Ever wonder how many lobbyists there are? How big is the industry of lobbying? As a snapshot, a total of 12,792 professionals actively lobbied our federal government in the first three quarters of 2011.
An ex-member of Congress can look forward to $1 million or more a year as a lobbyist. With this opportunity before them, most House and Senate members must have in the back of their minds that they are likely to go into lobbying business in the future. This knowledge inevitably influences – and arguably corrupts – their votes on legislation crucial to the interests most likely to hire them after they leave the halls of Congress. This only makes common sense. How can it even be denied? Why do we have a political system set up this way?