For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?
How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes
Amidst a growing federal deficit and widespread economic insecurity for most Americans, some of the largest corporations in the country have avoided paying their fair share in taxes while spending millions to lobby Congress and influence elections. This report builds on a recent report on corporate tax dodging by Citizens for Tax Justice by examining lobbying expenditure data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. We also look at publicly available data on job creation, federal campaign contributions, and executive compensation, to understand how these corporations have been spending their cash.
- The thirty big corporations analyzed in this report paid more to lobby federal policymakers than they paid in federal income taxes for the three years between 2008 and 2010, despite being profitable.
- Despite making combined profits totally $164 billion in that three-year period, the 30 companies combined received tax rebates totaling nearly $11 billion.
- Altogether, these companies spent nearly half a billion dollars ($476 million) over three years to lobby Congress—that’s about $400,000 each day, including weekends.
- In the three-year period beginning in 2009 through most of 2011, these large firms spent over $22 million altogether on federal campaigns.
- These corporations have also spent lavishly on compensation for their top executives ($706 million altogether in 2010).