Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Economic, another brief illustration.

The Influence Game: Firms Reap Seeds of Lobbying

Anyone with any research on the subject of influence-peddling under their belt will see that the article treads in shallow, nay, surface-level waters. However, the shallow must be broken in order to go deep, as it were, so I'll use it.

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Big companies that spent hundreds of millions lobbying successfully for a tax break enacted in 2004 got a 22,000-percent return on that investment -- proof that for those who can afford it, hiring a lobbyist can pay handsome dividends.

The figures, compiled by professors at the University of Kansas for a study to be released Thursday, offer a rarely seen glimpse of how the lobbying business works, and why -- even as President Barack Obama vows to curb lobbyists' influence -- the industry is booming as never before."
The spoils go to the true bi-partisan pragmatists, hiring former-actors to interface with current actors in service to an agenda/business plan.
"Lobbyists say they're not surprised by the findings, which prove what they tell their clients all the time: You can't afford not to have a seasoned Washington player on your team.

"There's literally no way that you can take an action in Washington by simply coming to town and sitting around on street corners waiting for it to happen -- you really do have to have professional help," said Robert S. Walker, a former Republican congressman whose firm Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates lobbies heavily on transportation, health care, energy and trade matters. "It would be like going to court without a lawyer."

"...sitting around on street corners..." ought to tell everyone what they need to know (for the umpteenth time) regarding the true effectiveness of street protesting and other such action. I'll ask the question again from yesterday, " can anyone say with a straight face at this point that the Mass of Proles (to say nothing of the individual) has influence of any consequence on any of these things whatsoever?"
"But the data alarm some watchdog groups that worry ordinary Americans who can't afford representation by a well-paid lobbyist will lose out in debates with companies and interest groups who can."
Ah yes, the standard line trotted out, for "balance" of course. Gosh, ya think that might, perhaps, happen someday? I'm sure glad it's not the case now. Hurry everyone! We've got to Hope harder!

And lastly, the reason I decided to spend the time posting this...
"The nonpartisan group recently released a study comparing the amount spent by bailed-out banks on political contributions and lobbying with the amount of money they got from the Wall Street rescue fund, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The results produced eye-popping rates of return, an overall 258,449 percent for the $114 million they spent on campaign donations and lobbying."

The Economic drives The Political.