Corporations outspend taxpayers in Congress...

You may be surprised to learn that we spend about $2 billion dollars a year on our dysfunctional Congress. However, it's even more surprising to learn that corporate lobbyists spend even more to buy off our federal lawmakers.

According to a recent article by Ezra Klein over at Vox.com, corporations outspend US taxpayers by more than half of a billion dollars. Yet, some people actually wonder why Congress is so beholden to their corporate masters.

The money we pay as taxpayers funds lawmakers' salaries, their staff, and the Congressional Budget Office and Congressional Research Service, which are the two agencies responsible for educating our lawmakers about an issue.

When corporations want Congress to vote in their favor, they do much more than just contribute to a lawmaker's next election. Lobbyists also use that stockpile of corporate cash to conduct their own research on issues, and use those industry-funded studies to convince members of Congress to vote in the corporation's best interest.

Although Congress has agencies to conduct research, there's no way that the CBO or CRS can compete with billion-dollar industries.

To make matters worse, Congress members don't only have to resist the corporate money – they often have to resist their former colleagues or staffers. These corporate lobbying firms scoop up every retired lawmakers or well-connected staffer they can get their hands on, and they pay more than the taxpayers ever could.

For the first time in our history, getting elected to Congress is more about the lobbying job of the future than it is about governing our country. It's time to end the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms, and to get the corporate influence out of our nation's capital.

Let's keep up the fight to get money out and take our democracy back.

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