Friday, June 24, 2005

You Can't Make This Stuff Up ...

"The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent.

The lobbying boom has been caused by three factors, experts say: rapid growth in government, Republican control of both the White House and Congress, and wide acceptance among corporations that they need to hire professional lobbyists to secure their share of federal benefits.

"There's unlimited business out there for us," said Robert L. Livingston, a Republican former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and now president of a thriving six-year-old lobbying firm. "Companies need lobbying help."

The Republicans in charge aren't just pro-business, they are also pro-government. Federal outlays increased nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2004, to $2.29 trillion. And despite the budget deficit, federal spending is set to increase again this year, especially in programs that are prime lobbying targets such as defense, homeland security and medical coverage.

The fees that lobbyists charge clients have also risen substantially. Retainers that had been $10,000 to $15,000 a month for new corporate clients before President Bush took office now are $20,000 to $25,000 a month or more, lobbyists say.

All-Republican lobbying firms have boosted their rates the most. Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock and the Federalist Group report that at the end of the Clinton administration, $20,000 a month was considered high. Now, they say, retainers of $25,000 to $40,000 a month are customary for new corporate clients, depending on how much work they do."

-- Washington Post, June 22


Blogger Garman said...

It's just legalized bribery. Our government is for sale to the highest bidder.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

What the Post article doesn't talk about is how much of the Bush agenda was written by K Street lobbyists -- energy, health care, environment. All bought and paid for on behalf of corporate interests.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the "B.S." in the blog name mean what I think it does? Or does it stand for something like "blatant spin"?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an argument about that a while back on here. JABBS hasn't said.

"Blatant spin" works for me, though.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Ol Cranky said...

rapid growth in government since 2000? That's funny, I thought the Republicans who claim to support keeping government small and accusing Dems who [they say] push for wasteful big government.

Color me a little confused by such tremendous growth in a republican run government

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not disagree with those that decry the growth in government. The growth is quite frankly contrary to how the Republican party should act.

However, that is a far cry from those of you that have never seen government expand enough, now professing some feigned political indignation that government is growing, just because your guy is not in office.

Cutiepie apparently believes that prior administrations, Dem or Rep, did not have lobbyists involved in the planning and implementation of their policy agenda. Give me a break.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gov't is for sale and the likes of Tom DeLay are encouraging the process. Sadly, hardly anyone pays attention anymore as it has come to be taken for granted by most people that this is how things work. This is a greater threat to our democracy than any terrorist group could achieve. It also has to do with the poor voting numbers we often see.

4:06 PM  

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