Lobbying Power: Another Reason Insurance Exchanges Fail to Control Cost

By: Tuesday April 2, 2013 8:20 am

Private health insurance exchanges, like those created by the Affordable Care Act or in Medicare Advantage, have historically failed to control cost. Part of the reason is the basic economic issue of individuals lacking real market power and actually choosing the “best” insurance option, which is¬†extremely complicated. Another problem is lobbying related. Whenever you needlessly [...]

Corporations that Spent Big on Lobbying Saw Big Drops in Their Taxes

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 9:18 am

The Sunlight Foundation looked at the eight companies that spent the most on lobbying and found that all of them saw their reported tax rates drop. This drop in tax rates effectively reduced the taxes the companies paid in 2010 by $11.2 billion. From Sunlight Foundation: On average, companies we examined reported paying a slightly [...]

Why Aren’t the Banks Lobbying Over the Debt Ceiling?

By: Thursday July 21, 2011 7:33 am

he lack of any lobbying effort by the banks perhaps explains why things have gotten so chaotic. What Congress and the White House are accustomed to doing is taking their policy directions from corporate lobbyists, and then arranging the stagecraft so that they give the appearance we are operating in a democracy while working towards a predetermined end. Playing “pass the hot potato,” so to speak. Without that direction, all they know how to do is play out a crude game of brute force politics.

It may well be that the banks just stayed out of it for too long thinking everything would be fine, and now the game has taken on a life of its own, and intercession is impossible.

For-Profit Prisons: Another Failed Privatization of a Government Service

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 8:28 am

A new study by the state of Arizona shows that private prisons end up costing the state more than public facilities. From the New York Times: The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: [...]

Why Big Oil Wins: What Would You Spend to Keep a $4 Billion Check?

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 3:05 pm

Imagine that, for absolutely no logical reason, the government was about to mail you a check for $4 billion, but some people want to stop you from getting that check. How much would you be willing to pay to make sure you got your hands on that $4 billion? The selfish rational answer is, you [...]

Free Markets Are for Suckers: Drug Makers Know the Money Is in Monopolies

By: Saturday February 26, 2011 6:30 am

Yesterday, Ezra Klein was talking about the relative profitability of different parts of the health care sector. Looking at the data, what stuck out to me wasn’t just how unbelievably profitable the major drug manufacturers were (with 23 percent net profit margins), but how dramatically more profitable they were than the rest of the health [...]

How is Newt Gingrich Not a Lobbyist?

By: Friday November 27, 2009 10:31 am

I’m certain there are people who have thought about this a great deal, but “do you or an organization you work for stand to profit as a result of the actions of this panel” seems a more effective threshold for participation in federal advisory boards.

Because the definition of “lobbyist” seems a bit too flexible to prohibit the biggest of the professional influence peddlers.

Black Is Back: More On Charlie’s Lobbying

By: Thursday May 22, 2008 10:10 am

A lot has already come out on Black’s past as a lobbyist (past being up until about a month or two ago), and some of the miscreants for whom he has toiled. But today, The Washington Post has a piece that lists most if not all of these interests:In addition to Savimbi, Black and his partners were at times registered foreign agents for a remarkable collection of U.S.-backed foreign leaders whose