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POLITICS

How to beat the special interests: Get some special interests on your side

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Photo - The Boeing Co., seen here Wednesday, May 21, 2008, in El Segundo, Calif.,  will lay off 750 Southern California employees after losing a lucrative military satellite contract and seeing a dip in demand for the technology, the company said Wednesday. The cuts involving engineering staff members at plants in El Segundo and Seal Beach, Calif., mark the latest blow to the aerospace industry in Southern California. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
The Boeing Co., seen here Wednesday, May 21, 2008, in El Segundo, Calif., will lay off 750 Southern California employees after losing a lucrative military satellite contract and seeing a dip in demand for the technology, the company said Wednesday. The cuts involving engineering staff members at plants in El Segundo and Seal Beach, Calif., mark the latest blow to the aerospace industry in Southern California. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Lobbying,Boeing

Administration official and Obama confidant Fred Hochberg tweeted in celebration of Boeing scoring the No. 2 lobbying victory of the year, according to this article by Kevin Bogardus in The Hill: reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which dedicated more than 80% of its loan guarantees to Boeing last year.

If you’ve been paying attention for the past four years, you’re not at all surprised that the Obama is on the same side of huge corporations seeking corporate welfare. But here’s what was surprising: Boeing and Obama actually faced some resistance in their fight for corporate welfare.

Bogardus attributes the resistance to the Tea Party. He’s partly right. I think he also should have mentioned Delta. You see, the U.S.-based international airline didn’t appreciate the Obama administration dedicating $40 billion in subsidies to Boeing exports, because those loan guarantees also amount to subsidies for foreign airlines — Delta’s competitors.

So, you see, the only time the special interests ever lose — or even encounter trouble — in their quest for government favors is when some other special interest distinctly stands to lose from the government favor.

Look down Bogardus’s list, and you’ll see other other examples:

  • Hollywood and the recording industry desperately wanted a vast expansion of federal police power of the Internet in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). A huge popular uprising opposed it. It helped that Google and Yahoo also opposed it. Google beat Hollywood.
  • Garmin beat Lightsquared in a battle over spectrum
  • Credit Unions and mutual funds beat the big banks and the community banks who wanted to extend a federal backstop on deposits
  • AFL-CIO beat most of the business community in a battle over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

I have plenty of other examples.

 

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