Why Washington's Money Culture Thrives on Gridlock

Gridlock is pure gold for lobbyists in Washington’s nonstop money game, the author says.

Gridlock is pure gold for lobbyists in Washington’s nonstop money game, the author says
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Do you get jaded about the money culture when you live and work in Washington for awhile?

You see it all the time, and it's hard to ignore. The easy wealth, easy fame and easy celebrity that Washington provides for people. People outside Washington would be surprised at how appalling it is in its magnitude. It's definitely changed for the worse in recent years. I love the city, and I think it's a great place to live. But you see a lot of disgusting things.

Are people who pay so much to lobbyists getting their money's worth?

For sure, they are paying exorbitant fees. But if lobbying can change a tax bill that saves them billions of dollars, it's money well-spent. And they keep paying more, so it must be working. It's not serving the interests of most average Americans, though.

[See: 10 Golden Parachutes to Make Your Head Spin.]

Do you see either party being more corrupted?

It's a bipartisan thing. I guess my book focused more on Democrats because they tend to be more sanctimonious, so it made me want to do more on them. Republicans are less shy and ashamed about lobbying.

Often, the lobbyists are the ones doing the work of writing the bills. Do you think Washington could survive without them?

I think it could. I hope it could.