As much of the federal government remains closed and the nation lurches towards a catastrophic default which would likely slash corporate profits and throw millions out of work if Congress doesn't act by Thursday, there's a simple solution -- Corporate America needs to offer John Boehner a multi-million dollar a year lobbying job.
Fear that the Republican House majority would strip him of his Speakership is the only thing keeping Boehner from allowing the House to vote on -- and almost certainly pass -- a clean bill which would reopen the government and increase the debt ceiling until after the November 2014 elections.
But what does Boehner have to fear if after helping save the world from economic catastrophe, he can announce that he's decided not to run for a 12th term next November, and the day after leaving his office in the Capitol, he can walk a few blocks across town into his plush new K Street office at a salary of several million dollars a year working as a lobbyist or political consultant for Goldman Sachs, the Chamber of Commerce, The Business Roundtable, or one of a myriad of other corporate interest groups.
So get busy Lloyd Blankfein, or the Chamber's Tom Donohue, or one of the CEO's of the Business Roundtable. Get out your checkbooks and offer John Boehner a lucrative job. The last thing you want is for the full faith and credit of America to be thrown into jeopardy. You've protected your tax loopholes and thwarted stronger regulation by giving lucrative jobs to hundreds of former Republican and Democratic House and Senate leaders and their staff after they leave Capitol Hill. Indeed about 50 percent of former House Members and Senators go on to become lobbyists at an average salary increase 1,452 percent. So help John Boehner help himself, help you, and help us.
Think former Louisiana Republican Congressman Billy Tauzin: After shepherding Pres. Bush's Medicare drug bill through Congress and banning the Federal government from negotiating for lower drug prices, he took a $2 million a year job with the pharmaceutical industry's chief lobbying organization PhRMA and by 2010 was being paid $11.6 million a year.
Think former Democratic Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd: After sponsoring the watered down Dodd-Frank bill, he took a $2.4 million a year job as President and chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America. Or think former "friend of labor" and Democratic House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt who left Congress to become a lobbyist and, among other things, lobbied his old friend Chris Dodd on behalf of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to weaken financial reform: In 2010 his lobbying firm billed the likes of Goldman Sachs and Boeing $6.59 million in lobbying fees. Or think former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott who partnered with former Democratic Senator John Breaux to form a lobbying shop representing the likes of Citibank and GE which billed more than $8 million in its first year.
The Association of Former Members of Congress listed 592 members in 2011 and the Center for Responsive Politics found that 370 former members are in the influence-peddling business with 285 serving as registered lobbyist and 85 more providing "strategic advice" to corporate clients.
So John Boehner, why does the son of a barkeep want to keep making $223,500 a year as House Speaker, taking daily abuse from your Republican brethren, Democrats and the media when you can follow in the footsteps of so many of your Congressional predecessors and make millions as a corporate lobbyist?
And corporate America -- you've bought hundreds of former House and Senate members and even backbenchers with lucrative post-Congressional lobbying jobs. For once the interests of the 1 percent and the 99 percent are aligned around stopping a default on the corporate debt which would both decimate corporate profits and throw millions of ordinary Americans out of work.
There's a simple deal to be made here -- Give John Boehner a multi-million dollar a year job in exchange for bringing to the House floor a clean bill to reopen the government and raise the Federal debt ceiling through at least November 2014. Nothing less than the fate of the U.S. and global economy is at stake.
If Goldman Sachs, the Chamber of Commerce, or GE can't manage to buy one measly Republican Speaker of the House with a lucrative lobbying job in order to prevent an economically catastrophic federal debt default that could threaten their profits and throw millions onto the unemployment rolls, then what has our increasingly corrupt Republic come to?