You don’t think that I am referring to the Republican Reich, do you? Of course not! They are the Reich on the right. The Reich on the left is Robert Reich, author of the following excerpt. Just as surely as the Reich on the Right is wrong, the Reich on the left is right. In this case, Reich is right about Congress critters, such as Hastert the Bastert, becoming lobbyists.
Washington has been rocked by the scandal of J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, indicted on charges of violating banking laws by paying $1.7 million (as part of a $3.5 million agreement) to conceal prior misconduct, which turns out to have been child molestation.
That scandal contains another one that’s received less attention: Hastert, who never made much money as a teacher or a congressman, could manage such payments because after retiring from Congress he became a high-paid lobbyist.
This second scandal is perfectly legal but it’s a growing menace.
This isn’t because more recent retirees have had fewer qualms. It’s because the financial rewards from lobbying have mushroomed, as big corporations and giant Wall Street banks have sunk fortunes into rigging the game to their advantage.
In every election cycle since 2008, more money has gone into lobbying at the federal level than into political campaigns. And an increasing portion of that lobbying money has gone into the pockets of former members of Congress… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Robert Reich>
Robert goes on to describe the issue in more detail and propose some solutions. Click through, please. Personally, I don’t think he goes far enough. First, every penny lobbyists spend on and every word they communicate to government officials, including transcripts of conversations by phone and in person, should posted at a central website for public inspection. Second, 3 years is not long enough. Make it ten. For the record, most Democrats support laws restricting lobbyists. Virtually all Republicans oppose them, except for lobbyists that represent unions.