Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Lobbying Bubble, Illustrated: Loads of Cash for Finance and Big Pharma

From Time Magazine (via the Big Picture), we have a stark illustration of the extent to which much (most? all?) of Washington politics has become a pay-to-play political system. Nominal spending on lobbying in D.C. has more than doubled in the past decade:

Perhaps not surprisingly, the sectors awash with the most money are 1) Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate and 2) Big Pharma.

Ironically, the push towards smaller government spending might further inflate the lobbying bubble - with a shrinking federal pie, different interest groups will have to fight each other even harder to win larger slices of a shrinking federal government pie, which means lots of money for high-paid K Streeters.

I was also interested to see the sectors in decline - three of the biggest are key conservative social issues. I wonder if this means that social conservatives believe that they have either won those battles or think they are lost causes.

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