Jim Rubens - Mining Taxpayers: Crony Capitalist ROI

Where can you find a 77,000 percent return on your investment in these times of central bank induced 0 percent interest rates?  Hint: does crony capitalism pay this big?
 
The definitive answer is here.  The Sunlight Foundation spent one year examining 14 million records covering campaign contributions, lobbying spending, federal grants, loans, contracts and bailouts for the top 200 politically active companies representing 26 percent of all campaign and lobby spending.
 
The bottom line: these companies in total got $770 in return for every dollar spent on political influence in DC, among the highest returns on any legal activity imaginable.  That’s right, a 77,000 percent ROI.
 
Over the period examined, 2007-2012, these 200 firms spent $5.8 billion on political influence and got almost $4.5 trillion dollars in return. The twenty-two Wall Street firms were America’s crony capitalist stand outs, spending $502 million and getting almost $3 trillion in return – an ROI of almost 600,000 percent return on their investment in Washington influence peddling. These patterns persist whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress and the White House. These brobdingnagian returns do not include difficult to track and quantify tax breaks, regulatory and diplomatic favors, and below market federal land or resource leases.
 
Clearly, unlike ordinary taxpayers, big political donors have extraordinary influence on the allocation of taxpayer dollars. The Washington political money system is extraordinarily costly for the average taxpayer. Voters who do not want their tax dollars spent on politicians they disfavor are getting shafted under the present crony capitalist political money system.
 

New Hampshire voters have one temporary advantage: the opportunity to ask the Presidential candidates what they will do to make the corrupt crony capitalist political money system fair for ordinary taxpayers.
 
Data, including that for five firms doing significant business in New Hampshire:


 

Company Lobbying & Campaign Spending ($M) Fed Contracts, Loans, Grants & Bailouts ($B) Return on Investment
All 200 5,775 4.45 770
       
22 Wall Street Firms 502 2.99 5,956
       
BAE Systems 34.6 44.2 1,280
FMR 19 5.37 284
Tyco 13.5 0.63 47
Verizon 105 3.5 33
Anthem 123 1.25 10

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens