The Great 2010 Cashout: Dem ex-congressman admits increasing government paved his way to K Street 

Liberals like to paint libertarians and conservatives as shills for Big Business and too cozy with lobbyists. But if you look at actual facts, the opposite story rings more true: supporting big government is the best way to get yourself a lobbying job.

Today's example: Former Democratic Rep. Ron Klein of Florida, who has joined lobbying firm Holland & Knight. Klein voted for the stimulus, of which Holland & Knight was a leading beneficiary, but more importantly for his future work, Klein helped craft the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and voted for ObamaCare. You see, these bills have set off an avalanche of regulation, all of which means work for lobbyists.

Klein is pretty blunt that the passage of these "reforms" opened doors for him to get rich on K Street. Chris Frates at Politico quotes him:

"Certainly having been a participant or part of one of the busiest congresses in decades, where large pieces of legislation have passed and will be evolving for many, many years to come, this moment becomes a unique time to take [to the private sector] the experiences of having served on the Financial Services Committee or having been involved in passing health care,” he said. “It sort of allows me to be in a unique place to understand that.”

The wave of new rule-making “appears to create a lot of work and opportunity for businesses that want to make sure that they have a strategic business advantage in the future, that they’re planning for the future and that they can help shape those laws and legislation as they develop,”

The clear implication: had Congress not passed huge regulatory frameworks for health-care and finance, Klein's lucrative K Street prospects would be less.

The clear incentive to lawmakers who someday want to make lots of money: increase government's role in the economy.

Barack Obama's rapid expansion of the federal government's role in the economy is directly at odds with his professed -- though not very believable -- desire to slow the revolving door and reduce the influence of lobbyists.

Or, as one anonymous lobbyist put it at the end of the Politico piece: "God bless Barack Obama, he’s helping the lobbyists.”

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Timothy P. Carney

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