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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/10/17

What's the Cost to the American People of Keeping Senators Like Patty Murray in Office?

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Democrats (!) who voted with Big Pharma and against prescription drug importation, along with
Democrats (!) who voted with Big Pharma and against prescription drug importation, along with 'the amount they have taken from drug companies since being elected to federal office' (details here). How much longer should any of these 'enemies of the people
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The answer to the headline question is -- across all industries and monopoly protection schemes regulated and allowed by Congress, easily more than $100 billion per year. That's the dollar price of keeping "fake progressives" like Cory Booker and Patty Murray well-fed and happy in Washington, D.C. Over $100 billion. Per year.

Can Progressives Afford to Protect and Defend "Fake Progressive" Senators?

Let's look at the cost to the American people of supporting "fake progressives" like those listed above by looking at just one industry, one monopoly protection scheme -- prescription drugs prices.

Readers of DWT recently learned that:

Cory Booker helped the Republican predators kill his drug reimportation bill, a bill killed by Cory and a dozen other Democrats putting their donors before their constituents. Matt Taibbi has been on fire lately. His newest Rolling Stone essay, Republicans and Democrats Continue to Block Drug Reimportation-- After Publicly Endorsing It, makes the not so subtle point that "the one true bipartisan instinct in Washington is caving to rich industries."

The piece accurately calls Booker a "fake liberal." That label also applies to several more on the list above. Patty Murray, for example, is a "fake liberal." So is Maria Cantwell. Both were instrumental, for example, in getting Fast Track, the needed precursor to the horrible TPP trade deal, passed in the Senate.

The question has to be asked. At what price do progressives defend corrupt senators like this and protect their Senate positions, simply because they are our corrupt senators-- corrupt Democratic senators? At what point do progressives say No to people like these?

As Matt Taibbi points out in the referenced article (all emphasis mine):

In 2015, for instance, the 20 largest drug companies made a collective $124 billion in profits.

All the industry needs to protect those sums is the continued cooperation of Congress.

So naturally it spends money-- not a lot by industry standards, but a ton by the standards of the ludicrously cheap dates we call federal politicians-- to make sure they always have just enough dependable people in office to block change.

Most of that $124 billion -- profit, mind you; not revenue -- came out of our pockets. Taibbi again:

The entire pharmaceutical industry is floated by a protectionist racket. Drugs that are in fact very cheap to make are kept artificially expensive-- we have drugs that cost $1,000 a pill here in America that sell for $4 in India, for instance.

This is the price you pay ... per year ... to keep Patty Murray and her kind in office. Do you feel you're getting a fair return for your own investment in her career?

The ROI on Corruption -- Are Politicians Like Patty Murray "Ridiculously Cheap Dates"?

Let's look at what Big Pharma gets from us in return for our keeping Patty Murray and her like in office. Taibbi's characterization of the people named in the graphic at the top was "the ludicrously cheap dates we call federal politicians."

Cheap dates indeed. The top dollar figure in the graphic above is "fake progressive" Patty Murray's $900,000. The aggregate number in the graphic is about $5-6 million. That's not even a per-year bribe to these people, but a "for the life of their time in federal office" bribe.

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A writer who contributes to a number of publications, including digby's Hullabaloo, Down With Tyranny, Naked Capitalism, Truthout and Alternet.

On Twitter — @Gaius_Publius

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What's the Cost to the American People of Keeping Senators Like Patty Murray in Office?

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