February 24, 2016 8:30 AM
Today I paid a telecom expert to influence my phone company to give me higher internet speed knowing full well that it will increase my phone bill. Then I hired a food expert to twist Kroger’s arm to carry Densuke watermelons knowing full well it will raise my grocery bill. Finally I engaged a financial expert to lobby my bank to loosen the mortgage qualifications knowing full well it will raise the interest rate on my mortgage.
At the end of the day two guys in white coats had me fitted for one of those jackets that buttons in the back.
And yet everyday across the country, cities and counties are spending taxpayer money to hire state and federal lobbyists to gain a greater share of state and federal tax dollars which will ultimately increase state taxes and surely increase the federal deficit.
Even worse is states are using taxpayer dollars to hire federal lobbyists to conduct similar operations with similar results.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more bizarre, most federal departments have full-time lobbyists, paid with taxpayer dollars, twisting the arm of other federal departments to get a bigger piece of the budget dollars which further drives up the deficit.
At some point in the future, someone will look back at this practice and ask, “What were they thinking?”
If there is a need for different levels of government to lobby other levels of government, have it done by an existing employee like the head of the City Water Department, the head of the State Department of Community Affairs or the Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, etc. And make it part of their respective job description with no more compensation.
So what about a law that prohibits local, state and the federal government from hiring internal or external lobbyists? Unfortunately common sense is a flower that does not grow in most government gardens.