How Dare They? -- An AlterNet Editorial

It's pretty obvious by now that big corporations are using the "war against terrorism" to lobby Congress for billions of dollars in tax breaks and benefits. As John Passacatando, the head of Greenpeace USA has said, "For corporations to loot the U.S. treasury and prey on the environment while wrapping themselves in the flag is an act of sheer treachery, one Americans will not soon forget."

As reported by, half a dozen groups have released a "Citizen Coalition Statement" about what they called "shameful profiteering and opportunism" in the wake of Sept. 11.

At the same time, the group Public Campaign has launched an effort to express outrage at the radical legislation being passed by Congress that will do little or nothing to protect national or economic security for the large majority of Americans.

Here is the Public Campaign email, ready to be mailed to friends and colleagues:

Dear friend,

I'm outraged by what's going on in Washington right now, which is why I'm sharing this message with you. I apologize if you've already gotten a copy of this -- but that means this effort is taking off! (And after you're done reading this, please forward this message to your friends.)

The nation mourns, many suffer and in response a group of highly profitable corporations, and major campaign contributors, demand (and get from the House of Representatives) a $25 billion refund on all the taxes they paid going back to 1986. How Dare They!

Our nation suffers an anthrax attack and the big-name pharmaceutical companies pull out the stops to protect their drug patents, preventing the government from obtaining large supplies of potentially critical medicine at affordable costs. How Dare They!

A half million people have lost their jobs and the airlines, but not their workers, get a $15 billion bailout. Not only that, in their bill to keep airport security in private hands, Republican House leaders even tried to undo a provision of the airline bailout bill that capped the compensation of airline CEOs! How Dare They!

The economy may be crashing -- and corporate lobbyists' solution is to make business meals and entertainment 100 percent deductible, which means we taxpayers go back to paying for their three-martini lunches. How Dare They!

Corporate tax breaks, sweetheart deals, bailouts. How dare the special interests try to take advantage of one of the greatest tragedies in American history to line their own pockets? They dare to do this because with millions in campaign contributions, they've got the best Congress money can buy.

Big money contributors, who should, along with the rest of the nation, be chipping in during a difficult time, are instead calling in chits. While we have our hands on our hearts, they're picking our pockets.

It's time to tell Congress and the President that we're outraged by this. This is a time for all of us to pull together and share in whatever sacrifices are necessary, with no special exemptions for the rich and powerful.


1. Forward it to your friends.

2. Go to

Find out more. E-mail your elected officials. Tell your friends. Get involved in making a real change.

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