During the campaign, President Trump promised America that he would get rid of the lobbyist. Trump vowed to ‘drain the swamps’. There is no better place to start than by slaying the lobbyist. Restricting lobbyist activity in our government is a praiseworthy achievement. Lobbyists are the epitome of corruption: big business liaisons influencing politician’s votes with donations and lavish gifts.
Trump’s ban on lobbyists is similar to the Republican brainchild “trickle-down economics”. Both of these platforms appear to be noble, but just an ounce of scrutiny would unveil the deception.
“Trickle down economics”, for example, since it’s murky conception in the Reagan era, has been regurgitated almost every presidential election by Republicans. However, any political analyst would tell you that “trickle down economics” does not work. It is a proven failure. Republicans keep rehashing the same failed policies though. The idea is just too good to give up. Give to the rich and it will trickle down to everyone else.
Like “trick down”, Trump’s ban on lobbyists appears to be a virtuous and corruption-ending move. However, after inserting some loopholes in his executive order, Trump’s ban will actually strengthen the lobbyist. Just another case, of a Republican politician pulling the wool over those loyal voters,
Most Americans probably didn’t even notice Trump’s order on lobbyists. Our president dazzled the public with more fantastic legislation, like the wall and the ban. With all the attention on his left hand, Trump’s right hand slipped the lobbyist order through.
The lobbyist has such power over our government that even Obama on day one, enforced some restrictions.
Obama’s ethics proposals specifically spelled out that former lobbyists would not be allowed to “work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” On his first full day in office, Obama signed an executive order to that effect. Politifact article
President Trump’s executive order weakened some aspects of a lobbyist but also, strengthened others.
For example, executive branch employees have to wait five years after they leave the government until they can lobby the federal government from where they worked. Obama made it so that white house employees had to wait until the end of the administration. Thus, Trump’s ban is seemingly more effective and harder on the lobbyist. Under Trump, a white house employee has to wait longer before they can become a lobbyist. In addition, under Trump, former executive branch officials will be banned for life from serving as foreign lobbyists.
“Most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work,” Mr. Trump joked about their prospects after serving in the White House during a short signing ceremony in the Oval Office as advisers — including his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and counselor, Kellyanne Conway — stood behind him. NY Times article
You’d have to put on your glasses to notice some of the other changes in Trump’s “ban on lobbyist” because they are really hard to spot. For example, a rule banning lobbyists from taking a job with an agency they had attempted to influence in the past two years, had mysteriously vanished. That means, under Trump, if you lobby an agency of the government, you are allowed to start working for them.
Also, the new rules allow a former employee of the white house to lobby the private industry, as long as they don’t label themselves lobbyists.
In other words, Trump’s ban on lobbyists, makes it very tough on “lobbyists”, but much easier on people lobbying the private sector. Ethics expert, Mr. Eisen said of the new executive order,
“There is much to like, but it gives nonlobbyists too much leeway when they leave. That is where the biggest problem in the system is: unregistered, shadow lobbyists. They should be getting more regulation, not less.”
“Trump kept the Obama limits on the revolving door coming into government, but eliminated Obama’s revolving door protections for nonlobbyists leaving government.”
The biggest change of this administration to any in the history of our country, is how many big business titans sit in his cabinet. Lobbyists are certainly in a quagmire in the era of Trump. For example, oil lobbyists could try to influence Secretary of State and former Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson all they want, but if it will hurt him financially, he won’t hear of it.
Among the biggest spenders on lobbying are the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, the two teachers’ unions NJ article.
Betsy Devos, Trump’s choice to head the Department of Education, has devoted her life to destroying public education. The same teacher unions that historical spend lots of money lobbying are Betsy Devos’ biggest enemy. I doubt these teacher union lobbyists would even be able to speak to her, let alone try to influence her.
Defend him all you want, but Trump’s lobbyist restrictions, actually grant them even more power. To call his executive order a “ban on lobbyist” is the biggest joke of all. This order is not a ban on anything. Rather, it grants even more freedom for big business to have its way with the government.