Serving in Congress and Lobbyist Seen as Least Ethical Jobs

By: Tuesday December 17, 2013 8:47 am

Members of Congress are considered less trustworthy than used car salespeople. From Gallup: The only profession viewed as worse than Member of Congress is lobbyist, a job dominated by former Members of Congress and their staff. While this makes for a funny punchline, it is a serious problem. This level of disdain for the people [...]

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: [...]

The Most Corporate-Friendly Health Care System $876 Million Could Buy

By: Monday May 3, 2010 9:43 am

Roll Call has crunched the numbers and come up with a truly eye-popping figure of $876 million spent by medical interests lobbying Congress during the health care fight: Medical interests alone shelled out more than $876 million in lobbying expenses during the 15 months beginning in January 2009 and ending in March, when Congress passed [...]

Obama Deals Stunning Blow to Bank Subsidies on Student Loans, and Sallie Mae Stock Soars

By: Tuesday March 30, 2010 11:33 am

When President Obama signed the Student Lending and Fiscal Responsibility Act today, it dealt an enormous blow to Wall Street banks. He deserves huge props for that.  I’m not sure people know how big a victory it was. Sallie Mae spent $3 million on lobbyists last year, and got none of what they wanted.  Zero, [...]

PhRMA to Spend $6 Million on Final Push for Health Care Reform

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 7:47 am

The brand name prescription drug lobby PhRMA has been holding back on further support for health care reform until they are sure the final reconciliation package is still to the liking of the drug industry. The announcement that PhRMA plans to drop $6 million in a final round of pro-reform ads is a good indication [...]

Student Lending and the Myth of “35,000 Lost Jobs”

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 11:39 am

Student loan lobbyists have been distributing a memo around Capitol Hill, with the misleading claim that if the FFEL program is eliminated in favor of direct lending, all of these jobs in the industry will be lost.

The bottom line: job losses in a tough economy are nothing to treat lightly, but the claims made by lobbyists don’t hold to close scrutiny, and the jobs impact must be weighed against the number of students currently enrolled in each state if money that could be going to schools is instead propping up a costly and unnecessary industry that is surviving only because of government subsidy.

Find out more about the Students, Not Banks campaign and sign the petition.

FFEL: $80 Billion Wasted on Crony Capitalism

By: Friday February 5, 2010 5:53 pm

President Obama has proposed ending one of the more wasteful crony capitalism programs currently funded by the federal government. The government provides students loans in two ways–the first and most effective of which is to just directly loan money to students. This is done through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The other [...]

Obama Leads the Way on Lobbyist Transparency

By: Friday January 29, 2010 7:41 am

Per the Hill, the White House is asking for tougher restrictions on lobbyists just as the President said in the State of the Union speech the other night. Which is a very good thing.

To Congressional Staffers: Hire Yourselves Some Help And Give Yourselves A Raise

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 12:14 pm

Lobbyists run Washington, DC. One part of the problem is that money is the mother’s milk of politics in this country, and politicians need to spend half their day fund raising. The other big problem is that there is no one in town besides lobbyists capable of running Washington. Congressional offices are dangerously understaffed and [...]

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.

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