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.