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The United States of America: The Best Nation that Money Can Buy

Updated on October 16, 2014

Let’s Begin with a Definition

Lobbying: the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

Lest you think this is a new phenomenon, lobbyists have existed in the United States since we became a nation. James Madison argued in favor of lobbyists in 1776, using Freedom of Speech as his main point, and the arguments for, and support for, lobbying has only increased since then.

In fact, it was estimated, in 2011, that over thirty billion dollars was spent attempting to influence votes and legislation nationally, while in Washington D.C. four billion dollars was spent.

This is big business my friends.

How big?

Contrary to popular belief, the real power is not found in the Halls of Congress
Contrary to popular belief, the real power is not found in the Halls of Congress | Source

Money Can’t Buy You Love

But it sure can buy you some damned good legislation.

Thirty billion dollars worth of legislation.

“But Bill, aren’t you being a bit cynical?”

To which I would reply, “Aren’t you being a bit naïve?”

So, who are these lobbyists? Who is spending all this money to buy legislation in this country?

The top spenders, by industry, for 2014 are:

  • Pharmaceuticals $119,470,003
  • Insurance $ 78,046,878
  • Business Assoc $ 73,703,878
  • Internet $ 71,804,106
  • Oil and Gas $ 67,265,741
  • Electric Utilities $ 65,871,155
  • TV/Movies/Music $ 57,022,334
  • Securities/Invest $ 49,900,734
  • Manuf/Distributing $ 47,542,373
  • Health Profession $ 45,341,903

That’s in less than one year my friends, and it is just a small portion of the lobbyists roaming the Halls of Congress in search of favorable legislation.

Mid-term Elections Are Coming

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln

Yes, it is always an election year, but in 2014, in one month, we will vote on House and Senate elections, and then we will trudge forward two more years and then vote for President, and people will rush to the polls and cast their ballot, then go home feeling like democracy has once again worked its magic, all the while the lobbyists are sipping cocktails and telling their stockholders to rest assured, the votes really don’t make a bit of difference.

Welcome to the United States of America, the best country money can buy.

Election results
Election results | Source

And We Fall for It Year After Year After Year

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
So the elections are held, and one side wins, one side loses, and we all go home and complain about the voting results, and we curse the other side, those damned Republicans, those spineless Democrats, those bleeding heart Liberals, and those crazier-than-bat-shit Tea Partiers, and in so doing we do exactly what the lobbyists want us to do: we blame each other.

Go to any online forum and tell me I’m wrong. The bloodletting never stops as issues of abortion, gay rights, gun control, et al are argued and argued in increasingly louder voices. The art of compromise? Tossed to the winds. The art of listening and seeking common ground? Run over like some day-old road kill.

And not once do we stop and realize that all the arguing in the world won’t change the fact that legislation is purchased.

Take some middle-aged, struggling Americans, and stack the cards against them so they can’t possibly pull an ace out of the hole, and they will listen to anyone who points a finger and tells them it’s the other guy’s fault, because dammit, we need to blame someone.

Take a million displaced American workers, and tell them the Republicans are out to screw them, and you’ll have some converts on the spot.

Take some mid-level management types who have overspent and now face credit ruin, and tell them the Liberals hate their guts, and they will be flying the right-wing flag high above their driveways.

None of them understand that the real fight is not Republican vs Democrat. The real fight is corporation vs the bottom 90%.

And the corporations are winning!

So Here Is My Solution

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Of course this won’t be done, but it sure is fun to dream.

Outlaw lobbyists and lobbyist spending. Build a ten-foot wall around Congress and never again allow big-spenders to defecate in the nation’s capital. In fact, outside that wall, I want a moat teeming with alligators and all sorts of other deadly mammals.

If we could eliminate special interest group spending, then we would have a situation where politicians are only in office if we elect them into office, and they will only stay there if they actually represent we, the people, and not they, the corporations.

No, it will never happen, because in order for it to happen, Congress would have to enact legislation that eliminated special interest lobbying, and that would mean that Congressional members would suddenly earn less income, and who in their right mind is going to vote for legislation that makes them poorer?

A man of conscience, maybe?

Forget about it! Never going to happen! Not in Washington D.C., and not in any state capital, and certainly not in the United States, the best damned nation that money can buy.

The 90% minority looking for their freedoms
The 90% minority looking for their freedoms | Source

Of Course, There Is Another Solution

This is going to seem radical, but try to stay with me for a moment.

Instead of waiting for legislators to grow a conscience, why not force them to grow one? Demand that your state lawmakers reform lobbying in this country. If they don’t, we vote them out of office, and then they can be a part of the great unwashed who do nothing other than live their lives in quiet desperation.

I know, I know, it is beyond radical. In order for that to work, the bottom 90% in this country would have to work together. Party lines would have to be erased, and people would have to begin voting as a coordinated group whose only agenda is to wrestle the power of this country away from corporations and back into the hands of the individuals who make up 90% of the voting power.

It will never happen, but it sure is fun to dream.

Don’t forget to vote in November. The lobbyists are counting on it. The results give them something to laugh about at their next martini lunch.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I wish I had a profound argument against you, but I would be a fool to try since I believe you are correct.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      We the People start to lose contact as well as control of the politicians, the second we register with the party. Then we hold a very thin string during the campaign, and when we cast our vote, the string is cut. I think it is a mechanism in the ballot box. lol

      Then for the duration of the elected term, these politicians turn a deaf ear to the voters, and nestled their ears on the lobbyists. This affection continues until it is time to be reelected. Then the process starts over again.

      2016 is no different, except in the imagination of the voters.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      nicomp, I can't argue the fact that we are all special interests. Thanks for stating your opinion.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 2 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Your list of top lobbyists should include a list of top supporters for those firms. It's not all Big Business: it's also Big Labor.

      Your suggestion to eliminate special interest spending would obviate the need for politics. Everyone who wants to be treated differently is a special interest. We are all special interests.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I think you're right on that one...rent is much better. Thank you buddy, and have a great weekend.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      I missed this one because it was before my becoming a hubber.

      Great hub, and you always get a lot of comments which is even better.

      I would say, that instead of buy let us say Rent.

      Beer, you buy it, but you can't hold on to it.

      So in that metaphor, we rented a lot of beer.

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelRoots, your last point is absolutely correct. There is a time and a place for lobbying, and in moderation I really don't have a problem with it...but what we see now is way beyond moderation, and it needs to be changed...which I don't see happening anytime soon. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      We do need to get lobbying under control. Too many times larger interests get heard and the better interest for the people is not heard at all.

      A step in the right direction would be to end the perks associated with this practice. I would be all for banning elected officials from working for any organization or corporation that put business before a committee they sat on. You something is wrong when someone works to pass legislation, then they resign from congress and immediately are employed by the group that benefited from that legislation.

      I don't think we'd want to end lobbying entirely. Unfortunately, if you have an issue, an disease, or a cause that needs attention brought to it, the only way to get your Representative's ear is to have a lobbying group. We think of lobbyist only in terms of big monied interests, but smaller causes must also use the same process to be heard.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That would be wonderful, Sandra. Looking forward to it.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Sounds great Bill. My niece is itching for me to come to Oregon soon so if I make it up to Washington I'll for sure let you know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sandra. I was born and raised in Tacoma...lived in Olympia now for twenty-two years. I can't imagine living anywhere else. If you ever make it up here again, give me a shout out and we'll have lunch.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jama! Stirring the pot is something that seems to be ingrained in me. It may not always be easy, but it is necessary I believe.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DzyMsLizzy, thank you so much for sharing on all those sites. Maybe we can wake a few people up, and that's better than no one, right? This is going to be a very long fight my friend, and quite frankly I'm not sure it's a fight we can win...but we try anyway.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      I have to tell you I love Washinton and Oregon. I lived in Tacoma for about 6 months and my niece lived outside Portland. I traveled up to Victoria on Vanvouver Island and plan to go back someday. The way our country is headed it might be sooner than later. Take care. I'll watch for your next post .

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, if you take the time to comment, the least I can do is respond. Just the way I was raised my friend. Thank you for the kind words.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Bill I commented once on this hub already but have been following the comments. It absolutely amazes me that you answer each person with a piece of your heart and soul. You truly are unique. God bless you.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Bill, any time the (melting) pot gets stirred is a good thing! Local politics, huh? Don't tell anybody - LOL! - but I'm a survivor of four grueling campaign seasons at the state level. Living in a fishbowl for 4 years is yet another reason I've become something of a hermit, but I do sorta miss the free lunches provided by reporters thinking lunch would be enough to make me tell them "where the bodies were buried". Ha! I got lots of great lunches, they got NOTHING! lol!

      Same to you about the weekend. ;D

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Oh, my! You have hit that corporate nail square on the head!! It's too bad it's but a virtual nail that will not harm the greedy miscreants!

      What about term limits? Some states have them; the office of the President has a term limit. So should the House and Senate of the entire nation! It should not be a lifetime career.

      I wrote a blog post some years back with all of my 'solutions,' but I'm not sure if that blog is still up, or if the post is still visible.

      In the meantime, I've voted your post up, awesome, interesting, shared here and on Face Book, and pinned...oh, yeah--tweeted as well!! These facts NEED to be disseminated!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Jama. I don't expect any "solution" to be enacted regarding lobbying. I just thought it would be fun for my psyche to stir the pot a bit. I work at the local level in politics where at least I feel I have some say in policy decisions. :) Thanks, as always, for your input, and have a great weekend.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Bill, one problem with your "solution", banning lobbyists, is that such a law would also ban any concerned citizen who wants to "lobby" his or her own representatives on an issue.

      In fact the word "lobbyist' originated in the English Parliament building, the lobby of which being the only place citizens who want a word with their MP without a formal appointment can do so.

      If anything should be banned, it's the revolving door from Congress to K Street. One year from elected office to big bucks lobbyist is nowhere long enough. It should be at least TEN years, by which time said official would've been out of office long enough that his (or her) connections are no longer all that "valuable".

      Personally, bin laden picked the wrong target when he sent the two planes to take down the Twin Towers. (Okay, ALL the targets were wrong, but bear with me...) More long-term damage to the power structure of this country (and others) would've reulted had those planes been aimed at either side of K Street in D.C., home to THE MOST powerful lobbying firms.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, we must keep dreaming and doing our part to be instruments of change in this world. Best wishes to you my friend, and thank you.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      Reading this very informative hub, it seems that dream of people's actual power is a distant dream. A very heady stuff to ponder. Bill, how I wish this dream could come true in every nation grappling with this nasty menace i.e. Corporate Power taking over People Power. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suhail. Something needs to change for sure, because corruption is running unimpeded in this country.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      A very hard hitting article indeed!

      Add to your list, various countries spending billions of dollars in the White House corridors and the monster will become formidable.

      Your suggestion in the end will be a small step toward a big change.

      Arianna Huffington and Michael Moore have talked about lobbyists and both have given their solutions, the former via her best seller 'Third World America and the latter during the 'Occupy Wall Street Movement' and through his movies.

      I think your suggestion makes sense and when I travel to the US to cast my vote I will ensure I take it up with the hopefuls there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, changes like this take decades. I'm afraid we are in for a long fight, but I think the fight is one that can be won. Let's hope my friend.

      Thank you!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      There are many things we thought would never happen - until they did. We can always hope and sometimes our hopes do turn into reality. It is just always slow going. One step forward, two (or 10) steps back.

      Keep writing like this and you never know what might actually happen.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I honestly wonder if we will wake up as a society. I keep thinking it's about time for another revolution, but that would require the citizens to leave their televisions for awhile to protest. No, not going to happen!

      But we can dream. :)

      Thank you, Mary!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      It might be a dream but it sure is one whose time has come. We keep paying higher and higher prices to make corporations (like drug companies) get richer and richer. They lobby to keep cheaper drugs out of this country and raise the prices on those we have. Something is definitely wrong with this picture and the bottom 90 better wake up before no one has any money left.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I doubt it, but it's nice to dream. I'm not sure how we are going to negate the damage done to this country, but we have to continue the fight.

      Thank you my friend and have a fabulous week.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I want to laugh at the lobbyist comment at the end but it is too true to be funny. I think your statement "None of them understand that the real fight is not Republican vs Democrat. The real fight is corporation vs the bottom 90%." hits the nail on the head. We have a mock government system made to appear as if the people have a vote. Your voice is strong, perhaps someone in Washington is listening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, I should live long enough for that to happen. :) It's nice to dream sometimes my friend.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Bill, one can only dream that all of the nation's people can come together to do something about our leaders who should be doing their jobs. Thumbs up to another thought-provoking hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rap, I love your wording on this comment. I understand....the right to vote was fought for over hundreds of years...we should exercise it. I vote for the unknowns now...the independents who I believe still speak for those of us with no voice....and I keep believing that one day things will change and we will once again be a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • rap profile image

      Ruth Perkins 2 years ago from New England

      The same two parties have dominated the playing field forever & even with their differences they look quite the same & both are up for sale. Still, I'll be going to the voting booth yet again this year because I can't shake the knowledge I have of the struggle that women of history lived so that I could vote today.

      It's what parties I don't vote for & the person/persons that I do vote for or write in the name of that count for me. It's the only back-in-your-face from me to the lobbyists and purchased candidates that I've got right now other than not voting at all...which, by the way is just another way of exercising our rights & freedoms that we still have or think we do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, you nailed it perfectly. Thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Everything you stated and explained just continues to support the theory.. that America is the land of dreams.. hmm dreams

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, buddy. I'll check it out.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      lol Me again : )

      Here's a good clip on the topic of your article. It's comedy so, we can laugh while being serious lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5nUREYjowc

      All the best!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cheers my friend. Holy Basil it is. :)

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha, I had/have no intent to get your blood boiling Mr. Billybuc. Try some Holy Basil, Tulsi Tea Blend, to calm things down if necessary. It is a lovely tea used by people in India for thousands of years.

      I can smile while I'm bleeding: https://hubpages.com/education/Smile-While-You-Ble...

      Cheers! : )

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rasta, I wish I was surprised but I'm not. I'm studying now American corporations buying up water rights in third world nations so they can control the water supply. Now that, my friend, is frightening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, may I add you have written quite an interesting and thought provoking comment. I can't argue with anything you said....spot on as always...tell me....why don't people realize this? Why do we fight among each other instead of being mad as hell at the system? I don't get it.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      I have heard of Jamaican politicians being influenced by the American system via money. You may not be surprised but American lobbyist penetrate third world countries too.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Bill: You have illuminated the chief problems we have in this country and it is the lobbyists and money. Money is the god our congressional leaders bow down to. It is sad to see our great nation slowly going to ruin. We can vote congress out but the same kind will replace them. The true leaders of our country and smart enough not to get involved in politics because of the intense scrutiny they would be under; no one is perfect and no one is free of skeletons in their closet. We are destroying ourselves from within. We are our own terrorists. Washington's policies are squeezing out the middle class and we are becoming a nation of haves and haves not. You are correct when you say we can only dream. You have written quite an interesting and thought provoking article here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thanks for sharing about term limits. I did not know that, but I trust in what you are saying, and I see the logic in your words.

      People don't get it, or they don't want to get it...this is corruption, plain and simple, and it directly affects the way of life for millions of American.

      Glad I could get you stirred up this morning. :) Thank you my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Bill, oh my Gawd! You have just written the article I don’t dare write. Maybe after I retire, I can tell some tales. People don’t realize that when they send average Joe to Washington, he comes home rich. Sooo much money flows under the table from lobbyists, and it makes me ill. It chaps my fanny that lobbyists have propagandists who can make a dirty word out of a perfectly good term of English, and they do it all the time.

      As a 26-year employee of the government, I can tell you that term limits only exacerbate the situation because term-limited politicians know they have a limited amount of time to get rich off the graft from the lobbyists, so the dishonest ones do it quickly and frequently. They rise to power quicker than without term limits, and they are given opportunities that they wouldn’t have without term limits. “Giving other people a chance in elected office” is one of the arguments made in favor of term limits, but it makes lobbyists work even harder. In an ideal world term limits would be an asset, but this isn’t an ideal world.

      We have a situation now where an interest outside our state has a PAC that has bought up the upcoming election for several political candidates of a certain party. This is not local support. If these candidates win, they will be owned by this outside lobby. Now the lobby is running commercials of its own saying that they are not such bad guys because they provide jobs in this state, too. It is a vicious cycle.

      Thank you for the words of truth. Voted up++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, good to see you my friend. Thanks for the interview. I'm sure it will get my blood boiling this morning.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, I can see that, and I love it. Wouldn't it be cool if a reporter followed a congressman around constantly, and recorded every meeting? We would have a revolution on our hands in a matter of weeks if the people understood what goes on behind closed doors.

      Thank you Kim!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, that is a great example. The tobacco lobby has had its way for quite some time in D.C. Thank you for mentioning that example.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thanks for coming back...I couldn't agree more....change will not happen unless we face the truth and then join to change it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I believe in the sharing of thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, this is a reality most people do not want to acknowledge, and I can understand why...but if we are going to change the problem, the first thing to face is that there actually is a problem. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you travel_man....vote wisely indeed!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Billybuc,

      My Dreaming becomes reality Amigo. So, I would not put all my bets on: "Of course this won’t be done, but it sure is fun to dream." It will happen: "never say never" lol : )

      Mr. Ron Paul Sr. just spoke about this not long ago in an interview when he was discussing who stands to gain anything from all these wars happening. He mentioned that the U.S. government is now trying to destroy American ammunition and weapons which fell in the hands of ISIS. With that in mind, he said that the military industrial complex is most likely loving this: destroy weapons so they can build more thus, getting more profit. For them wars equal profit. They love it!

      Here's the full interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRHNoioEYzA

      Cheers! And thank You for putting this article together. Will share.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Just tell me when and I will be spot on carrying block and mud in order to build that wall. I will figure out the way to get the alligators and other deadly mammals. It is unfortunate that the media makes the lobbyist list for this is a group with the means to educate the masses. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and maybe a few others are the only ones I can think of who try to illuminate these issues. I think one reason why it is difficult to change the legislation is because the lobbyists do not seem real. I think if the lobbyists had a concrete face, it would make it at least a little more difficult for them to be illusive. I also think if the network news ran a constant newsreel of every time a congressman meets with a lobbyist, maybe folks would notice just how much time our elected officials spend with lobbyists instead of doing the job they were actually elected to do. Whoa. You really got me going on this one.

      Kim

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Having worked in tobacco, I can say you would be appalled at the loosely regulated activities that go on in the name of political persuasion.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I did leave a comment and it said waiting approval Baill, but stll hasn't shown up. Anyway I won't repeat it other than to say well said ...we need to take a bipartisan approach and vote for what is right instead of a particular party. In a democracy the majority is supposed to rule...not those with the most money.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You have said it all here and so interesting about your thoughts.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “..all the while the lobbyists are sipping cocktails and telling their stockholders to rest assured, the votes really don’t make a bit of difference.” I wish I could disagree with you, Bill, but I can’t, and I won’t. Facts are facts, and I don’t think a number of voters know just how much clout these people wield inside the beltway. The “blame game” is all about keeping voters stupid and securing more votes to keep congressional leaders {cough} in office. Two rules too many of them live by: When challenged anywhere near a microphone or camera, pivot; otherwise, dummy it down.

      “Outlaw lobbyists and lobbyist spending. Build a ten-foot wall around Congress and never again allow big-spenders to defecate in the nation’s capital. In fact, outside that wall, I want a moat teeming with alligators and all sorts of other deadly mammals.” I love this!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Corruption is a worldwide disease. Philippines is not safe with it, including the Ebola virus, too.

      I believe in the jargon, "Vote Wisely!" It still works, Sir Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your optimism, Ruby, and your determination to see this nation rise again. Thank you for such a positive note to end my day on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's okay, Jeannie. I ranted enough for both of us. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sheila! It's always a pleasure having you stop by and weigh in.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I will vote! Anyone who stays home on election day, deserves whatever. My dream is someday we will have enough people elected to give the special interest groups a free ride out of Dodge! America is beginning to wake up and smell the roses. We see the middle-class dwindling. We see the increase in poverty. We see the rich get richer. There is power in numbers. We are the numbers! Vote!

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      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      The fact that pharmaceutical companies and insurance tops the list is the very reason our nation will never offer truly affordable or... gasp... free health care to all. Sigh, it is all very frustrating, but I won't go on any of my rants right now. ;-)

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      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      BRAVO!!!! There's nothing else I can add to this because I agree with you 100%.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      manatita, there are several reputable sites online that list lobbyists spending....thanks my friend.

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Do not forget to vote, Bill. Make sure you do the right thing, or the lobbyist will get you.

      Actually you had a great list and some excellent figures. Where did you get them?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, voting by party lines makes my blood boil. I would be happy if we just had a voting block that voted intelligently...that would be a wonderful first step towards getting our rights back.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, you have my condolences. Nobody should have a politician in the family. :) Yes, I did this on purpose, but I had no idea I would actually involve you personally. LOL Give me a heads up next time.

      bill

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      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Preach it! Vote. But make it an informed vote.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      For the most part, my memory is gone as well as my mind, but that is another story. Occasionally, some one will say something and it will flip a memory, long forgotten. We were studying government, and as usual, I was paying very little attention. When the teacher spoke of lobbyists,

      my hand popped up like a knee jerk reaction. 'We elect legislators to represent us in Washington, DC, and they sell their vote to the interest group with the most money?' I was in the 6th grade, and it made no sense then and it makes no sense now.

      The only thing that has changed is that the lobbyists have much more money with which to grease the legislators palms. I have seen such

      misuse of the tax payers money that it turns my stomach! Yes, I do have politicians in my family. They can take their 10 day trips all around the world for a business meeting, and then point their finger at others who do the same.

      You write hubs like this, just to get me riled up! You are sitting back

      watching the caldron boil over, aren't you? You're sneaky, like that.

      DJ.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Bill. Now if only someone would listen to me who can actually change the system. :) Thanks, buddy.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It would be interesting to test your theory, Heidi, but we'll never be in that position. :) Good to see you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very rarely do they, Mike. I'm reminded of the song "What's It All About, Alfie?"

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are indeed, lovemychris, and I don't know a damn thing about needlepoint. :) Thanks for that site.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, the hypocrisy runs through every vein of the political spectrum I'm afraid. I would be hard-pressed to name one politician I respect...and that is sad.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I've thought the same thing....now that's an election I might get excited about.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you hear correctly, or so studies show. I happen to believe it is true.

      Thank you my friend.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Let's do it. Very persuasive argument. And, it didn't cost a dime. Not doing it will cost many dollars! Thanks for saying, what many are just thinking!

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      In the mid-term elections, so few vote, yet so many complain. Let me sum it up: Shut up and vote! If every eligible voter voted, we would have a different government for sure.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Great point Bill. When we compare a politicians platform with their voting record we find out the two don't necessarily agree.

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      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      They are small potatoes compared to AIPAC

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-israeli-lobby...

      http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/AIPACCli...

      But of course--we will never ever do anything about it.

      We are sewn up like needlepoint.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Charlie, I really try to judge candidates by their platform and their voting record, rather than whether they are Dem or Republican, but as you alluded to, I'm not sure platforms make any difference...it's who is contributing to the campaign who is the real power broker.

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      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I was into my thirties before I got interested in politics and let me tell you I gasped when I found out lobbying was legal! Sure I had heard about it all my life but it was legal? No way!

      I will vote but that I fear won't stop lobbying; they are all in to that. We need to stop being so stupid and believing everything they tell us so they can play games and get rich with their lobby friends. Like Al Gore talking about climate change and all the rising waters becoming a multimillionaire and builds a multi-million dollar mansion right at the ocean! (lets all feel sorry for him)

      You are right we have to stop being fools and put our foot down!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I don't know whether to laugh or cry over your comment. Either reaction would be appropriate. Not your comment per se, but the reality that your comment is right on.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Wouldn't it be great if every candidate was given exactly the same amount of money to use for their campaign? Any money spent over that amount would be cause for immediate disqualification from the election.

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      Charlie Claywell 2 years ago

      Excellent article Bill -- and right up my alley. As I'm sure you have figured out my now from some of my articles, I am not a John Boehner fan (my Congressman) -- which is not a popular opinion in my area. But my biggest complaint with him -- is this issue of him being in bed with so many lobbyists. He is 'running' for election with millions in his coffers -- from the lobbyists -- against an opponent who last time I read had about $100,000 in his campaign fund. When it's millions against $100K it isn't hard to figure who is going to win -- and who they truly represent.

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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Way to stick to the man. I can just see that finger protruding. I hear that negative buys the most votes. And cash buys the most legislation. Pretty screwed up for the United States.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Perhaps I live in a dream world but we do have "Term Limits" if everyone would vote responsibly. The hardest part would be convincing someone to ignore the "D" or "R" beside the candidates name and vote for the best candidate.

      But then when we have so many voters who can't even name the Vice President I guess I am living in a dream world.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Dora, and I have no faith in the pharmaceutical companies...that's a tough word to spell, isn't it? :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, I'm all for that cold drink on a hot day, as long as we don't ruin it by discussing politics. People get so upset when you say you aren't going to vote....quite frankly, I'm amazed they don't see the truth that is before them in living technicolor. :) Have a good one, buddy, and thanks for your thoughts.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell. I suspect it is no different in England. I'm sure lobbyist curry the favor of politicians there as well. It is sad when there is no real choice in the elections....voting between dumb and dumber hardly seems a choice to me.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, I'm with you 100%, but I'm afraid I won't live long enough to see term limits. Still, we hope, and we do what we can....but it is discouraging at best.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jaye. I once was innocent and believed in the system. Those days are gone. Thanks for sharing that site. I'll take a look at it later today.

      bill

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      No wonder we can't trust pharmaceuticals especially; and the Franklin D. Roosevelt deserves the attention of those who are buying influence. Good message!

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      larry Kitzmann 2 years ago

      As always my friend well done. I no longer vote on the national or even state level. It's a game I refuse to take part in any longer. I only vote on the local level, mayor-council members and the local school board. To those who say if you don't vote on other levels you have no right to complain I simply reply----as long as the govt takes out taxes for things I can't stand or support, well then I have every right to complain. Will leave it at that my friend as I'm all ranted out. Oh and you didn't even mention the military industrial complex. Have a good one Bill we will meet up in Iowa at some point and enjoy a cold drink on a hot day.

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      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Being English this is confusing stuff for me, but if there is one thing I got out of it is the bit when you said whoever wins we will moan about them in a few days afterwards, we have our general election coming up next may and who can we choose? Stupid cameron again with his snooty top dog Eton twits or Milliband who is weak? Great choice we have too! interesting stuff Bill, nell

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      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      You point out in your article that big pharma spends the most of all lobbyists. I wonder if this is why not one legislator or presidents complain about the high cost of drugs and the fact they go up yearly. They control the Medicare part D formulary list to include expensive side effect causing drugs and ban the low cost old stabile ones that work without any side effects. As far as I'm concerned big pharma runs America and we need to have term limits for congress as well as the president so neither one can cozy up under the covers for too long with the money grabbers

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      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill - Even the Supreme Court added to this corporate 'mess' our country's in with their Citizens United decision that gave corporations the green light to spend millions for influencing elections. So much for 'unbiased' Supreme Court judges!

      Anyone interested in discovering the major campaign donors of any member of Congress (which, of course, influences their votes) should check out this website: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/index.php

      It's an eye-opener! No wonder this country is called 'Corporate America.'

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye