Daily Dose: Less Lobbying A Good or Bad Thing?

If there’s one thing people seem to throw under the bus more than government it’s lobbyists. I can see why they are easy to hate but still just like anything else they do serve a purpose. Well apparently after reading an article in the Washington Post there is less to hate since lobbying has for the first time in a long time fallen off.

Spending on Lobbying Hits Plateau for First Time in Decade

Last year, for the first time in more than a decade, the amount of money spent on lobbying appears to have decreased. The total will not be known for a few days, but there are signs that lobbying money declined. At the very least, the once-booming industry’s growth has flatlined.

The lobbying industry has expanded over the past decade at a rate that rivals the economy of China, with an average increase in spending of more than 8 percent a year, according to statistics from the Center for Responsive Politics. Businesses and others lobbying Congress reported spending $1.4 billion in 1998, a figure that more than doubled to $3.5 billion in 2009.

Hearing that Lobbying was growing at the same rate as China floored me and it’s probably a good thing that it’s not growing that fast anymore but before you start your happy dance think about one thing: we kind of need lobbying. No I don’t think billions upon billions of dollars need to be spent in that arena but we do need some outlet for people to push for what they want.

Reading further on in the article I was pumped to hear that because the the recession and lack of funds lobbyists are turning to different forms of lobbying rather than shelling out the cash.

Companies and advocacy groups have increasingly relied on grass-roots mobilization or public relations work – strategies that have been boosted by the rise of the Internet. Examples from the past year abound, including campaigns run by Healthcare for America Now and Americans for Financial Reform, with both supporting the Democrats’ agenda.

So what do you think? Is less lobbying a good thing or is it more so just less $$$ lobbying is a good thing?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great stories in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send them to[email protected].

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Allen Sheaprd

Q: Who does congress work for ? A: the people they represent.

Q: Who elects or removes congress men ? A: the people they work for

A point best pondered by those is office – will lobbying pay for their future?

The only flaw is how few people respond to their congressmen. Here at least lobbying will buy a congressman’s lunch 🙂