Political Armageddon: Ending Special Interest Influence in Washington DC
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The end of the world is near -- the Reagan world, that is. In one gigantic political battle, we can end the world of tax cuts for the rich, federal government-led attacks on organized labor, mindless deregulation, subsidies for wealthy corporations, war against science and preemptive war in Iraq.
The old political world will end on October 1, 2009 (the beginning of the next fiscal year) -- if we just win the battle to enact President Obamaâ€™s budget.
Anyone who didnâ€™t see or hear Obamaâ€™s Weekly Address on Saturday should go to the White House website and watch it. It is a declaration of war against the special interests:
I realize that passing this budget wonâ€™t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry wonâ€™t like the idea that theyâ€™ll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but thatâ€™s how weâ€™ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders wonâ€™t like the idea that weâ€™re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but thatâ€™s how weâ€™ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies wonâ€™t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but thatâ€™s how weâ€™ll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries. In other words, I know these steps wonâ€™t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know theyâ€™re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I.
Thereâ€™s no question that this is the battle of a lifetime. As The Washington Post noted:
Republicans and Democrats alike say the budget request, which seeks $3.6 trillion for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, marks the biggest ideological shift in Washington since the dawn of the Reagan administration.
Expect the right-wingers to rely on phony arguments. Remember some of their whoppers during debate on the Presidentâ€™s economic recovery package?