In a recent post on his indispensible blog, Bob Bauer poked a bit at Newsweek columnist Robert Samuelson, who had written that big government gives birth to lobbying. A thrust of Samuelson’s column was that we should expect to see a lot more lobbying in the next few years, given Barack Obama’s announced goals to greatly expand the role of the government into our lives, and in particularly to greatly increase government spending, beginning with an enormous
porkbarrell spending er, stimulus bill.
Bauer makes a legit point that not only does big government create lobbyists, but that sometimes lobbyists create big government. Bauer goes on to note that an administration that favors "ambitious goals" and "strong government" must be especially attentive to appropriate regulation of lobbyists, including adequate disclosure and avoidance of conflicts of interest.
But we should not let Mr. Bauer’s legit point about particular lobbyists blind us to the bigger picture. Click the headline for more.