Effects of lobbying and its effectiveness in America
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A lobbyist is anyone with a clear understanding of working of the federal government and the legislative actions taken each day as well as their impacts. He might represent an individual, a party, company or a group of people (Hrebanar, 2009). Yearly, many dollars are spent on lobbyists in Washington DC. We shall discuss about the effects and effectiveness in this city.
For a start, not every American citizen can approach members of the Congress or to government officials to have their interests addressed. Anyone who has an issue seeks the help of lobbyists who represents their interests to the congress. The fee charged is high but one is fully represented and listened to. They represent anyone who seeks their help not the interest of all citizens. This is a direct form of corruption.
The lobbying companies make a lot of profits based on the purpose of forming the company. The benefits may be in terms of direct cash, reduction of taxes or being awarded any contract of government. This is a form of corruption and unfairness because the citizens who cannot afford to approach them can’t win such tenders or have any interest in the congress.
Many companies opt to pay lobbyists who in turn help them evade paying the corporate tax of 35%. The whole process is facilitated by politicians receiving money from the lobbyists (Waterhouse, 2013). This leads to reduction in the income of the country in terms of taxes collected thus the economy is also affected. Living standards of citizens also become poorer because they are forced to pay more taxes for the government to operate efficiently.
Since lobbyists have a great impact on the laws passed in the Congress, some important regulations may be passed in favor of corporations which carry out illegal activities such as emission of poisonous gases to the atmosphere or trafficking of drugs. Congress members and other officers in governmentare paid to help in passing these regulations. This is harmful to the general public since the products affect them negatively. In this case, environmentalpollution through poisonous gases increases cases of cancer and. Practical examples of such companies are tobacco and extraction companies.
Lobbyists are not always effective even though they have much influence in the government and its officials. The court is always a fair representer of the normal citizens and it may rule that a regulation should not be passed because of its impact on the American society. A good example is when the court stopped the FDA tried to introduce the generic version of Lovenox but the court stopped the procedure despite the huge sums of money the company spend on lobbying. In addition, there are leaders in power who don’t accept any type of bribes so the influence of lobbyists does not affect their decisions pertaining some regulations or policies. These leaders condemn fully the activities of lobbyists hence the regulations passed and enforced in the country are in favor of the citizen’s not individual groups or companies.
In conclusion, lobbyism is rampant in America especially in Washington and the results of such groups may affect the normal citizens positively or negatively. A significant amount of capital is spent on lobbying which reduces the net income on taxes hence affecting the economy. The health and normal lives of citizens are largely affected by lobbyism. Luckily, they are not effective always thus some of their policies are neglected especially by the court and no-corrupt officers. The best way possible out of this is through campaigns to alert government officials of the effects of lobbying.
Hrebenar, R. J., & Morgan, B. B. (2009).Lobbying in America: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Waterhouse, B. C. (2013). Lobbying America: The politics of business from Nixon to NAFTA. Princeton: Princeton University Press.