OpenSecrets.org Reports Another Record Year For Lobbying
" Corporations, industries, labor unions, governments and other interests spent a record $2.79 billion in 2007 to lobby for favorable policies in Washington, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated. This represents an increase of 7.7 percent, or $200 million, over spending in 2006. And for every day Congress was in session, industries and interests spent an average of $17 million to lobby lawmakers and the federal government at large. The drug industry spent more than any other, increasing its lobbying 25 percent last year."
*Read the full news release: http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/2008/Lobbying2007.4.10.asp
*OpenSecrets.org's Lobbying Database: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists
In a related note, The Economic Policy Institute reports that Corporations are getting a pass on taxes.:
"Over the last 60 years, the U.S. tax code has dramatically shifted away from corporate taxes and toward taxes on individuals, according to an analysis by EPI Research and Policy Director John Irons. Much of that shift is due to increased reliance on the payroll tax, the financial backbone of Social Security and Medicare. In the 1950s, corporate income taxes brought in one of every four dollars in federal tax revenues. By the 2000s, the share had shrunk to one of every 10 tax dollars. The shift has been an important factor 'leading to the drop in average federal tax rates for the very highest earners,' Irons wrote."
EPI also reports on the growing economic gap in America" The gap between the richest and poorest families, and between the richest and middle-income families, is growing at an accelerating rate in most states. A new study of the latest Census Bureau data shows that the nation's decades-long trend of growing inequality picked up last year, as incomes fell for the poor and stagnated for middle-income families in a number of states. Read the full report, Pulling Apart-A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends, and fact sheets on every state co-published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute. "
Get the connection?
Of course not all lobbyists or corporations have malevolent intentions. But of course those are generally the ones who don't have a great deal of money to spend in Washington.
If you haven't seen it yet I encourage you to watch an excellent film "The Corporation" which examines the evolving role of the corporate entity in today's society.
Remember, as powerful as these corporations are their power is based on consumer spending and your tax dollars. The ultimate power still lies with the Consumer. Be a wise consumer and taxpayer. Know where and how you're spending your money.