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Big Businesses Beef Up on 'Revolving Door' Lobbyists

NYT highlights connection between former aides to Finance Committee Chairman Baucus and tax-dodging corporations

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus-- and those close to him-- will hold the reins in the upcoming tax code debate. (Photo: Getty Images)

As Congress members prepare a rewrite of the nation's tax code, the New York Times reports Saturday that tax-evading corporations are taking advantage of the endless revolving door between government and big business by beefing up their arsenal of former aides turned lobbyists to ensure their profit-protecting loopholes remain intact.

Highlighting the connection between Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt.)—who plays a "crucial role" in the upcoming debate—and big businesses like McDonald's, Altria, Sapphire Energy, the NRA, and liquor industry giant Beam, the Times reports that at least 28 of Baucus' former aids have lobbied on tax issues during the Obama administration, more than any other current member of Congress.

They write:

[M]any of those lobbyists have already saved their clients millions—in some cases, billions—of dollars after Mr. Baucus backed their requests to extend certain corporate tax perks, provisions that were adopted as part of the so-called fiscal cliff legislation in January. Baucus aides who later became lobbyists helped financial firms save $11.2 billion in tax deferments and helped secure a $222 million tax benefit that is shared with the liquor industry.

Writing about the endless revolving door between civil servitude and the "greener pastures" of million dollar lobbying salaries, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note, "It’s a wonder all of Washington doesn’t lie prostrate in the streets, overcome by vertigo from all the spinning back and forth."

According to their reporting, Baucus' staff is already hosting meetings with industry lobbyists, academics and outside parties to "get advice on the tax package that the Senate Finance Committee is trying to create."

You can read the rest of the story here.


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