Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lobbyists thrive

Barack Obama came to the White House talking about the need to reduce the influence of lobbyists in both Washington and his administration. What Obama seems not to realize, however, is that lobbying is not something that can be fixed simply by passing the right law. Wherever there is public money and power at stake lobbyists will attempt to influence the process.

And, as David Boaz of the Cato Institute points out, the mountain of public money being spent by the stimulus package has been a big boon to the lobbying industry as indicated by some recent Washington Post headlines:
Here are some other recent headlines from the political class’s newspaper of record: “THE INFLUENCE GAME: Lobbyists work stimulus to end“; “A Lobbying Frenzy For Federal Funds“; “Ohioans Seek Slice of Stimulus Pie“; “Lobbyists Get Around Obama’s Earmark Ban“; “Certain Firms, Industries Got Last-Minute Gifts in Stimulus.”
Obama's intentions are good but his policies accomplish the opposite of what he intends. If you want fewer lobbyists then you need to strip the federal government of both money and power.