(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
In a recent on air essay on his PBS program, Moyers & Company and an opinion piece at Huffington Post, Bill Moyers took a look at the revolving door of special interest groups and their lobbyists, how they win and the rest of us lose.
We’ve seen how Washington insiders write the rules of politics and the economy to protect powerful special interests but now, as we enter the holiday season, and a month or so after the election, we’re getting a refresher course in just how that inside game is played, gifts and all. In this round, Santa doesn’t come down the chimney — he simply squeezes his jolly old self through the revolving door. [..]
The last time we looked, 34 former staff members of Senator Baucus, whose finance committee has life and death power over the industry’s wish list, were registered lobbyists, more than a third of them working on health care issues in the private sector. And the revolving door spins ever faster after a big election like the one we had last month, as score of officials, elected representatives and their staffs vacate their offices after the ballots are counted. Many of them head for K Street and the highest bidder. [..]
Reforms were passed that are supposed to slow down the revolving door, increase transparency and limit the contact ex-officials and officeholders can have with their former colleagues. But those rules and regulations have loopholes big enough for Santa and his sleigh to drive through, reindeer included. The market keeps growing for insiders poised to make a killing when they leave government to help their new bosses get what they want from government. That’s the great thing about the revolving door: one good turn deserves another.
Step right up and Spin the Revolving Door – and what is your prize? Why, a nice job on Wall Street working for the people you used to regulate – you wrote in the loopholes, now you get the cash for exploiting them! [..]
Many Americans understood that the Dodd-Frank “reforms” were mostly worthless. They will not prevent another crisis or another massive TARP type bailout as the law did absolutely nothing about Too Big To Fail banks (which have actually gotten bigger).
This should not have been a surprise given one of the law’s namesakes, Senator Chris Dodd, was caught red handed getting special loans from perhaps the worst offender in irresponsible mortgage origination – Countrywide. Senator Dodd barely survived an ethics investigation from his similarly compromised colleagues.
But what critics may not have understood was that Dodd-Frank was apparently a jobs program for politically connected staffers.
The last count of lobbyists, as of October, directly involved in advising the president, a member of his cabinet or campaign staff is 55.