Hostile Takeover : How Big Business Bought Our Government and How We Can Take It Back
Do you ever wonder if there's a connection between the corruption scandals in the news and the steady decline in the quality of life for millions of Americans Do you ever wonder what corporations get for the millions of dollars they pour into the American political system Do you ever think the government has been hijacked by forces hostile to average Americans Do you ever want to fight back Millions of Americans lack health care and millions more struggle to afford it. Politicians claim they care, then pass legislation that just sends more cash to the HMOs. Wages have been stagnant for thirty years, even as corporate profits skyrocket. Politicians say they want to fix the problem and then pass bills written by lobbyists that drive wages even lower and punish those crushed by debt. Jobs are being shipped overseas, pensions are being cut, and energy is becoming unaffordable. And our government, more concerned about maintaining its corporate sponsorship than protecting its citizens, does nothing about it.
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May 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Hostile Takeover by David Sirota
In the spring of 2003,1 American soldiers began massing on Kuwait's border with Iraq, preparing for what some experts feared could be a horrendous Iraqi counterattack2 should President Bush order an invasion. It was a tense time in a nation both on the verge of war and strapped for resources to defend itself against terrorism thanks to massive budget deficits.
Every day, it seemed, there was a reminder of how serious the situation was. Color-coded alerts warned that another 9/11 could occur at any moment, as police and fire departments reported severe budget shortfalls; more than a year after the World Trade Center attacks, air marshals were still protecting only a fraction of the 35,000 daily flights in the United States;3 in an urgent plea to the White House, federal officials warned that budget shortfalls were leaving the nation's nuclear material dangerously unprotected from al Qaeda;4 and possibly worst of all, many soldiers awaiting the command to invade Iraq did not have adequate body armor to protect them.5
So when House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) gave a major speech on March 12-just weeks before the invasion-the average onlooker might have expected a demand for national sacrifice, a patriotic call to make sure the country was protected and our troops were safe. Instead, we got a glimpse of just how far our political leaders will go to reward the wealthy.
"Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes," DeLay proudly declared.6 Nothing Not securing our country, not preventing another 9/11, not protecting American troops heading into battle No, to DeLay, the impending violence was just another excuse to reward the rich donors who fund political campaigns.
You might think this comment was the strange babbling of an unhinged lunatic and was greeted with outrage or at least dismissive scorn. You would be half right: the source of the comment was, in fact, a babbling fool-Tom DeLay is the same slime who, according to his hometown paper, justified dodging the draft during Vietnam by claiming he really wanted to join up but was unable to find a spot because too many poor minorities were enlisting.