Friday, July 21, 2017

The Lobbyists

There are four great lobbies in Washington: big oil, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and big health care. These industries spend billions of dollars a year to control the levers of power in their narrow self-interest. Most of what they favor runs against the broad public interest. In total, the four sectors spent around $1.5 billion in lobbying and another $1.5 billion in campaign financing in 2016.

Big oil wants to continue oil and gas fracking and deep sea drilling even though it pollutes the environment and causes global warming. Wall Street wants to make huge fees from financial speculation even though this frenzied activity has no social value. The military-industrial complex wants to build and sell weapons systems even though it makes war much more likely. Big health care wants to block every form of cost control despite the wildly overpriced health care system. Corporate lobbies want to cut taxes despite a large and growing budget deficit. The lobbyists resort to secrecy and subterfuge.