Here is a list of conservative legislation designed to “drown the government in a bathtub” at the request of big business (note the Orwellian titles):
- Safety and Health Improvement and Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 – Written by a group of industry lobbyists to weaken OSHA
- The Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Deregulated the airwaves and allowed media companies to consolidate
- Financial Services Modernization Act (Graham-Leach-Bliley) of 1999 – Gutted Depression-era regulations put in place to prevent a recurrence
- The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 – Created by the timber industry to allow logging in national parks
- The Clear Skies Act of 2003 – Weakened the existing Clean Air Act to allow more industry pollution
- The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 – Passed with $100 million of lobbying from the credit card industry
The common thread here is the conservative view that the role of government is to serve business. Classic “trickle down” theory.
People tend to blame President Bush for the downturn in our economy and our diminishing role worldwide. But many of these actions occurred under President Clinton.
Where our country has taken a wrong turn is to accept this conservative viewpoint. The balance between business and the people has fallen out of whack to the point where the government serves only corporations and their lobbyists.
Not to say that all corporate viewpoints are inherently evil as some would argue. But there is a balance that needs to be restored.
This lack of balance has become increasingly evident recently as the government voted to hand $700 billion to the companies that caused the financial crisis while not doing anything for the people who lost their homes.
When it comes to people, the conservative view says that they need to take some responsibility. But when it comes to corporations, these same conservatives argue that these companies are “too big to fail.”
Until we change this governing conservative philosophy and restore some of the balance that brought prosperity to the vast majority of people in the U.S., I’m afraid the crisis is going to continue no matter how much money we print and hand out.
“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” – Grover Norquist