the sake of his evil politics, HE will deserve ALL the blame.

November 19 2012 at 5:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Look at Brucy''s picture above, and ask yourself whether you would trust this evil character with walking your dog.

November 19 2012 at 5:02 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Brucie is obscenely attacking Mr. Adelson, one of the finest most giving charitable people in the country, who has given hundreds of milions of dollars to medical research and care, and wonderful social programs.

Brucie is libeling a good man, and should be shunned by civilized readers for his evil demonization of a wonderful person.

How much money have you given to charity Brucie?

November 19 2012 at 5:01 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply