Who does the Bush administration serve?
Is it the American people, or is it big corporate campaign donors and the wealthy? A few examples follow. You be the judge.
The pharmaceutical companies played a key part in crafting the Medicare senior prescription drug plan, which puts their profits ahead of benefits for seniors. Their voluntary “discount” cards offer a 10 savings, but then the drug companies raised their prices by 10-15. The legislation goes on to prohibit the government from negotiating prices with the industry for the benefit of seniors. Our government also acts to interfere with the importation of lower-cost drugs from Canada and encourages Canada to jack up its drug prices.
Vice President Cheney (a former bigwig in the oil business) invited his, and the oil-connected Bush family’s, cronies in the energy field to a secret meeting to create our future energy policy. No public or environmental representation was invited. Is it possible that a war to secure Iraq’s oil was part of their strategy, and that is why they are so adamant about secrecy?
Public health interests have been compromised to serve industry. Clean air and clean air regulations have been watered down to allow the release of more mercury into the environment, and new rules written by the lead paint industry allow greater lead pollution. Both lead and mercury are known to be detrimental to mental development in children, but profits are more important.
The timber industry has also been well served by the Bush administration. The “Healthy Forest” legislation does more to open remote old-growth areas to logging than to protect homes. Only 10 of our National Forests are “old-growth,” but Bush has doubled the rate of logging old-growth areas, and has set aside regulations requiring consideration of wildlife impact, and the effect of erosion from logging roads, which destroys streams. In the same vein, he has reversed the roadless Initiative, allowing logging companies to bulldoze roads through unspoiled forests. Preservation of roadless and old-growth areas has been supported by more than 1 million public comments, but who does Bush listen to?
And then we come to the economy. Corporate profits have been skyrocketing, which benefits industry and stockholders, but wages have stagnated. Bush has given a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, and has spent $200 billion on his war in Iraq, from which Halliburton and other favorites are reaping obscene profits (made possible by negligent government control) while young Americans pay with their lives. And where is all that money coming from? From running up the debt, which according to Alan Greenspan will undermine Social Security, and cutting back on funding for education (programs like Head Start, college science scholarships and everything in between), children’s health, veterans’ benefits, national parks and forests, and the arts ” the frosting on the cake, which defines our culture.
How, you ask, can this be happening to us? The answer is very simple. The Bush administration is saturated with more than 100 top officials who used to be executives, lobbyists, lawyers, or representatives for the very industries they are now supposed to regulate. Interior Secretary Gale Norton was a lobbyist for the oil, gas, mining, logging and lead paint industries. Forest policy is now in the hands of Mark Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist. Most egregious of all is the case of J. Steven Griles, a “former” lobbyist for more than 40 coal, oil, gas, and electric companies, who is Norton’s deputy secretary, and has continued his cozy relationship with his former clients, and receives a payment of nearly $300,000 per year from his former activities.
As you think about the activities of the Bush administration, do you feel you are being served by its actions ” or do you feel more like you are being serviced?
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