On that front, Ritholtz at The Big Picture posted a link to this Time Magazine story (subscription required) with an impressive graphic showing the boom in lobbying. This one industry has shown 120% growth in just 1 decade - from $1.6B in spending to $3.5B. Wouldn't you love to have a growth industry like that in your town?
The recession skipped K Street. The firms along Washington's traditional lobbyists' row have continued to expand despite the nation's economic woes. In fact, because of them sweeping legislative fights over health care, financial reform, energy, climate change and defense have spurred companies to spend to defend their turf. "It's the kind of expansion that any industry would have envied during that very dark period," says Dave Levinthal, editor of OpenSecrets.org a blog of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks lobbying.
And of course the finance industry is the top dog here....but the return on investment the past few years has been incredible.
[click to enlarge]
[Apr 12, 2011: The Revolving Door Between Washington DC and Wall Street]
[Nov 29, 2010: On the Safety of Government Work]