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Forget Stocks or Bonds, Invest in a Lobbyist (NPR)

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In a recent study, researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz calculated what has heretofore been a nearly impossible thing to track: the return on investment companies get from working with a lobbyist. The catalyst was The American Jobs Creation Act, which dropped the corporate tax rate on profits earned abroad from 35 percent to just over 5 percent. The ROI for corporations who lobbied for this law: a whopping 22,000 percent, which means that for every dollar spent on lobbying, the companies got $220 in tax benefits. This high of a payoff surprised even Alexander, who said she checked the math a good twenty times before believing her own findings. Of course, not every lobbying effort is this lucrative, but it does point to a problem in the political system, in which companies are essentially invited to buy their own tax rate.