Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren came out this week with a plan to aggressively crack down on lobbying in Washington.
The proposal would impose a 35 percent tax on annual lobbying expenses above $500,000 for corporations and trade associations. The progressive tax would increase to 60 percent for lobbying expenditures over $1 million and 75 percent for expenses exceeding $5 million.
“It’s just one more example of the kind of big, structural change we need to put power back in the hands of the people – and break the grip that lobbyists have on our government,” Warren wrote this week.
Warren said the plan would generate billions in revenue that would be earmarked for congressional support agencies like the Congressional Budget Office and heavily lobbied federal agencies. Had such a tax been in place over the last 10 years, it would have raised $10 billion, according to the Warren campaign. “Sure, this may mean that some corporations and industry groups will choose to reduce their lobbying expenditures, raising less tax revenue down the road – but in that case, all the better,” Warren said.
The lobbying tax is one of several proposals Warren has floated to change the political influence structure in Washington. She has also proposed banning former legislators and top officials from lobbying and banning lobbyists from donating to campaigns.