More than a hobby Lobby

AP US Government and Politics

How much $ was spent to lobby the U.S. government in 2016?

Center for Responsive Politics

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Surprised?

  3. What adjective best describes the amount of money spent on lobbying?

  4. If you were to buy pizzas with the money spent on lobbying Congress in 2016, and each pizza cost $12, how many pizzas could you buy?

  5. Is all this lobbying legal?

  6. Who makes the rules about the legality of lobbying?

  7. Who benefits from this lobbying?

  8. Who doesn't benefit from this lobbying?

  9. Some lobbyists work for groups like the Red Cross, the Sierra Club, or the National Educators Association! Others work for weapon manufacturers, golfers associations, or tobacco companies. Overall, do you think that lobbyists have a positive impact on US politics?

  10. What big story does the data tell?

  11. Why do you think spending on lobbying has doubled in less than 20 years?

  12. What is the most important consequence of all this money spent on lobbying?

  13. How specifically does lobbying affect elections in the US?

  14. What do lobbyists actually do?

  15. If you were to become a lobbyist, what group or company would you want to lobby for?

  16. Imagine that lobbying and lobbyists were outlawed. How would the US political system most change because of this?

  17. Based on your knowledge of the American political system, Respond to the following Claim: the data from the chart good news. The people with the money to pay for lobbyists are smart and hardworking and they should be able to translate that into political power. Anybody who wants political power can have it if they are willing to work for it.

  18. Why do these groups and businesses spend all this money to lobby the government?

  19. What group spent the most money on lobbying in 2016 and how much did they spend?*

  20. What sector of industry spent the most on lobbying in 2016?**

  21. in Federalist No. 10 James Madison wrote about factions which he warned could undermine the union of the whole. he wrote: “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Based on this quote and your knowledge of Federalist No. 10, what would Madison say about lobbyists and their impact on the union of the whole?

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Lobbying makes America more democratic.

Learning Extension

Read the report and check out the groovy graphs and charts about lobbyists, money and politics from Open Secrets!



Bonus Chart*

Bonus Chart**

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AP Pugament and Pugatics

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