Battlepanda: Follow the money


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Follow the money

Again, I am amazed by Krugman's ability to explain it all so succinctly and well.

[T]his was a drug bill written by and for lobbyists. Consider the career trajectories of the two men who played the most important role in ... the Medicare legislation. Thomas Scully was a hospital industry lobbyist before President Bush appointed him to run Medicare. ... Mr. Scully had good reasons not to let anything stand in the way of the drug bill. He had received a special ethics waiver from his superiors allowing him to negotiate for future jobs with lobbying and investment firms - firms that had a strong financial stake in the form of the bill - while still in public office. He left public service, if that's what it was, almost as soon as the bill was passed, and is once again a lobbyist, now for drug companies.

Meanwhile, Representative Billy Tauzin, the bill's point man on Capitol Hill, quickly left Congress once the bill was passed to become president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the powerful drug industry lobby. Surely both men's decisions while in office were influenced by the desire to please their potential future employers. And that undue influence explains why the drug legislation is such a mess.

Read more here.