Political corruption has long been a part of many governments all around the world. Even in the United States, where the equality and ju stice are upheld as important national values, corrupt politicians may still be scheming up new ways to abuse the law for their own benefit. Despite the various provisions and laws set up to deter such underhanded behavior, unscrupulous politicians are still finding loopholes in the system. One of these exploits is lobbying. Lobbying, the act of attempting to influence the decisions of government officials, should be banned to prevent bribery and corruption by large corporations and wealthy individuals.
Lobbyists are people with strong communication who seek the favors of influential people to enact a change in their community. They may achieve this through earnest proposals, petitions, favors, or bribery. From labor unions to the local senior citizen club, lobbyists are found just about everywhere. Many people naturally ...view middle of the document...
In one of his scandals, Abramoff illegally arranged free vacation trips for 85 Congressmen in an attempt to evade minimum wage laws so that immigrants from China and other countries were paid virtually nothing for fabricating products “made in the United States.” In yet another scandal, Abramoff and his accomplices were employed by the Choctaw Indian tribe to keep other rival tribes out of the casino gambling business. Abramoff paid executives to hold anti-gambling campaigns to keep other casinos out of business in the South so that the Choctaws would thrive. By doing so, he successfully laundered funds through the Choctaws and gained considerable money from lobbying. Abramoff’s actions eventually reached public concern and in 2006, he was put on trial and charged with defrauding Indian clients, giving illegal gifts to representatives of Congress, and evading taxes.
Lobbyists are not always individuals. In fact, many common lobbyists are actually large corporations that many people may recognize. Between 2008 and 2010, 30 major corporations including Wells Fargo and Boeing Airlines poured billions of dollars into lobbying Congress for conditions favoring their businesses. During that time, an estimated $400,000 was spent on lobbying every week and many of these businesses evaded income taxes for over a year. Thus, money that could have been used for improving conditions within the country went instead to personal gain by the companies rather than going back to the taxpayers who pay them.
Corrupt lobbyists like Abramoff are one of the main reasons why the rich grow richer and the poor stay poor. By influencing the decisions of those in power, they can alter the course of the government and cause it to take a turn for better or worse, but usually worse. Often relying on their financial assets, lobbyists flout the system designed to uphold people’s rights and turn it around to their own personal gain. Despite benign lobbying being present, its negative consequences far outweigh the positive ones. Therefore, to prevent further damage to the government and society, lobbying should be made illegal to hinder certain people from exerting an unfair influence on the country.