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Graphic

Source: NYT

Category: Digital Media, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “Discuss: Biggest Lobbying Spenders in the U.S.”

  1. ravenchris says:

    The solution begins with a one term limit in Congress.
    Protect yourself and the future by not voting for incumbents.

    • odnalro zeraus says:

      Why not make lobbying illegal?

      • jbegan says:

        Well…That would require Congress pass a bill making it illegal…and….you know…. ;-)

    • Frilton Miedman says:

      A single freshman Congressman can be the deciding vote against tax reform that saves a mega-cap billions per year in taxes, he gets voted out of office after a single term and is set for life making ten times his congressional salary working for that corporation or it’s lobby firm for life.

    • eideard says:

      Yeah. Who needs democracy, anyway? We don’t need the right to re-elect someone who’s done OK by their constituents.

    • jbegan says:

      I’m not sure if shorter terms will reduce lobbying. As it is, after leaving Congress, many become lobbyists : Revolving Door Summary: Former Members | OpenSecrets – http://bit.ly/1bxT7Ja

  2. formerlawyer says:

    Opensecrets.org is the source of this chart:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2012&indexType=s

    To me the most interesting charts are the cumulative spending (1998 to 2013)
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=a&indexType=s

    Industry spending (1998-2013)
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=a&indexType=i

    Opensecrets blog is also interesting:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/

  3. zcarter says:

    A quick scan shows something like $340M per year on that list. If you add up all the spending in the long tail of the thousands of other corporate interests also lobbying, it’s still probably something like $1B, within an order of magnitude. Given that this annual expense has achieved near-complete corporate capture of DC, diverting trillions of dollars, the ROI is magnificent.

  4. Internet Tourettes says:

    With the exception of number three, this chart show direct correlation between the monies spent on congress and the receipt of corporate welfare. The only thing missing are the Banks and other organisations that benefit through the revolving door quid pro quo promise of employment. The Chamber of Commerce, like the NRA, is an organisation that has been co-opted by ideological loons and does not serve (at least in DC) the business community as a whole but rather a small subset of large corporations that can only profit by legislation for regulatory breaks and preferential tax treatments.

  5. Jack says:

    I’d love to see two other graphs:

    And the winners are:

    And the losers are:

  6. ilsm says:

    Lockheed is giving contracts to everyone and anyone, don’t need to buy congress through their PAC if they can put a lot of make work for the F-35 kluge in a lot of districts.

    I am surprised to see Northrop Grumman and Boeing using so much cash to buy favor insode the beltway.

  7. Frilton Miedman says:

    It’s a matter of time until the SCOTUS is presented with a case that confronts them with defining the word “bribery” as it appears in the Constitution.

    Until then, corporations are “people” who are allowed to make limitless bribes without having to disclose any of it by using super-PAC’s & front organizations to hide behind, as evidenced by the Chamber of Commerce above.

  8. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Did a cursory search of US Chamber of Commerce members, and came up empty.

    There is this, from Mother Jones (2009):

    “The Chamber’s Numbers Game”

    “The nation’s largest business lobby may be much smaller than it appears. A review of archival press releases suggests that the US Chamber of Commerce—which will not disclose the names of its members—has vastly overstated its size in recent years, helping to make its controversial positions on health care and climate change look like a consensus of American businesses.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/10/chamber-commerce-smaller-it-appears

    Other than that, the list seems about right — real estate, healthcare/pharmaceutical, Big Military, and telecom/IT.

    Are the banks hiding in the Chamber of Commerce? Seems to me, they would belong in the top 10.

  9. AtlasRocked says:

    Compare the money going into lobbying to the amount of money buying votes – it’s 10,000:1.

    Why does every pundit think money influence only goes one way?

    Now if you were in a best practice meeting at work, and some product issue was discussed, how does this conversation sound?:

    “One build cycle takes 10,000 times longer than the other.”
    “Well that’s not a big deal, we don’t need to talk about that.”

    “One part fails at a rate 10,000 times more than the other part.”
    “Well that’s not a big deal, we don’t need to talk about that.”

    “One part costs 10,000 times more than the other part.”
    “Well that’s not a big deal, we don’t need to talk about that.”

    Does everyone see the diabolical leap in comparison, brushing off 10,000X of difference as if it’s insignificant?

    Don’t we all see the gov’t ignoring massive regulatory enforcement duties? Implementing fiscal policy that has a 100% failure rate when observed over a period of years? (stimulus, money printing have NEVER recovered any economy on earth w/o a war.)

    “a citizen will never admit to that which he is paid to ignore. “

    • Frilton Miedman says:

      I usually view your posts as oddball connections of conveniently selected & often unrelated snippets of data to reach macabre conclusions that cater to the Austrian point of view.

      This post is no exception, I probably speak for others when I say that made utterly no sense at all.

      • AtlasRocked says:

        “Willfull stupidity” “playing dumb”. If you don’t get that a company choosing a part that costs 10,000 times more than another part to build their product is a impossible to overlook as just a stupid decision, then you are so dumb your posts should not appear here, or you are obviously playing dumb. to gain advantage.

        We can tell the liberals are playing dumb by the points where they avoid questions or play stupid, just like Obama saying “I didn’t know about” all the scandals.

        The pattern of evasion is persistent and obvious.

      • Frilton Miedman says:

        Apple pie is good, Ayn Rand was evil and Unicorns don’t exist.

        Therefore, um, Keynes was 100% correct.

  10. ironman says:

    Funny – the NYT completely missed the labor unions. Really strange, seeing as the AFL-CIO spends over $282 million annually on politics and lobbying alone.

  11. mlnberger says:

    Ironman — where did you get your numbers? i went to the opensecrets page, and the information there suggested the AFL-CIO spends $5 million or less annually. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=d000000088 indeed, no labor unions appeared on their top 20 list of lobbying groups (to be fair, neither did the NRA, which surprised me).

    • ironman says:

      WSJ. Just follow the link provided in my earlier comment…. OpenSecrets isn’t the best source because it omits quite a bit of lobbying that occurs at other levels of government.

      • Frilton Miedman says:

        It also omits local bribe money of the same corporations listed in the opening blog.

        Unions don’t bribe the government anywhere near what they once did because they’re only 25% the size they were 40 years ago, while corporate wealth/cash has absolutely exploded.

        They just don’t have the same money corporations have, it’s an empirical non-debate, simple math.

  12. alonzo says:

    Lawrence Lessing has spent a lot of time and effort trying to get money out of politics – Fix Congress First and Rootstrikers. I don’t know why he doesn’t get more attention. His proposals seem like the only practical solutions.

  13. odnalro zeraus says:

    The defense, health care, real estate and telecom/it boys are not as smart as the Wall Street boys who don’t show their faces on this list. But, then they control the money and can grant a non-collectable loan to Candidate John Doe that does not count as lobbying.
    If this are federal government lobbying, the figures should be more higher for some, like realtors, that must live with much control at the State and municipal level.
    Monies flow not only to elected officials, as many regulators are non-elected.
    It is a centrifugal law, the consumer pays the donors, who pays the government, who gives the money back to the donors as subsidies, grants and/or tax exemptions out of the taxes we all pay.
    But as a low level red neck politician was once heard to say : “Without self-interest, there is no interest!”

    • rwboomtown says:

      And the Dems don’t support those same industries with their votes along with bloated public employee unions?

  14. changja says:

    The Google number is very misleading as 2012 was unique due to them spending a lot specifically to fight SOPA/PIPA (along with nearly every tech company/org including Wikipedia).

    Stripping that unusual expenditure, they’re a bit player.

    SOPA does show that sometimes lobbying isn’t all bad (or at least counter-lobbying?)

  15. louiswi says:

    Hmmm? I don’t see the poor in the top 12. Surely with tens and tens of millions of members the poor must be in the top 12. Afterall, they get all of the welfare delivered by the government, don’t they? Surely these top 12 corporate groups don’t receive this welfare, do they?