Lobbying is a billion dollar industry, and one of the biggest things corporate lobbyists do is get lower taxes for their clients. But if they pay less, who covers the difference? Oh right, the American people do.
In 2011, five big industries spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying politicians. And they were given over $100 billion in federal subsidies by the government. That’s a huge pay-off: for every sector, the return on investment (ROI) of lobbying was over 1,700% – and above 70,000% for big agriculture and private defense contractors. By sacrificing a tiny slice of their profits, companies can manipulate the system for huge gains.
What does that $100 billion in subsidies mean to you? Divided between every US citizen, we all paid $43 to support defense contractors, and over $100 to support the financial sector (and you know they need more government help). In total, every tax-payer is hit with $314 bill to support private companies’ tax-breaks.
What made it possible? Our broken political system that makes corporate lobbyists – and whoever pays them – more powerful, and more important, than tax-paying voters.