The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, December 18, 2005

W's payoffs to big business

Hopefully the Dems will play this up during the next election cycle-- if we ever needed campaign reform to get hundreds of millions of corporate dollars out of the process that decides our national policy, it's now. Highly recommended reading.

And the Toledo Blade continues to overshadow the reporting of the nation's giant newspapers-- somebody get the Pulitzers ready.

President Bush's corporate champions see the spoils of his administration in coal. And timber. And credit-card payments, Afghan electric lines, Japanese bank transfers and fake crab.

America's business leaders supplied more than $75 million to return Mr. Bush to the White House last year -- and he has paid dividends.

Bush administration policies, grand and obscure, have financially benefited companies or lobbying clients tied to at least 200 of the president's largest campaign fund-raisers, a Toledo Blade investigation has found. Dozens more stand to gain from Bush-backed initiatives that recently passed or await congressional approval. (. . .)

The beneficiaries span industries and the nation. Examples include:

Timber barons who pay lower tax rates on logging sales and face fewer barriers to harvesting trees in national forests because of administrative changes and laws Mr. Bush signed.

Energy producers who dodged potential legal fees and cleanup costs after federal officials revised clean-air standards.

Heads of stock brokerages and other multinational firms, which, under a special tax incentive in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, are bringing hundreds of millions of dollars they earned or stored abroad back into the United States this year at reduced rates.

Executives of defense contractors United Technologies and The Washington Group, which won contracts potentially totaling more than $6 billion to supply American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and rebuild both countries' infrastructure. The same contractors won far less government work under President Bill Clinton.

Mining executives who tapped new veins of coal, thanks to administrative rule changes that opened swaths of hills and forests to their backhoes and left once-protected streams vulnerable to pollution.

Dangerous, un-American, and certainly not democratic. But nothing's going to change until we win back the House and Senate.