- Obama’s “Protection Money”: How the Obama Administration targeted industries for criminal investigation but chose not to pursue key political donors.
- John Boehner’s “Tollbooth”: How the Speaker of the House extracts money by soliciting political donations before he will hold crucial votes on the House floor.
- The “Slush Fund”: How politicians extract “campaign contributions” and then convert them to bankroll lavish lifestyles complete with limos, private jets, golf at five-star resorts, fine wines, and cash for family members.
- Capitol Hill’s “Underground Economy”: How congressmen use a little-known loophole that allows them to secretly link their votes to cash.
Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets finally makes clear why Congress is so dysfunctional: it’s all about making money, not making law.
Great Book, Terrible System
Peter Schweizer’s latest take down of the political elite is as comprehensive in its scope as it is eviscerating in its evaluation of our country’s corrupt and corrosive Congressional system.
The title of the book refers to the method of extraction by which our political leaders line their pockets. Instead of businesses bribing the people who make the laws, Schweizer argues (and backs up with mountains of evidence) that instead our Representatives and Senators are more like Mafioso strong men than civic minded servants.
The book then details what they spend the money on…and it isn’t just power perpetuating re-election bids: High end golf junkets, limo services, and various other trappings of luxury, not to mention family member laden payrolls, all funded by campaign dollars.
This isn’t Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This is Mr. Smith threatens his constituents, then uses the money they cough up to take his family sailing on a yacht in Europe for a month, while smoking cigars lit by $100 bills.
It won’t make you feel better about the future of our country. But it does do an excellent job of diagnosing one of the reasons why our government seems so broken at the moment. And as any good medical professional would tell you, knowing what is wrong is a vital first step to curing the patient.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PETER SCHWEIZER is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and he is the founder and director of the Government Accountability Institute. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek/Daily Beast, and elsewhere. His books include Throw Them All Out, which exposed congressional insider stock trading and led to the passage of the STOCK Act.