Folks have been upset with Washington for the past nine years. But things have intensified in recent months. With all of the fuss about what is wrong in Washington, the media has failed to discuss the role of corporate lobbyists in creating what is being described as a mess. Credit is due to a powerful band of operatives who collectively are more to blame for the wrongs in Washington than most folks realize. There are currently 11,195 lobbyists who are plying their “nefarious trade” day and night in Washington. Because of their connections, they have almost total access to members of Congress and Congressional staffs. The lobbyists know their way around the hallways and back rooms where deals are made. I suspect many of our readers will be shocked to learn that Corporate America spent $2.95 billion on their lobbyists last year. This was more than six times greater than the total amount spent by all consumer, environmental, worker, and other non-corporate groups combined.
Many of the lobbyists are former members of Congress who are now working for corporate lobby firms. I doubt seriously that many Americans fully realize that these lobbyists wield tremendous power and influence over what passes and fails to pass in Congress. The lobbyists actually have their own lobby – the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) – which has the duty to make sure nothing happens to lessen their power and influence. The primary responsibility of ALL is to fend off legislative, regulatory, and ethical restrictions on influence peddling in our Nation’s Capitol. I believe most ordinary folks would oppose most everything that ALL supports.
It’s time for Congress to reign in the powerful lobbyists. But therein lies the problem. Congress seems to like the current system. As a result, it may be unwilling to do what is needed to bring about reform. That’s where people come into the picture. Unless ordinary folks get involved and let the politicians know how they feel, nothing will happen concerning the power and influence of Washington lobbyists. If you believe this power and influence should be curtailed, let your U.S. Senators and House members hear from you.
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