K Street raking it in with the onslaught of new regulations

posted at 1:21 pm on December 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It’s no secret that the administration waited until after they had secured President Obama’s reelection to really let loose on all of the new rules and regulations they’d been waiting to unleash on America; plenty of the rules relating to Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, and the White House’s oh-so-highfalutin climate-change ambitions were just waiting in the wings to be written until is was completely safe to come out of the shadows, and that’s on top of the already impressive amount of regulatory work the administration managed to get done in Obama’s first term. Regulatory costs are estimated to have increased by a whopping $70 billion during that first term alone, and the White House has routinely flouted the deadlines for the legally-required regulatory agenda they are supposed to publish twice a year.

While all of those new regulations have produced enough devastating uncertainty and encumbering red tape to keep our economic ‘recovery’ from gaining much speed, there is at least one industry that’s feeling A-OK about the new regulatory order. Writes The Hill:

Top K Street officials say their regulatory work has accelerated in recent years thanks to the sprawling rule-making from the healthcare and financial reform laws.

“We’re in this situation now, where we have this strong executive branch [that is] taking full advantage of being able to do whatever they want,” said Rich Gold, a partner at Holland & Knight.

While revenue from traditional lobbying work has flatlined, K Street firms say their regulatory practices are thriving. Several lobbyists said federal agencies are increasingly “where all the action is.” …

“Regulatory lobbying is skyrocketing,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist at the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen. “Reportable lobbying at agencies has gone up in recent years, and that’s only a small part of the lobbying that goes on.” …

But it’s clear that companies are shelling out big bucks to stay on top of new rules and regulations. …

The lobbying work “below the surface” includes coaching clients on how to deal with regulators and regulations, writing and submitting comment letters and connecting with lower-level agency employees. The outreach to the agencies is only partially revealed by the LDA forms, as only contact with senior administration officials must be disclosed under the law. …

Nutshell version: Less transparency, more complexity, and more bureaucracy, all of which can be mighty helpful to bigger companies in their rent-seeking endeavors — which incidentally helps to further trammel the little guys that can’t afford to hire a bunch of special attorneys and accountants to help translate the ever-mounting regulatory code.

Also incidentally, it just so happens that Washington, DC contains and is surrounded by some of the highest median incomes in the entire country. Just sayin.’

American incomes have tumbled over the last decade. But for many people in Washington, D.C., it’s been something of a party.

The income of the typical D.C. household rose 23.3% between 2000 and 2012 to an inflation-adjusted $66,583, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, its most comprehensive snapshot of America’s demographic, social and economic trends. During this period, median household incomes for the nation as a whole dropped 6.6% — from $55,030 to $51,371. The state of Mississippi, which had one of the biggest declines, dropped 15% to $37,095: Nearly one in three people there have an income that is near the poverty line.

The Washington, D.C. metro area — which includes the surrounding suburbs in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia — has it even better, with a median household income of $88,233 that ranks highest among the U.S.’s 25 most populous metro areas. Tampa, Florida’s median income, by contrast, is under $45,000.


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obama always takes care of his muzzie bros and the 1%rs, of which he’s the biggest.

He hates the middle/lower classes.

Schadenfreude on December 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Didn’t Obama say something about lobbyists once? Right after something about Guantanamo if I remember correctly…

rogerb on December 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

OT: Another Al Queda leader is gone

ConservativePartyNow on December 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

unfortunately the Corporatist party (aka RINOs) doesn’t much like the middle class either

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/366373/re-branding-gop-john-fonte

a long sad article about the RINOs and how they would have to rebrand themselves to win over conservatives. Rebrand? Ha! We don’t need no stickin’ rebranding

the Corporate/left leviathan is pretty much in control. Those regulations? Pfft. Haven’t you heard of regulatory capture?

r keller on December 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

This is the irony of the Left whining ad nauseum about money in politics and the impact and influence of special interests.

Lobbying is a reactionary activity. Companies are either trying to protect themselves from taxation or regulation, curry special favors, or find ways to burden their competition.

The money in politics is the result of over regulation and the complexity of the tax code. The Left won’t get rid of lobbyists until it reduces significantly its regulatory activities and/or taxes. But the Left loves both so they need to just resign themselves to the fact that lobbying will exist.

Charlemagne on December 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The Washington, D.C. metro area — which includes the surrounding suburbs in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia — has it even better, with a median household income of $88,233 that ranks highest among the U.S.’s 25 most populous metro areas. Tampa, Florida’s median income, by contrast, is under $45,000.

By contrast? Comparing the DC metro area to Tampa is absurd. DC is the 7th most populous MSA (behind LA, NYC, Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia) Tampa is the 18th most populous MSA. True that the DC area is affluent but comparing it to Tampa makes no sense.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

OT: Another Al Queda leader is gone

ConservativePartyNow on December 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

But, alas, not the one that lives in the White House.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

K Street raking it in with the onslaught of new regulations

Wonder if this is related? Cashing in?

Know When To Fold ‘Em: Wave of Retirements Sweep Congress

kcewa on December 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Wonder if this is related? Cashing in?

Know When To Fold ‘Em: Wave of Retirements Sweep Congress

kcewa on December 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Well one of the retirements, Frank Wolf, was long overdue. I worked on his first campaign in 1981. He’s been a good solid “moderate” but it has been time for him to go for a while now.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 2:02 PM

This is the irony of the Left whining ad nauseum about money in politics and the impact and influence of special interests.

Lobbying is a reactionary activity. Companies are either trying to protect themselves from taxation or regulation, curry special favors, or find ways to burden their competition.The money in politics is the result of over regulation and the complexity of the tax code. The Left won’t get rid of lobbyists until it reduces significantly its regulatory activities and/or taxes. But the Left loves both so they need to just resign themselves to the fact that lobbying will exist.

Charlemagne on December 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

+1000 (emphasis mine – this is a huge and vastly underreported aspect of lobbying.)

I once worked as a lobbyist for a small trade association. The chairman of the PAC used to say in all his speeches, “there are only two things that can put me out of business. My own mismanagement, and the U.S. Government.”

At this point, a business of any reasonable size is almost committing suicide by NOT having a lobbyist. Lobbying firms represent good value to smaller companies and associations who can’t afford the $150-200k to hire a good in-house lobbyist.

In the course of my brief lobbying career I ran across many companies who used lobbying to create business advantages for themselves or sought disadvantages for competitors.

rockmom on December 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

K-Street lobbyists in general, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in particular, are as great an enemy of middle class Americans as any far left organizations.

bw222 on December 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

In the course of my brief lobbying career I ran across many companies who used lobbying to create business advantages for themselves or sought disadvantages for competitors.

rockmom on December 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

General Electric, which spent more than $40 million on lobbying in 2010, has had laws written exclusively to benefit the company, has paid NO federal income tax for the past few years.

bw222 on December 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

As a country, we spend billions on regulatory compliance and a huge chunk of that goes to attorneys who have to advise us on how to stay in compliance with laws written by . . . attorneys. Coincidence? Not a chance.

natasha333 on December 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

General Electric, which spent more than $40 million on lobbying in 2010, has had laws written exclusively to benefit the company, has paid NO federal income tax for the past few years.

bw222 on December 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

GOSH DARN FASCISM IS FLUKEING AWESOME!

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 3:03 PM

+1000 (emphasis mine – this is a huge and vastly underreported aspect of lobbying.)

rockmom on December 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

If you are +1000 then why have you been a cheerleader for the GOP/DC establishment against those in the tea party that oppose cronyism?

FloatingRock on December 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Money going to GubRmint pals & family don’t count…. that’s racist

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Looks like the gubRmint definition of free markets is… they’re free to do whatever they want.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

K-Street lobbyists in general, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in particular, are as great an enemy of middle class Americans as any far left organizations.

bw222 on December 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

…true dat!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 3:34 PM

K-Street lobbyists in general, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in particular, are as great an enemy of middle class Americans as any far left organizations.

bw222 on December 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Corruption, over-regulation, mass immigration… I think you’ve got a point. Just because someone’s considered more respectable, it doesn’t mean they’re not doing you a lot of harm.

David Blue on December 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM