Re: “$200,000 to entertain lawmakers in 3 months” (TNT, 5-3).
This one sentence becomes the main narrative of what lobbyists and Washington politicians want to leave you with and hope you believe it: “Both sides are adamant that there is no expectation that a dinner or beer will lead to a favorable vote.”
A person with just a sliver of understanding of how politics work in America knows full well the No. 1 goal of lobbyists is to sway votes. And within that sliver of knowledge is the understanding that those dinners parties and alcohol-plying, back-slapping get-togethers do in fact sway votes.
One only has to look no farther than the recent vote on background checks to see who’s on the gun lobby payroll, which did in fact buy influence that ended in reasonable people voting no.
Every citizen has the right to lobby Congress, but most don’t have the wherewithal to do that – so the playing field becomes uneven. In most cases money and glad-handing are trying to influence the way the tax burden is applied.