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End the Special-Interest Bazaar: Cut Government Spending

Democracy and Power 114: The Power Players

Who actually controls the force of government? Politicians and interest groups control the American political process. Special-interest groups –  big business, big unions, education, seniors, and a multitude of others - seek favors: tax breaks, subsidies, exclusive legislation, and the list goes on. Interest groups give enormous amounts of money to political campaigns and receive gigantic benefits in return.

End the Special-Interest Bazaar:  Cut Government Spending

Anticipating the next debt ceiling contest, House Republicans have announced they will focus on reducing government spending.  Three years ago, I proffered that the federal government must cut spending, and excellent, academic studies by Harvard economists and researchers at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) concluded that those countries who significantly reduced spending, especially cutting government payroll and transfer payments (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare), were most successful in reducing government debt and increasing prosperity.  [Read:  The Right Way to Balance the Budget]

Of course, America did not reduce spending and our economy has wallowed.  Dangerously, and worse,  America's predatory lobbyists are currently concentrating their enormous powers to increase government spending for their special-interest clients; i.e. education, defense, hospitals, doctors, AARP, high tech, and everyone receiving government favors.  All industries funded by the federal government are expending money to protect their special-interest advantages.  The New York Times quoted an inside-the-Beltway lobbyist:

Everybody who has a piece of pie is now going to try to protect their piece of the pie,” said Steve Elmendorf, a former House aide who now runs a Washington lobbying firm that represents the defense and health care industries. 

Equally harmful, these special-interest predators are also funneling millions of dollars to their favorite politicians.  The elected “sugar ladies and daddies” who grease the skids to bestow favors and money back to the special-interest predators.  Again, The New York Times:

All these appeals will make it easier for lawmakers to get the fund-raising machines revved up again. 

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, our Democratic leader, was in Florida last Friday for such an event, where donations up to $35,000 were solicited.  Not to be outdone, the National Republican Campaign Committee has scheduled its own fundraising event in New York on Oct. 30.   New York Representative Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said lobbyists need to remember the budget debate was about the nation’s priorities.

“They have the right to be vocal,” he said of the lobbyists in an interview on Friday. “But this process can’t be a special-interest bazaar.”  

Of course the special-interest bazaar is the cause of our debilitating debt and America's decline.   Special-interest politics is the base cause – the cancer - precipitating the financial, housing and the welfare state crises.  

For too many years, special-interest politics has prevailed over sound policy.  The next three months will be very important for America.  Only, We the People  - the small, competent and honest government coalition - can force the federal government to reduce spending.  We will not come close to eradicating the special-interest bazaar, but We can force DC to reduce spending.  

Our power are empirical studies and America's generally knowledge that DC has been corrupted.  Our greatest power is our word of mouth; talking to our family and friends, who in-turn expose DC's degradations to others.  Only through thousands of people hounding our elected representatives and demanding small, competent and honest government will the continuation of the special-interest bazaar stop.

Grannie's picture
Donna Richo

You miss one important point, those referred to as The Tea Party are not seeking to increase the debt, nor are they seeking special treatment. Our concern is the ever growing government intrusion and out of control taxation on the middle class. We are at this time loosely connected through varying organizations with the a single purpose of reducing taxation without representation. We are the working Americans, of many races and backgrounds, and political persuasion who have had no voice for far too long. We didn't just pop up in the last few months and we are not going away. It would be foolish for any politician to ignore this movement as it grows each day as more and more taxpayers see what government control becomes more apparent .

stonestone's picture
stone stone

I have no issue with anyone who has a political opinion, even if its not the same as mine. My issue is what the Tea Party really is, which is that it was totally manufactured by outside interests to use as a platform for their own financial/political gain. That is the issue. As far as the "concerns" over government size and taxes, I find it odd that somehow NONE of these concerns took center stage on the right until a Democrat got elected President. But in conclusion, I don't even need to bother saying anything: The "Tea Party" or whatever its "supposed" to be is basically fracturing the GOP and as such, they are losing their political clout. If that means they will need to moderate their voice in the future so they appeal to a broader base versus the extreme outer fringes, so better it will be for the overall country...

Grannie's picture
Donna Richo

Now to how to get control of the spending. Currently little information is available to the taxpayers on where their taxes go. We need line item budget information by cost centers to be able to put forth effective reductions. We need this at the local, state and of course Federal levels. Much of the Federal budget includes partial funding of the MANDATES imposed on towns by State and Federal Authorities for programs that serve a select few. We truly need to examine what programs can be done away with and what private group can pick up the slack. We can do this

stonestone's picture
stone stone

The irony of course to this whole article is that without the special interest/ corporate founders of such supposed "Grass roots" movements such as this one is that the OP would then not had a place to voice such "concerns". But do I agree? Certainly. We do in fact need to get rid of the practice of outside interests such as fake astroturf movements and others like it using the government for the interests of its backers. There was an interesting article about this in one of the leading publications on Sunday that made front page news in regards to the fractured split within the GOP as a result of these factions that came about as a result of the outside influence such the Tea Party. In effect the GOP is without a direction and without a clear voice. So again- its rather ironic to see a piece written about the negative effects of special interests given where this article is being displayed.