A great book. It explains why it seems that there is no real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats: it is because there isn’t. They are both just two sides of the same coin: extortionists.
As the author says, the problem with Washington is not that there is too much money in politics, but that there is too much politics in money. In other words, the federal government has expanded into so many areas of life and business that the politicians have been empowered to create a sophisticated system of extorting money from businesses and special interests that otherwise would have no interest in politics. And the only reason there are two parties is so that they can both collude together to “tag team” the victims. One side proposes a law that will hurt a particular business or industry, the other side comes along and claims to oppose the law. They both have to be paid off in order to guarantee that nothing “bad happens”. The double team approach is much more effective than the Mafia style shake down. With the Mafia you only have to pay off one crook in order to protect yourself. With the Washington Republocrats you have to pay them both off. And the best part is that the problems never get solved. Because solving problems is bad for business. People don’t pay you off after you have solved a problem. They pay you off to defer the problem until later. That way both Republicans and Democrats are guaranteed a steady stream of ill gotten loot without having to come up with “new problems” to use as leverage.
Frankly, if you are short on time try to just read the introduction. It is perhaps the best part of the book. The rest of the book is just detailed case studies providing comprehensive evidence of the author’s claims of systemic “bipartisan” corruption in Washington.