April292012

The outsized returns from lobbying

 This chart from the investment-research firm Strategas, takes the 50 companies that spend the most on government lobbying (as a percentage of assets) in a given year and compares their performance against the S&P 500. The payoff is enormous as you can see. It is estimated there are 10 lobbyists on Capital Hill for every elected official. You can rest assured none of them represent you. They are paid by corporations to increase profit, not protect public interests.  

It can be said no law passes through Congress without backing from a special interest group. Even Obama’s signature health care reform was molded by insurance lobbyists. Read this from a Huffington Post article:

"There is a clear pattern of leaning toward the insurance industry more than consumers" and "It’s also clear that, at least for now, the insurers seem to have the upper hand in dealing with the White House”.

Which explains why the Health Care reform was such a monumental failure. Without the Public Option or honest price controls, it became merely another welfare package that dumped 30 million uninsured into the same outrageously priced medical system that is currently bankrupting Medicare. Our Country needs affordable health care, not an expansion of an unsustainable system which gives us the worst care for the highest cost (compared to every other Country on earth). Obamacare failed miserably due to the influence of lobbyists from the medical community. They denied you and your family a reasonable system such as Germany, Canada, and the rest of the world enjoys.

The corrupting influence of corporate money isn’t a left-right or liberal-conservative issue. It completely undermines the democratic process for everyone. Your vote or opinion no longer matters to elected officials. They serve the groups who enrich them most because our system allows it. Keep this in mind as you listen to political stump speeches. Obama and Romney will only do what lobby groups allow. Neither of them represent you nor will they pass legislation to benefit you. If you think that is wrong, save your outrage for the system that condones it. Stop the bipartisan bickering over trivial issues. We must eliminate the corrupting influences before your voice has a chance to be heard. 

(Source: Washington Post)

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