Tax lobbyists: A growth industry in nation’s capital

Kai Ryssdal Jan 23, 2015
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Tax lobbyists: A growth industry in nation’s capital

Kai Ryssdal Jan 23, 2015
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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew acknowledged yesterday the differences in viewpoints of Democrats and Republicans on the issue of individual taxes. This came in response to President Obama’s State of the Union in which he proposed raising taxes on the rich and giving the middle class a break. However, when it comes to business, Lew believes we should be able to find a broad set of tax reforms to agree on.

Whatever winds up happening, you can bet there will be a lobbyist pushing for it … or against it. Kelsey Snell has a piece in Politico called “Tax reform dead? Don’t tell the lobbyists.”

Tax lobbying is stronger than ever and has surpassed healthcare lobbying in the past few years.

“It’s been pent-up demand and the conversation has really heated up over the past couple of years,” Snell says. 

A wide range of people want to make sure they get heard on Capitol Hill, and they are spending anywhere from $500 to $100,000 per quarter.

Companies are spending big money on lobbying now, banking on returns far into the future.

“It’s kind of a game of chess here. You’re deciding if you want to invest up front. It’s like buying insurance almost. Say you come out in a bad way in this tax reform. Say you wind up having to pay a couple percent more this year. It’s not just this year. It’s until they decide to write the tax code again and there’s really no certainty as to when that might be,” Snell says.  

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