I've been immersed in reporting on lobbying for a while now. So when I look at the House Republicans' failure to extend the payroll tax cut, I ask myself: What's the fundraising strategy?
Usually when politicians do things that the public at large would seem to oppose, you can find the explanation in special-interest lobbying.
But most businesses do not want taxes going up on their customers, and I can't imagine many lobbyists in DC want payroll taxes to go up. Lobbyists can exert considerable influence on the legislative process. Why not now? If I were slightly more cynical I'd ask: Why are lobbyists letting this happen?
Well, this morning we got the answer from Ben White at Politico's Morning Money. In an item headlined "Where are the Business Lobbyists?" White writes that many "deep-pocketed business lobbyists" in DC are "boiling with rage," over the tax showdown, but:
One of the top lobbyists in D.C. explains: "A very senior leadership aide told me this is a member to member matter now and all about caucus politics and positioning and no degree or measure of lobbying from outside interests will influence the outcome. We are spectators at a dysfunctional and buffoonic clown show."