Dissecting Bush: Bush Administration Policies under the Microscope
Cray, Charlie, Drutman, Lee, Helvarg, David, Mark, Jason, Shaw, Jeff, Woodall, Patrick, Multinational Monitor
IN THE MOST PRO-CORPORATE ADMINISTRATION of the last 100 years, there isn't much that big business wants that it doesn't get.
In this issue of Multinational Monitor, we explore just a handful of the countess handouts, bailouts, regulatory rollbacks, exemptions, refusals to enforce, giveaways and subsidies that the Bush administration has gifted to Corporate America.
As diverse as the examples we investigate here, consider a sampling of what we do not cover in this issue:
* Serial tax cuts to the nation's wealthiest, including the cynical and successful PR campaign to characterize inheritance taxes that in fact only affect the wealthy few as a broadly applicable "death tax" that unfairly burdens small business-owning families.
* A soaring defense budget replete with waste, fraud and allocations for outrageous technologies that can't be justified even on paranoid national security grounds.
* Favoring high-priced brand-name pharmaceuticals over more affordable generics for the administration's global AIDS program, and undermining a World Health Organization project to ensure quality and facilitate use of generic AIDS drugs in poor countries.
* Undermining the World Health Organization's initiatives on the growing worldwide obesity problem, as a favor to the sugar and junk food industries.
* The farthest-reaching privatization scheme in the history of the U.S. federal government, designed to erode the public sector and aid corporate crony contractors.
* A 2002 (December 24) Christmas gift to employers: No more federal reporting of mass layoffs and plant shutdowns.
* Efforts to redefine labor laws to undermine the already paltry protections for workers' right to organize, including a review of rules regarding "card-check recognition"--where an employer simply recognizes a union after a majority of workers sign cards indicating they wish to join the union.
* An overtime rule that would strip millions of workers of their right to overtime pay if they are required to work more than 40 hours a week.
* A diverse set of props for the failing nuclear power industry, including proposals for tax credits for new nuclear construction and to permit nuclear and mixed waste to be disposed in facilities not licensed to handle radioactive waste.
* Solicitation from industry of regulatory hit lists--industry-generated wish lists of regulations they would like to see repealed. These exercises are followed by Office of Management and Budget-led regulatory rollbacks to turn these wish lists into reality.
* Blockage of legislation to permit imports of lower-priced pharmaceuticals from Canada, justified on trumped-up concerns for safety--even as the administration oversees the ongoing erosion of the Food and Drug Administration's drug safety regulatory capacity. …