Using tax revenues to lobby for more tax revenues (and other things)

US taxpayers are going to pay the Boeing Company at least $30B to supply the US military with air tankers, after extensive lobbying by the company. In 2010, US taxpayers paid Boeing $19.5B (3.7% of total US vendor expenditures) for many different things, the same year that Boeing paid lobbyists almost $18M to influence US lawmakers, plus $2.8M in direct contributions to political candidates and PACs.
Boeing’s total revenue for defence, space, and security was $32B, and so lobbying (past and present) seems to have been fruitful – this is not a comment on the quality of Boeing products. Lobbying is definitely bipartisan, because one of the best paid Boeing lobbyists is the Gephardt Group.

Thus revenues from US taxpayers support Boeing in its attempts to get access to more tax revenues, and this is true of many other companies. Companies using tax revenues for political purposes does not seem to generate much attention (even-handed Boeing contributes to both major parties) – whereas public employees are criticized for supporting union political contributions, because public employees paid are from tax revenues.

It seems easier for conservatives to repair a financial problem by cutting resources for the weaker (say, public employees) rather than increasing resources from those responsible for the problem (say, financial companies), it is also easier to criticize the weaker for attempting to protect their interests, than it is to stand up to commercial lobbying.

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