Capitol Punishment, The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist by Jack Abramoff is his life’s story to date. If you want all the seamy details about how lobbyists operate in the Washington, DC, of our time, this is as good a primer as you will find. At times, the details of how lobbyists, operate are overwhelming. At the end of the book, there is a short chapter on Jack’s suggested solutions to the problem of Washington corruption. I agree with some and am not sure about others.
Jack is a conservative Republican and his central suggestion is a smaller federal government. So much power and money is concentrated in Washington that widespread corruption is inevitable. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is at the core of his argument. Less power and less money would mean fewer temptations for corruption. I am undecided whether or not I can buy his argument. If we reduce the power of our federal government to reduce corruption, we also reduce government’s power to do good. Similar to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
I do not agree that the solution to any and all problems is privatization and the free market. I would have greater faith in the apostles of small government if they advanced ideas about how to solve the nation’s problems and showed more compassion for their less fortunate fellow citizens at the same time advocating smaller government.
This is Robert Reich’s take on the subject.
- Video: Jack Abramoff: “We Owned” Members of Congress (americanpeoplesplatformblog.com)
- Jack Abramoff on Gingrich’s ‘history’ gig and how the allure of lobbying jobs corrupts Congressional staffers (mydd.com)
- Abramoff jabs Congress on ‘Colbert’ (politico.com)
- Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist’s playbook – CBS News (cbsnews.com)