Draining the Swamp? Not So Fast.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been in the news a lot lately. Its control of politicians is plain to see. The NRA has about 3 million members and it does have a lot of money it is willing to spend to attempt to unseat politicians who don’t toe the line, but with all its power, the NRA is not even close to the most influential special interest group in the game of buying political favor.
Special interest groups who lobby for Big Business in all its many forms are far more financially powerful than the NRA. The NRA does have a hot-button social issue to exploit, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the influence of all the others. For example, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have the biggest corporate lobbying budgets. They spent a combined $49.7 million on lobbying in 2017. This does not include their outside lobbying trade groups or the so-called experts they hire to whisper in the ears of politicians. The recent testimony of Mark Zuckerberg before Congress was nothing more than free air time for politicians. If anything comes of the Facebook privacy scandal, which is far from certain, it will be more heavily influenced by the lobbyists behind closed doors than by that hearing.
Draining the swamp? Politicians won’t intentionally destroy their own habitat.
Photo Credit: Alex Yomare