No more Enrons

A coalition – organized by American Family Voices (AFV) and including the AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, USAction and the Campaign for America’s Future – staged events in 30 states April 3 on the theme “No More Enrons.”

Consumer rip-offs, fraud, tax evasion, merger-mania, plant closings, union-busting and discrimination are standard practice for corporate America. So why is Enron stirring such a response?

Maybe because Enron CEO Ken Lay told Enron workers to buy more Enron stock even as he sold his off. He walked away with millions while they lost everything. The idea that two sets of rules exist, one for the rich and another for the rest of us, has exposed the raw class nature of our society in a new way.

Another reason is Enron’s ties to the Bush family, so close that AFV features on its website a chart, “Enron Family Bush.” George W. Bush’s oil company Spectrum 7 formed a partnership with Enron on a Texas oil and gas project in 1986, a year after Enron was formed. At every stage in Enron’s rise, it was linked with the Bush clan. And Enron returned the favor by bankrolling the political careers of Bush Sr., George W. Bush and Jeb Bush.

“Never in modern times has a single private entity been as successful as Enron in penetrating and ultimately compromising U.S. political and regulatory institutions,” AFV states. “In its 16-year lifespan, Enron and its operatives burrowed their way deeply into energy and securities regulatory agencies, Congress and finally the Oval Office.”

Enron has declared bankrupcty, but Bush remains. It stands to reason that if we are serious in saying, “No more Enrons,” we must also fight for the removal of Jeb Bush and George W. Bush from office. As long as their greedy hands are on the levers of power, more Enrons will be in the making.

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Bush’s war increases U.S. deficit

According to the Bush administration, the new deficit faced by the federal government is a result of the weak economy, the war in Afghanistan and the cost of domestic security. No matter what budgetary configurations the Bush administration comes up with, the fact of the matter is their war on terrorism has been a cover to shift billions of dollars of taxpayers’ monies into corporate and military coffers. Every so-called economic bailout for the poor economy has been giving billions to corporations while laid off workers get nothing in comparison.

The war in Afghanistan comes with a price tag of billions of dollars that goes directly to the military-industrial complex to produce more and more hi-tech weapons of mass destruction. It hasn’t made the world any safer from terrorism and violence.

War is just another form of terrorism. They both come from the same origins – the system of capitalism and its inherent drive for exploitation. Billions of dollars are going not to end terrorism, but to perpetuate it, in order to guarantee U.S. corporate global domination. They seek the highest rate of profit and exploit the world’s labor and natural resources to that end.

The cost of domestic security, the third reason given for the federal government’s deficit, is also full of the corporate right-wing agenda and contradictions, not really providing any true public safety measures. The rounding up of immigrants based on country of origin – targeting men from the Middle East and Asia – is not in the interest of public safety, but only in the interest of the ultra right and racist forces who seek to create an atmosphere of fear in order to push through their anti-people and anti-labor agenda.

The Bush administration is stealing money in order to guarantee U.S. corporate interests. In order to be truly patriotic, Congress should adopt a pro-people budget that takes money away from the military and corporations and puts it towards ending poverty, inequality and many other problems faced by humanity.


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