Porkulus: The Lobbyist Full Employment Act

posted at 12:15 pm on March 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The economy is crashing.  Unemployment is higher than anytime in the last 26 years.  Barack Obama has promised to save and create jobs, and according to the Washington Post, he’s succeeding — but in a peculiar way:

Last month, just before Valentine’s Day, business at Holland & Knight was so slow that the law firm laid off more than 240 lawyers and staff, victims of the economic downturn that has dented Washington’s reputation for being recession-proof.

But one area of the multi-service firm was thriving. Rich Gold, head of the firm’s public policy and regulation practice, was hiring more than a dozen lobbyists, bringing his federal lobbying team to about 70, every one of them scrambling to stay on top of provisions and changes in the mammoth economic recovery package that was barreling through Congress. They were handling about 240 clients, including 50 new ones, all eager to win a portion of the stimulus that President Obama wanted passed. …

Put another way, Main Street’s gloom has been K Street’s boon.

The $787 billion stimulus package — along with an ambitious new federal budget, bank bailouts and the beginning of a regulatory overhaul — has succeeded in stimulating the economy along Washington’s avenue of influence. In the months since the November election, more than 2,000 cities, companies and associations have hired lobbyists to help them push their agendas on Capitol Hill and at the White House, easily outpacing such numbers after the previous two elections, according to disclosure records.

Nearly every industry and every corner of the country has an issue, especially with so much money at stake.

Irony alert!  Obama campaigned on limiting lobbyist influence, and imposed a lobbyist ban at the White House so onerous that he’s been forced to issue dozens of waivers to it.  His stimulus team promulgated an unconstitutional restriction on communications with lobbyists that looks more like a scheme to avoid prostitution entrapment.  Yet K Street hasn’t been limited at all — in fact, they’re positively energized.

Why?  Government funding attracts lobbyists, and the more there is, the more you’ll get.  When government takes taxes out of the pockets of its citizens for the purposes of redistribution, especially on the massive scale of Porkulus, the rewards make it worth hiring people to get some of the money back.  As more and more people decide to organize to get their hands on government project money, more and more lobbyists get hired to represent them — and they make more and more connections with politicians in Washington to ensure their success.

If Obama really wanted to eliminate lobbyist influence, he would cut government spending and starve lobbyists out of K Street.  That’s why the Republican Revolution went off the rails when Tom DeLay concocted the K Street Project in the mid-1990s, purportedly to create a permanent Republican majority.  In order to kiss up to K Street, DeLay and the GOP had to guarantee an increasing flow of government funds as spoils to split for lobbyists and their clients. Obama’s Porkulus simply takes the same approach, magnified exponentially.

The explosion of employment on K Street is ironic … and utterly predictable.


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New government plan: all laid off auto workers receive training to become liberal lobbyists.

shibumi on March 30, 2009 at 12:17 PM

If Obama really wanted to eliminate lobbyist influence, he would cut government spending and starve lobbyists out of K Street.

LOL.

genso on March 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Ed – enough with the ‘Obama campaigned on…’ articles. Nobody cares, nobody is paying attention, the great Obamessiah now rules our nation and yet we labor here in a futile effort to sway hearts and minds.

Perhaps we can adjust our focus and instead reference the things that Obama is doing well and then maybe the left will like us

gatorboy on March 30, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Barney Frank will be running ObamaLube

faraway on March 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

I do not want the lifties to like us, they can like you, but that would be your problem…….By the way, what is tp doing well?

clinker46 on March 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Barney Frank will be running ObamaLube

faraway on March 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Right UP his alley

clinker46 on March 30, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Ed, see if you can find a picture of a sow sitting in the back seat of a GM car for this article.

Vashta.Nerada on March 30, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Barney Frank will be running ObamaLube

faraway on March 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Right UP his back alley

clinker46 on March 30, 2009 at 12:22 PM

FIFY

WashJeff on March 30, 2009 at 12:27 PM

If you like ants sprinkle sugar on your floors.

Limerick on March 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Concentrating so much money in DC would lead to a boondoggle in lobbying? Who knew?

BuckeyeSam on March 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

If this were a movie plot it would be too unbelievable to watch… As it is it is painful beyond words.

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

WashJeff on March 30, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Be careful, all three of you. Barney might insist that you be spanked.

Frank will bring a whole new meaning to muffler repair.

BuckeyeSam on March 30, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Obama is already doing car commercials

faraway on March 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Frank will bring a whole new meaning to muffler repair.

BuckeyeSam on March 30, 2009 at 12:32 PM

You think he is into the old “banana in the tailpipe” gag?

WashJeff on March 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Another example of the Orwellian quality of his campaign. It’s like Opposite Day in grade school again, only you haven’t been told yet. Surreal.

Dr. Manhattan on March 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Thank god we have the integrity of the folk’s on K street to help us threw these difficult times.

heshtesh on March 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Another example of the Orwellian quality of his campaign. It’s like Opposite Day in grade school again, only you haven’t been told yet. Surreal.

Dr. Manhattan on March 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

+1

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Wow! Talk about unintended consequences. Of course, with the 0ne, I’m not sure they were unintended.

4shoes on March 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO MORE BARNEY FWANK GAY INNUENDO (in your endo) JOKES

He really is the ugliest, scruffiest poof I have ever seen.

LimeyGeek on March 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I’m joining the massive march being orchestrated in DC by all the same people who decried Bush’s ties to lobbyists and insider moneymen.

There is a demonstration planned, right?

Bishop on March 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

There is a demonstration planned, right?

Bishop on March 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

If silence had a volume, our eardrums would burst.

LimeyGeek on March 30, 2009 at 12:44 PM

This is wonderful, maybe I should get the CT Package (beer/wine stores) association to get into the game, just maybe, my small business can get a few hundred dollars (if the darn dollar will be worth anything). This really sucks and so due politicians.

foxone on March 30, 2009 at 12:46 PM

“Only government,” Obama said, can restore the purchasing power needed to preserve jobs…

Lichtman said. “Obama is saying government is the solution and, in fact, the only real solution to the crisis we’re experiencing today. It’s not just a matter of fixing the economy. It’s a matter of fundamentally moving the economy in a new direction. And government, not private enterprise, has to take the lead.”

canditaylor68 on March 30, 2009 at 1:14 PM

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO MORE BARNEY FWANK GAY INNUENDO (in your endo) JOKES

He really is the ugliest, scruffiest poof I have ever seen.

LimeyGeek on March 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Ah, just one more:

DOCTOR ‘S CURE FOR CONSTIPATION

If you are bothered by occasional or frequent constipation, repeat aloud the following phrase three times in succession when symptoms occur:

“My financial and personal well being are totally in the hands of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, Rahm Emmanuel, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Al Gore.”

If that doesn’t scare the SH*T out of you, then you are probably destined to be constipated for the rest of your life.

Caution: Potential side effects may include immediate nausea and/or vomiting.

——————————————————————————–

Yoop on March 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

gatorboy on March 30, 2009 at 12:19 PM

If Ed were to report on the promises Obama’s tried to keep, well, there would be no reporting at all. Then where could I make snarky comments?

Caution: Potential side effects may include immediate nausea and/or vomiting.

——————————————————————————–

Yoop on March 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

LOL

scalleywag on March 30, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Caution: Potential side effects may include immediate nausea and/or vomiting.

——————————————————————————–

Yoop on March 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Don’t forget Hillary.

scalleywag on March 30, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Slightly OT: Transparency was a big old promise from Obama. I heard this AM on fox, the network attorneys filed suit against the Fed and Treasury to see full reports on TARP which they won. When documents were finally handed over, they were redacted significantly. Talk about Nixon and the tapes. There were pages where more was blacked out than visible. The reports had gloomy predictions on AIG followed by more perky outlooks released to the general public. Full report is supposed to be on later today.

msmveritas on March 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Slightly OT: Transparency was a big old promise from Obama. I heard this AM on fox, the network attorneys filed suit against the Fed and Treasury to see full reports on TARP which they won. When documents were finally handed over, they were redacted significantly. Talk about Nixon and the tapes. There were pages where more was blacked out than visible. The reports had gloomy predictions on AIG followed by more perky outlooks released to the general public. Full report is supposed to be on later today.

msmveritas on March 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Wait, what the heck is secret material in reports on a back bailout plan? I can kind of get it if it is Executive privilege of keeping received opinions secret (see Chainey and his energy meeting), but how would that show up in what you are talking about?

Count to 10 on March 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Who’s up for a new film version of “Animal Farm?” I see Barney Frank as one of the lead pigs in a suit.

Star20 on March 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Ed – It’s not surprising at all. Where you do think they get the money for them:

AIG Was Responsible For The Banks’ January & February Profitability

Makes complete sense these goons are on the increase. They’re the recipients.

SkinnerVic on March 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Who’s up for a new film version of “Animal Farm?” I see Barney Frank as one of the lead pigs in a suit.

Star20 on March 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM

That’s not the “Animal Farm” I remember….

LimeyGeek on March 30, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Wait, what the heck is secret material in reports on a back bailout plan? I can kind of get it if it is Executive privilege of keeping received opinions secret (see Chainey and his energy meeting), but how would that show up in what you are talking about?

Count to 10 on March 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Right I thought about Cheyney too. It seemed from the discussion this was pretty blatant redactions that the Fox attorneys and the reporter found bizarre. I think the full report is supposed to be on later today. I think they could piece some of the information together despite the redactions. It should be interesting. BTW, both Treasury and Fed fought release of this report with a vengeance.

msmveritas on March 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I’ve been trying to get a start in an honest job and work my way up the ladder for the last 6 years. Nothing. Now maybe I wonder if I haven’t just set my standards too high. [/half sarc]

Dark-Star on March 30, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Barney Frank will be running ObamaLube

faraway on March 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

I am sure VA paperwork will be less difficult than filling out a warranty claim at Barry Motors (BM)

seven on March 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I wonder if street walkers and street gangs are amongst the clientele? Ever notice how when the government gives out ‘free money’ be it for 9-11 victims, Katrina victims, whatever, the crooks (non-elected ones I mean here) come out of the woodwork and manage to get a piece of the pie?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 30, 2009 at 6:06 PM

In what way does Porkulus conform to an campaign promises made by Obama once he won the democrat nomination?

darktood on March 30, 2009 at 7:24 PM