I've never poked my head up in a political thread, but here goes.
poke away. you have an interest in how things go.
I think I am more afraid of the corporations who have the legal right to free speech. These entities have resources to pay for the professional lobbyists, the contributions, the seemingly endless stream of political advertising, etc. And of course, the beneficiary of this bounty is someone aligned with the interests of the patron and expected to further the interests of the patron.
yes, but...that's not necessarily a bad thing. corporations and others hire lobbyist to advocate for them. they are usually arguing against something the the government wants to do to them, either in taxes or regulations. that in itself is not a bad thing. in fact, if the feds were not poking their noses into things they should not, you might argue that there would be less need for lobbyists. if a company is successful in avoiding regulations and taxes, that's good for the company...which is good for the share-holder, worker, and the other services attached (trucking, for instance).
the problem comes when the government and business/industry get into bed with each other. this is generally known as "crony capitalism". in this case, the government shows a preference for one company over another, or punishes one company over another, thus picking winners and losers. GE, GM, Solyndra, are good examples. again, if the feds were not in a position of regulating, loaning, etc. this would not be an issue.
I don't know that "those people" do have the clout to vote themselves money from the treasury.
they do in this way: they will vote for those who will give them "stuff". those people who wish to stay in office will continue to promise "stuff". as the number of people not paying taxes but getting stuff increases, those paying for the stuff through taxes have less and less power.
if the government tries to change the programs as they have done in Greece, France, Germany, etc. the people riot.
those politician in charge of passing out goodies have a vested interest in making sure the dependent class grows. it is their power base. to control their base and keep it on their side, they must constantly pit the dependent against the evil rich who want to take goodies away,and pitch grandma off the cliff.