In the most recent Republican debate, Republican nominee Ron Paul brought up the issue of lobbying while – at the same time accused another member of the Republican Party, Rick Santorum, of liaising with lobbyists. In fact, Ron Paul brought up statistics validating his assertions: Santorum was declared the most corrupt Republican presidential candidate because out of the rest of the candidates, Santorum received the most incentives from the lobbyists.
It comes as no surprise to hear about Republican candidates receiving dirty money from lobbyists, oil companies for example. According to PBS,
“In 2005, Bush, who has received more from the oil and gas industry than any other politician, signed an energy bill from the Republican-controlled Congress that gave $14.5 billion in tax breaks for oil, gas, nuclear power and coal companies. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was based on recommendations by Cheney’s energy task force, also rolled back regulations the oil industry considered burdensome, including exemptions from some clean water laws All of this transpired only one year after Congress passed a bill that included a tax cut for domestic manufacturing that was expected to save energy companies at least $3.6 billion over a decade.
“Political action committees, lobbyists and executives do not give money to politicians or parties out of an altruistic support of the principles of democracy,” says Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. “They are savvy investors expecting a return on their investments. Politicians routinely deliver on campaign contributions that are provided to them… [by] giving goodies to the industry.” And the size of those contributions matters.”
Furthermore, the Center for American Progress reveals that
“The 2008 big oil profits bring the grand total under the two terms of the Bush administration to $656 billion, which is nearly two-thirds of a trillion dollars. Given the urgency to restart the economy with clean energy investments, and the need to slash U.S. oil use, you would expect these wealthy energy companies to be taking steps to develop new clean-energy technologies and fuels to address these economic and security concerns. Despite their soaring earnings, the big five companies were very stingy with investments in renewable and low-carbon energy technologies and fuels that would reduce oil dependence. In fact, a CAP analysis of their investments reveals that the big five oil companies invested just 4 percent of their total 2008 profits in renewable and alternative energy ventures. This reality contrasts with their ads that promote greener, cleaner images.”
After the whole Bush fiasco, it is a little unsettling to realize that the possibility of the next American president to be well, a Republican, is relatively quite high. Not many realize that when Obama was elected into office, he had a lot on his plate. Not only did he have to clean up the mess that his predecessor left, he had to somehow improve the opinion the public had about the Democrats and America. Let’s just hope that when the next president gets elected into office, he won’t fall prey to the tempting incentives offered by the lobbyists.