Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There Oughta Be A Law...

I find it incredible that it is legal to buy influence of our lawmakers. The entire lobbying industry dilutes the ability of you and I and Joe BagOfDoughnuts to get what we want from Congress. Corporations have money, and most have more money than you or I do, and that effectively shuts you and I out of the legislative and executive processes. As The Corner observes today, " view is pretty much that lobbyists seeking unearned wealth via government [coercion] are reprehensible, while lobbyists who are trying to protect themselves against political predators are okay." I dunno about that... how can you really tell the difference? They all look the same to me.

The real outrage today is this: some corporations are using bailout funds to buy that influence.
General Motors Corp... devoted $2.8 million to lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. It has received $13.4 billion in government loans and could get $5 billion more... Failed insurance giant American International Group Inc. and banks Citigroup Inc. and JPMorganChase & Co. each reported spending more than $1 million to influence the government as they lived off federal money this year...Other major recipients of money from the so-called Troubled Assets Relief Program also had substantial lobbying costs in the first three months of this year, including:
  • Bank of America Corp., which reported spending $660,000 lobbying while receiving its $45 billion in help;
  • Wells Fargo & Company, with $700,000 in lobbying costs and $25 billion in bailout money;
  • Goldman Sachs, which spent $670,000 while receiving its $10 billion;
  • Morgan Stanley, which spent $540,000 while also getting $10 billion in assistance;
  • PNC Financial Services Group, spent $135,000 -- nearly double what it did at the end of last year -- on lobbying while receiving a $7.8 billion lifeline;
  • U.S. Bancorp spent $170,000 on lobbying and got $6.6 billion in government aid.

Question: Where is the so-called mainstream media on this one? Why are they not pounding AIG with black eyes, like they did with the congressionally approved bonus money?!? Why are they not pounding on Congress for accepting this clearly tainted money? Can you say 'kickback'? It is an outrage!

Answer: Because the money is not going to productive individuals, but to keep an unproductive Congress in power. The press doesn't dare object to that!

There ought to be a law that says 'if you accept money from the government for doing nothing (i.e., welfare or corporate welfare) then you don't get to vote, or because you run a screwed up business and are on the government dole (i.e. bailout), then you cannot lobby.' Of course that would disqualify almost the entire agriculture industry from lobbying... it really isn't a bad idea...sigh...

Oh well. At least corporations can't pay off the judiciary, so we still have that check and balance working for us. They can't pay them off.

Can they?

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