How much money is spent on lobbying each year ?

Money spend on lobby

Lobbying in the United States is a very controversial activity. It is always considered a negative phenomenon by the America public and also the journalists. It usually involves employing of well-connected individuals with professionalism in advocacy. These individuals mostly lawyers usually contend for certain legislation in decision-making organs such as the United States Congress.

It usually takes place at all levels of governance namely; state, federal, municipal, county and also local governments. In this manner, it also has a huge impact on various aspects of the political system of the United States. This was proven in the year 2014 when special interest lobbying improved the power of influential groups. This was a changing factor in the country’s political arrangement towards oligarchy whereby regular residents have very minimal influence.

Money spent on lobbying in the US

Apart from contributing to the campaigns of candidates and elected officials, organizations, labor unions, and other firms spend billions to influence governments each year. It is estimated that money spent on lobbying since the 1970s in the USA is over $30 billion. Even though many people would say more money is spent on something as obvious as betting by learning hоw to play Craps or knowing which sports team will win, that is not the case. The overview of the spending since 1998 is as seen below:

1998 – $1,452,984,975
1999 – $1,437,744,966
2000 – $1,566,792,414
2001 – $1,633,780,756
2002 – $1,832,212,993
2003 – $2,061,307,915
2004 – $2,185,106,481
2005 – $2,440,863,167
2006 – $2,634,610,325
2007 – $2,870,073,188
2008 – $3,304,625,834
2009 – $3,498,204,573
2010 – $3,516,143,989
2011 – $3,326,126,537
2012 – $3,308,005,956
2013 – $3,238,704,632
2014 – $3,246,023,231
2015 – $3,216,132,563

Biggest spenders

The biggest spenders in advocacy are corporations. Corporations spend more than $2.5 billion yearly to influence expenditures. This figure is more than what is used to fund the Senate and the House. Most big companies today have more than 100 lobbyists representing their interests; this allows the companies to be everywhere, every time. For every dollar that both public interest groups and labor unions spend on lobbying, big corporations spend $34. Among the top 100 lobbyists, 95 of them represent businesses.

Wall Street lobbyist spent more than $100 million in 11 months to lobby court regulators regarding the laws that regulate debit card, trading, and lending fees. Corporations are more likely to spend if they are concerned about the consequences of an adverse financial statement if they do not advocate. Corporations that are likely to spend big to influence government decisions include big banks; the American Bankers Association is known to spend more than $2 million yearly on lobbying. In 2010, the in-house team of lobbyist from JPMorgan Chase spent $3 million on advocacy. Hedge Funds through their trade group spent $1 million within four months to lobby the government; they were concerned about a rule that required more disclosure of hedge funds.

An overview of top spenders is as seen below:

US Chamber of Commerce – $22,925,000
National Assn of Realtors – $11,999,165
American Medical Assn – $6,810,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield – $6,084,994
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America – $5,982,500y
American Hospital Assn – $5,665,214
Dow Chemical – $4,840,982
Northrop Grumman – $4,740,000
National Assn of Broadcasters – $4,738,000
Boeing Co – $4,480,000
AT&T Inc – $4,480,000
Alphabet Inc – $3,800,000
Comcast Corp – $3,720,000
Verizon Communications – $3,680,000
Lockheed Martin – $3,672,737
Southern Co – $3,440,000
Pfizer Inc – $3,400,000
Exxon Mobil – $3,280,000
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn – $3,280,000
Merck & Co – $3,260,000

Goldman Sachs lobbying

Money spent on paying the salaries of lobbyist

The number of lobbyist in USA has doubled since 2006. This is a result of the growth of industries such as home building, health, and education. The amount of money that is paid to them for their services has drastically increased by 100 percent since 2006. This increase is due to the rapid growth in government and the belief of big companies that they should hire more lobbyists to ensure they have a share of the federal benefits. Today professional lobbyists are paid up to one million dollars annually. An example is Gerard Evans, who as of 2011 was paid $1,232,000 annually. Today the average annual pay of professional lobbyist is about $400,000 per year. This amount is on the high end and leads to corporation spending large on this activity.