One American Growth Industry: Lobbying

It turns out some businesses are thriving in the downturn, with lobbyists a prime example. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, lobbyist revenues increased 5% in 2009 versus 2008. As The Hill noted (hat tip DoctoRx):

Lobbyists have said business for them managed to remain upbeat throughout 2009 despite the poor economy because of the Obama administration’s aggressive legislative agenda.

With expanded Democratic majorities on Capitol Hill from the 2008 election, the White House pushed sweeping bills to reform the healthcare industry, tackle climate change and bring Wall Street under control. None of that ambitious legislation has come to fruition yet, but President Barack Obama and other Democrats will want to finish those bills this year, so expect a busy 2010 for lobbying as well.

The healthcare debate took up much of the oxygen in Washington last year. So not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical and health products industry spent a record amount last year — close to $266.8 million — on federal lobbying.

That is the biggest lobbying expenditure ever by a single industry in one year, according to the report.

The detailed breakdown of spending by industry shows the broader “health” category spent $544 million, up 11.7% over 2008, while “finance, insurance, and real estate” doled out $465 million, up a mere 1.4% over the prior year. Of course, since bankers spend so much on Congressmen directly, maybe they don’t need to shell out as much on lobbying.

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  1. i on the ball patriot

    Scamerica its great!
    The cons are first rate!
    Scamericans are taught to love,
    The things they should hate …

    If you want to create a system of graft, corruption, payola, and acquisition of gain in dishonest and questionable ways, then all you have to do is simply give it a nice little euphemistic name like, ‘lobbying’. Then further legitimize this gangster process by calling it the ‘lobbying industry’ and even publish the payola amounts.

    Well of course, ‘industry’ is OK — all brainwashed, condition response, docile little scamericans know that ‘industry’ is a good thing …

    … like the banking/financial industry … another nice little euphemism for the TOTALLY parasitic slavery industry … who needs chains when scamericans call usury credit, and shackle it on themselves?

    Which raises a question. How come the financial industry is listed on the stock exchanges and we can buy and sell financial stocks but we can’t buy stock in and trade the lobbying industry? And what about a politician market? Why can’t I trade 200 shares of Pelosi for 10 shares of Obama? Obama is dropping like a rock, scamericans should be able to profit from that. Or 300 shares of Ron Paul for 1 share of Newt Gingrich? If we put all of these ass wipes on our financial exchanges — ‘free market exchanges’, ha ha ha, as craazyman would say — then we would have a 24/7 real time poll of how the scamericans REALLY feel about their politicians. People would probably go short politicians but long lobbyists, these fuckers will be with us for the duration of the collapse.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  2. koshem Bos

    Lobbying seems to me to be quite difficult to stop. Democracy is based on the ability of constituents of a representative to to raise questions, demands and requests directly.

    I believe that constraints on lobbying have been imposed, but I doubt there is a way decrease the order of magnitude of lobbying.

    It does depend, mainly, on the backbone of lobbying targets. Given the cheap nature of such targets, I doubt we will see any change any time soon.

  3. Paul Tioxon

    The term lobbyist refers to the lobby of outside of the formal halls of parliament or congress, even outside the rooms of Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, where the wealthy would wait to draw attention to their special interests, as opposed to the common ground of the matters of the public at large. It would seem that billions of dollars would not be needed to petition your government. While we as individuals have this right reserved for us, so do corporations and individuals of surpassing wealth. They add power to their portfolio of wealth by surrounding the politicians with battalions of paid agents to offer very precise written research on the impact of laws upon their special interests. The uniform commercial code, in many regards is the amendment to the constitution acknowledging individual rights for a non corporeal legal instrument. It is as if the Terminator nightmare scenario of robots killing off humans has already happened and we are already living in the aftermath of the eclipse of humanity. Similarly, “The War of the Worlds” was a metaphor to show the impact of European aggression upon African societies. Quite simply, Europe was so technologically advanced that Africa was no more than a bug to squashed under the feet of armored, mechanized warfare. The only slim hope of a defense was the bacteria, analogous to Malaria, which kept the Europeans pinned on the coastal areas of sub-Saharan Africa, until 1860 with the advent of quinine remedies. Similarly, the corporate lobbying enterprise is like a technologically superior civilization, with cash and ancillary corporate rights sweeping away all political opposition not as if they do not matter, but as if they were not even there to begin with. We witness the naked aggression of the reestablishment of the failed Wall Street financiers by the public looting of Federal Treasury, backed by the full faith and credit of the government with taxpayers as the ratable base. Now, as Yves has said, the banksters are talking as if there is not now nor has there been a crisis, which they have precipitated! There is only the threat of the mob, the populist screaming for justice, revenge undermining a critical certainty of the business environment. We The People are the problem, instigating socialist solutions to failures of capitalism. The lobbying effort by business is the nullification of the electoral process, the canceling of the 67 million who voted President Obama into the WH and the Dems from a commanding majority of Congress. The lobbying effort is clearly wrong, unjustifiable by any measure of reason, and humbly accepted by mealy mouthed TV anchors and WH correspondents as the rights of the people to petition the government. Outright psychological warfare is being waged against Dems and their lobbying arms, Acorn, directly against elected officials such as Sen Mary Landrieu’s local office, and the fielding of phony grass root organizations, tea party groups, founded and funded by K street strategists, and former Republican, Dick Armey, via his FreedomWorks initiative. Of course the lobbying has grown, it is the republicans, who have been routed from the public office of power funding an apparatus of influence, to replace what they have lost at the ballot box. Like Keynesian government spending to replace the lost economic activity of the private sector, the lobbyists have expanded in proportion to the need for the oligarchs to reduce the uncertainty of the business environment resulting from the clamor for change and reform from the public. The voice of the voiceless, President Obama and the progressive wave for meaningful reform in health care, as well as regulatory reform in industrial policy, energy policy, urban policy, financial oversight of banks,insurance companies and hedge funds, has to be silenced. The people themselves have to be demonized, alienated from themselves as that rabble, a dangerous mob, emotionally driven by petty resentment as the failures who did not make it, who lost out in the game of life and now want to hurt the rich who so graciously offered them an opportunity at the good life with easy credit, home ownership, college loans for advancement and huge cash lines for virtually unlimited shopping sprees. The lobbyist have to grow, it is their investment in the infrastructure which will return them to power, at which point, the Sarah Palins, Joe the Plumbers and their ilk will be dispatched to trivia. Just ask Howard Jarvis, the previous model of fabricated tax payer revolts.

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