U.S. weapons makers spend far more money on lobbying and campaign contributions than the domestic gun lobby: $162 million on lobbying and tens of millions in direct funding for members of Congress so far in the 2017-18 election cycle
Former President Jimmy Carter has called U.S. politics a system of “legalized bribery”in which powerful interests spend billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign funding to ensure that members of Congress pay more attention to them than to the general public. With the upcoming midterm elections, we will see the full force of this tsunami of cash washing over our electoral system.
The human cost of this corrupt system has been searingly rammed home since the Parkland school shooting, as grieving high school students determined to curb America’s gun violence have found themselves in a pitched battle with the “gun lobby,” led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the most entrenched and powerful interest groups in the country.
The gun lobby has already spent over $12 million on lobbying and given at least $1.1 million to members of Congress in this election cycle, 98% of it to Republicans. The gun lobby also wields power over Democrats through lobbying and public relations, and the threat of targeting individual Democrats who take a public stand for gun control.
But what about the even greater violence of America’s wars and the record military budget that makes them possible? U.S. weapons makers spend far more money on lobbying and campaign contributions than the domestic gun lobby: $162 million on lobbying and tens of millions in direct funding for members of Congress so far in the 2017-18 election cycle.
There is a strong correlation between campaign contributions from the companies that build America’s warships, tanks and warplanes, and critical votes in Congress to keep the guns firing, the missiles flying, the bombs falling and the cash flowing to the military-industrial complex.