With election time coming, it’s worth taking a look at just who the special interests are that are influencing your politicians. Ever wonder why Democrats push so hard for pro-Union agendas even though the higher costs and lack of flexibility are paid for by you? Ever wonder why Republicans are viewed as so Business-Friendly and worker hostile? Wonder why tort reform wasn’t included in the Health Care Reform Bill? These questions can all be answered pretty easily by taking a look at who’s paying who in America:
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As compiled by Opensecrets.org, these are the Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions by various factions by political party. A few observations I couldn’t help but notice:
- Honeywell is #1 – I found this to be surprising. I don’t think of them as an enormous company, not like Microsoft or GE. They seem to be equal opportunity givers though, virtually split between parties. That’s called hedging your bets!
- American Association for Justice – What a name, huh? Sounds like a nice group since they’re all about justice. Well, they used to be called the Trial Lawyers’ Association, but since Trial Lawyers aren’t too popular given their knack for profiting from frivolous lawsuits and ambulance-chasing, they changed their name to something more appealing. They’re still trial lawyers. And they give 97% to Democrats. So, yes, that’s why tort reform was excluded from the Health care Bill that was passed by reconciliation completely along party lines.
- American Bankers Assn – Yes, those bailouts were certainly aimed at keeping these guys in business. While TARP is a dirty word in most households, surprisingly, it’s turned out to be the one bailout that didn’t really cost that much! Only $30 Billion or so as opposed to throwing money down the GM rathole, cash for clunkers and all the other stimulus efforts that simply pulled demand forward or redistributed wealth without any net benefit to the economy or country as a whole. These guys continue to benefit though, from a watered down Financial Reform Bill to the economic policies that tend to benefit large financials like the Treasury lending out free money while they lend it and trade it for a nice markup higher.
- Unions, Lots of Unions – Out of the top 20 PACs in the US, I count 10 of them that are union organizations. And they all give primarily Democratic. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. But at least you know why Unions will keep spreading their tendrils into more and more facets of American life even as the manufacturing base shrinks. They’ll keep reaching into more public sector roles, tech, services, private retailers and anything else they can. So, expect your taxes to continue to rise and expect to pay more for goods and services as this trend continues.
- Who’s Missing? For all the demonization of Health Insurers, Pharmas, Tobacco, Oil Companies and the other outfits the media tends to broadcast as the anti-Christ, they are surprisingly absent from the list. I don’t hear much about unions on the nightly news or on MSNBC though.