Sunday, February 08, 2004

Shocking Discovery: Water Is Wet!

Oh, yeah, and Bush Favors Business

Now sit down, this may come as a shock to you (who have been hiding under your beds with your eyes closed and your ears plugged for the past three years), but it turns out, according to a Washington Post "analysis" by Thomas Edsall, "In Bush's Policies, Business Wins."

I know this is truly hard to believe, as is the following observation: "In many areas, the Bush administration is more in sync with corporate America than were the Clinton administration and earlier Democratic presidencies."

Edsall starts with Bush's immigration proposal noting that the
unquestioned beneficiaries are U.S. employers. If the proposal becomes law, they will have a vastly enlarged pool of prospective workers, many willing to perform the dirtiest and most dangerous tasks for low pay....The immigration proposal fits a broader pattern encompassing Bush's tax legislation, regulatory decisions, labor policies and economic strategies
More shocking is the fact that Edsall is apparently not the only one who shares this crazy opinion:
"Since 1932, we have not had a president who has been more closely allied with business and more sympathetic to large and powerful corporations," said Columbia University historian Alan Brinkley, a specialist in the American presidency.

"It's hard to think of anyone [in the 20th century] who has been more connected to the corporate world than maybe Herbert Hoover" in the 20th and 21st centuries, said Robert Dallek, professor emeritus at Boston University and a prominent presidential biographer.
Even the Chamber of Commerce agrees:
On "the major areas of concern, I don't think there is much separation at all," said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs of the Chamber of Commerce. "Some shading, but, largely speaking, we are on the same page."

The president and the Chamber of Commerce are in harmony on several issues as well, including pay regulations that could exclude thousands of workers from overtime benefits, and Medicare legislation backed by the pharmaceutical and health industries.

One of the administration's most significant domestic achievements -- enactment of three tax cuts -- was boosted by massive lobbying efforts from business coalitions that overcame alliances of labor, civil rights, women's groups and other liberal interest groups.
And while we're at it, lets not forget the repeal of OSHA's ergonomics regulation, and subsequent suppression of recordkeeping for musculoskeletal disorders, the withdrawal of OSHA's tuberculosis proposal, cessation of OSHA's nursing home initiative, OSHA's refusal to initiate the regulatory process for reactive chemicals, despite a recommendation by the Chemical Safety Board, opposition to the European union's attempt to effectively control the safety of chemicals, opposition to effective regulations that would address chemical plant security, gutting of clean air rules, allowing private contractors to write nuclear weapons plants’ safety rules, attacking the scientific underpinnings of any future worker or environmental protectins, opposition to extending unemployment benefits, pushing for social security privatization, pushing an anti-worker, anti-family bankruptcy bill as well as tort "reform" legislation that would reduce people's right to sue corporations for unhealthy products, loosening rules on ownership of multiple media outlets, privatizing federal government jobs, pushing an energy bill that favors Halliburton, polluters and is so full of pork that even some Republicans couldn't stomach it. I could (and often do) go on and on, but you get the idea.

Of course, the Administration's pro-business proclivities haven't exactly been a secret, even from the semi-mainstream press. Bill Moyers has certainly noted it, as has David Broder and previous Washington Post articles. It fact, it's gotten so obvious that even the non-Howard Dean presidential candidates have caught on. Who's next? Hopefully, a good chunk of the 47% of the population that still finds some reason to support the man living in the White House.

Maybe not that it's become a "fact" that the administration of George II favors business, journalists should start writing something like this in every article: "President George W. Bush, whose policies consistently favor small business, announced today that blah blah blah blah...." Or, "On the agenda of this nation's lawmakers this week will be George Bush's pro-business [energy, tax, labor, trade, immigration, environment, etc., etc.] agenda.