The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

More K Street Kapers while minds are on Rove...

OMB Watch highlights yet another nifty idea for parting corporate America from some of its lucre for the benefit of pols and their very good friends, the lobbyists [1].

We're familiar with sunset clauses attaching to tax breaks and their peculiar merits (which I discussed on January 16) for the corporatist government the US now enjoys.

Well, USG has got out proposals to extend the notion: essentially, many kinds of government activity will come up for review every ten years by a sunset commission. And, if it's judged not to be worth the moolah, the commission recommends it be canned.

Ten years, though, is a long time to wait - for a president limited to two four year terms. So administrations will be able to propose reorganisations to a results commission to apply a veneer of respectability.

Now, of course, USG doesn't need a new law to be able to propose to reorganise or terminate a government programme. But - this is the bull point - in government, inertia rules. The new laws are meant, I surmise, to WD40 the wheels of bureaucracy.

At least so far as providing real enough threats and opportunities to government contractors (actual and prospective) to persuade them to stump up contributions to pols and fees to lobbyists. (And perhaps do creative real estate deals...)

Just like a commodities dealer can make money when prices are going up or down - but not if they're static - so pols and lobbyists can get no revenues by leaving things as they are. It's churning - which is frowned on in financial, but not in government, circles.

The Senate bill S 1155, I note, has 21 cosponsors (more than the House bill), all GOP. How much Dem enthusiasm will there be to block them, I wonder?

  1. Not a job title mentioned in the Fats Waller classic, so far as I can recall.


There was a Rolling Stone story about the proposals on April 21. Who knew?

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