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Business Influence On Government Interests And Spending

882 words - 4 pages

History

        Big business has been affecting politics throughout time since there were established forms of government. The practice of financing public elections with private money is older than our nation itself. In 1757, for example, George Washington was charged with an irregularity kind of campaign spending in his race for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. With only 391 voters in his district, Washington is said to have purchased and distributed during his campaign more than a quart and a half of rum, wine, beer, and hard cider per person [2].
A quote that accurately describes corruption in politics is taken from a former senator, "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can't remember what the second one is." -- Ohio political boss and U.S. Senator Mark Hanna, 1895 [1]. This quote clearly conveys how government and money are intertwined.
John C. Calhoun spoke these words back in the nineteenth century. "The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual party." He further stated, "A power has risen up in government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and powerful interests, combined into one mass, held together by money." The realization of what was happening was apparent even then ... even before today's advanced technological tool of power was even a dream. He understood then "There was great ability in concealing ability." [5].

Implications

        The implications of corruption from big business into the U.S. government is evident everywhere from the news to the streets it is rampant. Below is a graph depicting Halliburton's 'contributions' towards federal parties and candidates.

        

Dick Cheney, the current Vice-President of the United States of America was the chairman for Halliburton from 1995-2000, he resigned when he was nominated to be George W. Bush's running mate. Halliburton is the world's largest oil-and-gas-services company. The conglomerate, which is based in Houston, Texas, is now the biggest private contractor for American forces in Iraq; it has received contracts worth some eleven billion dollars for its services there. Cheney earned forty-four million dollars during his tenure at Halliburton. Although he has said that he "severed all my ties with the company," he continues to collect deferred compensation worth approximately a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, and he retains stock options worth more than eighteen million dollars.

Consequences

        Halliburton's privileged status is evident...

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