Vox has published a confessional letter it is claimed was written by a serving Congressman. In it are claims of 9 falsehoods or sins about Congress and how it works whether it relates to committee superfluousness, or that those wanting to serve in Congress have to raise money and so are more attentive to those with it. Maybe this is the writing of a Congressman or not, but as the author prefers to remain anonymous we can't know, and have to instead trust the media to convey truth to us. But it may not matter if this is actually the work of a serving Congressman or not. The 9 claims have merits of their own to consider anyhow.
On Meet The Press Chuck Todd and his panel of pundits correctly identified that what the letter contained were things already known and being talked about for what they said has been a decade, but we all know it's been far longer than that. Americans have been wrestling with the Capitol Hill-cum-Lobbyist issue for decades. Same as campaign finance issues. As these were the two issues that most interested Todd and his gang, and so what most people who saw it or will write about it are likely to care about, they are the two issues most important to consider now.
There is no way to stop campaign finance that we dislike. We have tried various limitations, some on the total level that can be contributed, some on when those contributions can be given, and something unexpected to those supporting those limits has occurred: Each year we see ever more campaign spending. Money will find a way, always. And if you consider campaign finance laws in that light then all of the supposed limits were never designed to actually work at limiting spending (something I've never seen as a value we should want anyhow), but were instead designed to beguile a voting public which remains fairly unsophisticated on how government seems to work.
When literally trillions of dollars are at stake because we have asked our government to do far more than it was ever designed to handle, then it would be the fool who thinks that the spending of mere tens of thousands of dollars in order to get elected someone more favorable to your cause won't happen. Too many studies show the ROI for this. One study showed how some firms wanting to share in what would be billions in "green" subsidies spent only hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their candidates elected, and so those policies in place. But it wasn't that those candidates supported "green" concepts in order to get the money to get elected. It was just the opposite. Candidates were funded BECAUSE they supported those policies. The ROIs were astonishing, in many cases much more than 10,000 percent. And the money all, ultimately, came from your pocket or that of your unborn heirs (since we are immoral, as Mr. Obama forgets he said in 2007 and 2008 and borrow from them to do these things today).
The second issue was the movement from Capitol Hill, either as elected official or senior staffer, to the ranks of lobbyist. Most people think of this as a corporate problem, but it happens with all sorts of public interest groups too. No one's hands here are clean. But this happens for precisely the same reasons as written above, but with one twist. Because the government has hyper-regulated our lives those looking to interact with the government to influence these regulations (taxes and the environment are probably the most significant of these) want to employ not just experts on the issue, but experts who know the remaining governmental players on a first name basis. It's how, for instance, the wind power industry has been able to get itself exempt, mostly, from rules which regulate (and punish) the killing of wild birds, allowing wind farms to kill hundreds of protected birds without penalty.
Again, we can't stop this with yet more rules. In order to circumvent existing laws which prevent this all one has to do is position themselves on the other side of someone to insulate themselves from having to register as a lobbyist for a bit of time. But with trillions every year at stake, another few hundred thousand dollars to finance this facetiousness isn't a deal breaker at all. And we have our current president, no less, who promised no one who served in his administration at high level would be permitted to lobby it upon leaving. Yet one more promise not kept. Whether he ever intended to keep it is another matter which matters too, but I won't get into it here.
The reason these things happen to the degree most people seem to hate is directly proportional to how much extra-constitutional government we tolerate. If you actually want these "problems" to decrease (they can never fully be eliminated) then there is just one way to accomplish the goal: Vote for less government, not more. It really is just that simple. Who would spend large sums of money to influence spending or regulation which no longer exists? No one.
The supposed Congressional author of this confessional, then, left out the most valuable point of all. Call it the 10th Confession. Congress often does more than it should, spends more than it should, regulates more than it should, in order to entice Americans with money to fund their Congressional campaigns to help make America a better place for all. That this doesn't work never seems to find its way into any confessional, or into any Chuck Todd panel discussion.