In the mid-1950s, there were 5,000 registered lobbyists in Washington. Today, there are 12,000 — and, by several counts, many, many more…The money they spend — as much as $3.5 billion annually in recent years — sounds substantial but is trivial compared with what they are able to divert from the government’s $3.5 trillion budget.
The hottest political book of the summer, “This Town” by Mark Leibovich, is being read in Washington with equal parts embarrassment and delight. It is a vivid, detailed picture of the country’s ruling elite, filled with tales of ruthless networking, fake friendships and a sensationalist media. But beneath the juicy anecdotes is a depressing message about corruption and dysfunction.
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Fareed Zakaria. “The root of Washington’s ills.” Washingtonpost Opinions. 1 Aug. 2013 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-root-of-washingtons-ills/2013/08/01/085392aa-fa15-11e2-8752-b41d7ed1f685_story.html