Swickard: It pays to be the money broker

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. What is most destructive to a nation of laws is ambiguity in said laws. Yet that is now the way to hold onto power in Washington D. C. The power is for those who make the laws ambiguous enough that fights can pit one moneyed group against the other with politicians in-between harvesting money from both sides.
     In years past most contributors would select one party or the other for the majority of their contributions. Now all but the most political give money somewhat equally to both parties to hedge their bets. By giving equally to both parties smart money says that some of the ambiguity of laws can be thwarted.
     Example: the Internal Revenue Service provides a means for money and power to the members of the Congressional Ways and Means committee. This is not in actual cash, but in the ability of make winners and losers with each decision. Each decision means mega bucks for one group and that group must pay the political price with money and power. In some ways the most powerful people in our nation’s capitol are in Congress rather than the White House.
     There are two reasons to think this: first, the President is term limited while members of Congress can serve right to the grave. Secondly, the power of the purse, the real power of the money is what makes all of the power in our nation’s capitol work. It is the political “Golden Rule.” He who has the gold makes the rules.
     The more you look at the way Congress is organized to provide its members with power and money, the less it looks like the first Congress in 1788. That was a Congress of citizens who served and the service took a toll on their lives and fortunes. Not so any more. Read full column


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