Barack Obama talks as if he can (1) simultaneously increase government control of the economy and (2) reduce the influence of lobbyists. He hasn’t, and he can’t. Recent numbers suggest a lobbying boom, and Peter Suderman over at Reason has a good explanation:
the legislation they’ve put forward has been far-reaching and complex enough that increased industry pressure and influence is more or less inevitable. You need on-the-ground industry expertise to craft the rules. You need industry buy-in to build political support. And you mess with practices that are profitable enough that it’s worth it to hire armies of expensive advocates to defend them.
If the folks in the administration want to regulate every minute aspect of a major industry, that’s one thing. But I’m tired of Obama and his supporters pretending that doing so won’t greatly increase the power of the Washington lobbying class in the process.
Of course, it doesn’t stop at the signing ceremony. Implementation leads to plenty of lobbying, often done by the staffers who wrote the “reform” before cashing out.