We often hear that unions are somehow on a par with corporate special interest groups when it comes to lobbying.
From 2008-2015, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Legal Reform spent $792,420,000 (#1 and #3 in the graphic). This is roughly 3x what second place lobbying organization the National Association of Realtors spent.
By comparison during the same time period, the first union to appear on the list at #182, the AFL-CIO, spent $22,300,000. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent roughly 35x the AFL-CIO on lobbying over this eight year period.
This doesn’t include the other 179 companies that are ahead of the AFL-CIO on the list. If the average spend by these companies is $40 million each, this is an additional $7.16 billion spent by industry lobbyists. Or 356x what was spent by the AFL-CIO over 8 years.
The amount that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent in the second quarter alone of 2015 ($22,970,000) is comparable to that spent by the AFL-CIO over 8 years.
This is what government capture looks like and is why corporate special interest groups have substantial influence on policy.
Corporate special interest groups spend hundreds of times what unions spend on lobbying and are the driving force behind bad legislation.
Cross posted at Daily Kos.
|David Akadjian is the author of The Little Book of Revolution:
A Distributive Strategy for Democracy.