Groups that spent the most on lobbying last year provided legislative aides with about $69,500 in gifts. A U-T Watchdog review showed that the same groups — from companies to associations and unions — bestowed roughly $70,500 in gifts to lawmakers.And who gives the gifts?
Many of the top gift-givers are in highly regulated industries, among them AT&T, Sempra Energy, Edison International and Comcast. AT&T and its affiliates spent more than $27,000 on tickets for aides, including passes to Monster Jam, WWE Raw and Disney on Ice. The figure was nearly seven times what the company spent on lawmaker gifts.Of course they're in regulated industries. Just more reason to have government regulate fewer areas of our life, and grant fewer monopolies requiring regulation. I don't blame the unions and companies for giving gifts within legal limits. Working the legislative system to protect one's interests is necessary in a day and age when calls for more regulation follow the discovery of every new societal ill, whether its the fact that the poor lack high def televisions or hospitals with private rooms for rich patients provide with food with higher nutritional value. By God, we are going to find a legislative and regulatory cure for these ills, by taxing cable users to subsidize high def tv giveaways or regulating a consistent nutritional content in hospital meals, complete with inspectors and food tasters.
Government is too big. This is just one more symptom. Government's size distracts it from its main mission of securing our rights by protecting us and running the courts. It's size also is a drag on the economy. I work for the federal government and while well intentioned, everything we do is rife with red tape that makes us inefficient. We should do the minimum we are constitutionally mandated to do. The red tape will never go away, because there is always someone ready to use "streamlined" processes to steal your tax dollars. We need to embarrass the left over every suggestion that government can do anything efficiently, because it can't.