Magazine article The Nation

Corporate Contribs - II

Magazine article The Nation

Corporate Contribs - II

Article excerpt

Kick the corporate welfare kings off the dole. That was the unified message of a left-right coalition of citizen organizations and members of Congress at a January N news conference in Washington where the Stop Corporate Welfare! coalition announced a dirty dozen list of programs it will target for elimination in the new Congress.

The coalition hit list exhibits a strong concern for the environment, reflecting the input of coalition members Friends of the Earth, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Public Citizen. Conservative coalition members include the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Representative John Kasich of Ohio, a Republican, convened the meeting.

Highlighted on the list are. the Energy Departments pyroprocessing program, a plutonium reprocessing effort that will benefit Westinghouse, General Electric and other nuclear companies and could help breathe life into the sickly nuclear power industry, the Forest Services timber road construction program, which subsidizes companies like Boise Cascade and encourages deforestation of public lands; and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which provides subsidized loans, loan guarantees and political risk insurance to Citicorp, US WEST, Levi-Srauss, Kimberly-Clark and many others investing in Third World countries.

Perhaps the most important programs targeted by the coalition are U.S. contributions to specific components of the International Monetary Fund. In exchange for granting credit to debtracked Third World countries, the I.M.F requires governments to adopt liberalization and austerity measures. These "structural adjustment" programs inflict untold misery, but they benefit multinational corporations and international commercial banks. The multinationals gain from I. …

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