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Tag Archives: lobbying

For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back

I almost don’t want to write it, but if one is OK with crony capitalism, essentially stealing from the American citizenry via any number of official means, investing a few bucks in cronies gives amazing returns.

I am always astounded by the favors (almost always legal favors) politicians give out for relatively paltry sums. Sure Mr X goes to work for Y company after working at Z agency and Y company just happens to get a contract. But that contract(s) might be worth billions. The newly hired ex-bureaucrat costs maybe a few hundred thousand dollars per year. Chump change.

A solid return on investment. And with campaign contributions to congresspeople the ROI is often even better.

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Defense contractors lobbying agencies in secret?

Washington is the land of lobbyists. Every interest it seems is out to game the system for its benefit. The defense contractors, which rely on taxpayer dollars for nearly their entire existence do a lot of it.

Given that these companies are basically supported by the taxpayer they are supposed to be subject to special lobbying disclosure reporting. Politico reports however that despite these disclosure laws, the regulations appear to be widely ignored.

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Banks’ Lobbyists “Help” in Drafting Financial Bills

 

Who writes the laws? The lobbyists.This isn’t completely true, but it is true to a very large extent as this article explains.

The thicker the law, the more opaque the legislation, the more opportunities there are to make money. There’s a reason Obamacare is a stack of papers taller than a man, same for Dodd-Frank. Both laws deal with impossibly complex areas of the economy best left to market mechanisms. To a very large extent the problems which both Obamacare and Dodd-Frank seek to address, access to healthcare and a corrupt banking system respectively, are problems created by prior government involvement in the marketplace.

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(The Running of the Bullsh..ters) Congress Members Sprint for Money to Lobby After Election

After every election one can see the Running of the Congressmen (also known as the “Running of the Bullshitters”) from Capitol Hill, down Constitution Avenue, then onto Pennsylvania Avenue, through Downtown DC to the finish on K Street.

It’s really quite a spectacle.  But a word of advice—don’t try running with them the way people do with the bulls in Pamplona, it’s much more dangerous.

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