When Congress is for Sale

I saw some comments about NRA buying Congress – and I got to thinking that someone must have the data on who it really is that buys congresscritters.  I got this list from

Lobbying ClientTotal Spent
AbbVie Inc$3,980,000$5,310,000
America’s Health Insurance Plans$4,680,000
American Hospital Assn$6,598,718
American Medical Assn$6,665,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$7,572,485
Business Roundtable$4,820,000
Cigna Corp$3,630,000
CVS Health$3,720,000
General Motors$4,900,000
National Assn of Realtors$12,190,052
Northrop Grumman$4,530,000
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America$8,285,000
Roche Holdings$3,565,000
United Parcel Service$4,300,000
US Chamber of Commerce$19,060,000

The National Rifle Association didn’t make the big spender list – 19 million for the Chamber of Commerce, 12 million for the Realtor’s – General Motors just a touch under 5 million . . . I think I remember Barack Obama firing the president of GM.  AARP for 3 ½ million . . . and adding up the different health insurance lobbying bills with the hospital association, AMA, and pharmaceutical bill comes to 37.5 million.  I suspect we do have the best health laws money can buy.

Still, Statista says NRA is getting close to making the list – 2021 lobbying expenses went up to 3.31 million dollars, from 2.2 million in 2020.  If this increase in NRA lobbying continues, they may knock AARP off the big spenders spreadsheet.  It will take more effort to dislodge Amazon or UPS.

I don’t have the answers here, or even enough information to come up with a question.  I do have a conclusion – if there wasn’t a payoff to lobbying Congress, these corporations wouldn’t be doing it.  UPS spends 4.3 million bucks lobbying Congress because the investment pays off.  Amazon spends 5.3 million because the investment pays off.

I’m not particularly happy with Wayne LaPierre and his cronies at NRA – the data from New York has convinced me that the management is ripping off the members.  I’m not surprised – Eric Hoffer said “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

Hoffer was likely correct.  Still health insurance is probably a bigger racket.  I suspect every outfit on the spreadsheet could be improved by a RICO investigation or three.

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