Swamp Inc. is not only surviving Donald Trump, it is thriving

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OF THE three resounding slogans of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—the pledges to “build a wall”, “lock her up” and “drain the swamp”—none has come to fruition. To be fair, none could be enacted by executive fiat alone. A border wall would require appropriations from Congress. Hillary Clinton could be jailed only by a stubbornly independent justice system. On the business of swamp-draining, however, there is much that the executive branch could do on its own. Yet Washington remains as boggy as ever.

Lobbyists are a hardy species, capable of surviving both the lean years of gridlock and the feeding frenzies of unified government. They thrive when policy is in flux, preserving old perks and pushing for new ones. “The honest answer is that the influence industry grew almost as much in Trump’s first year as it did in Obama’s,” says one long-time lobbyist. Not all lobbying activity in 2017 has yet been reported—but it may well be the most profitable to date,…Continue reading

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