Investing Wisely?

A report released by the Public Campaign examines 30 top corporations. Some key findings:

  • Despite making combined profits totally $164 billion in that three-year period, the 30 companies combined received tax rebates totaling nearly $11 billion.
  • Altogether, these companies spent nearly half a billion dollars ($476 million) over three years to lobby Congress—that’s about $400,000 each day, including weekends.
  • In the three-year period beginning in 2009 through most of 2011, these large firms spent over $22 million altogether on federal campaigns.

The full report (available here) seems pitched to the OWS/99 percenters. But it should be of interest to anyone concerned with corporate welfare, crony capitalism, and the sloppy corporatism that has flourished in the US regardless of partisan control of our national institutions.

2 thoughts on “Investing Wisely?

  1. “•In the three-year period beginning in 2009 through most of 2011, these large firms spent over $22 million altogether on federal campaigns.”

    Wow, a whole $244,000 per company!!!!!

  2. The $22 million works out to be somewhat less than one half of one percent of all spending on campaigns during that period. (Maybe much less depending on how much 2011 adds to the denominator). Is one half of one percent a large number? Thinking about it another way: is there a probability of 1 percent that federal officials could do $220 million of damage to those 30 firms? Is there a 10 percent chance that spending on ads criticizing those federal officials or seeking to elect alternatives to them (corporations cannot contribute to parties or candidates) would prevent some of that damage from being done? Of course, the spending might be predatory as the OP suggests. But it’s not obvious that it is; not obvious that is, unless one begins with a strong prior belief that the campaign spending on speech is predatory and thus, to be suppressed.

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