In Washington You Can Get Paid Well for Doing Nothing

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is taking heat for receiving million dollar lobbying payments from Novartis and other companies for apparently not going much of anything.

Lobbying has been an increasingly big business in Washington since the election of President Richard Nixon in 1968. He increased the regulatory side of Washington by creating the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other agencies and the city has seen increasing numbers of lawyers and lobbyists making big money by helping companies deal with the government. It’s bipartisan—lobbyists have been getting rich under both Republican and Democrat administrations.

One of the most successful lobbyists during the Clinton years was Anne Wexler, and once at lunch she said that not only did she get paid well by firms to lobby for them but some firms paid her an annual fee just to prevent her from lobbying for their competitors. In other words, she got paid for doing nothing.

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