This from the Wall Street Journal is quite telling:
Despite the wave of lobbying scandals, the money keeps rolling in to try influence the legislative and executive branches.
PoliticalMoneyLine.com reports that federal lobbying totaled $1.2 billion in the last half of 2005, the first time such expenses have exceeded $200 million a month. For the full year, federal lobbying topped $2.36 billion, according to the Internet tracking service.
Not a bad racket to be in. Buying influence is big business, it seems -- and getting bigger every day.
The hard numbers from PoliticalMoneyLine are all there.
1. Health Care $183,324,757
2. Communication, Technology $158,841,159
3. Finance, Insurance $155,734,737
4. Energy, Natural Resources $92,525,968
5. Transportation $90,645,605
6. Business - Retail, Services $86,514,946
7. Miscellaneous $79,726,535
8. Defense $52,008,222
9. Manufacturing $51,695,791
10. City/County $47,032,198
11. Agriculture $40,364,028
12. Single-Issue Groups $39,881,570
13. Real Estate/Construction $32,017,367
14. Foreign Countries $18,423,869
15. Law $16,579,872
16. Organized Labor $13,643,353
17. Undetermined $12,555,967
18. State/Territories $8,118,766
19. Public Employees $2,671,000
Okay, so please remind me why we have such overpriced healthcare with tens of millions of Americans going uninsured.
Remind me why we should feel sorry for the telecoms.
Remind me why we need to coddle the oil industry.
Remind me why genetically modified foods are being grown in open nature.
Remind me why we're supposed to believe that Congress represents the People.
And while you're at it, remind me how the Republicans were supposed to clean up Congress with their Contract On America. I forget.