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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
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Republicans Give Government Back to Their Corporate Paymasters


Early this month, when John Boehner was sworn in as the new speaker of the House of Representatives, he tipped his hat to the teabag activists across the country who had fueled the Republican takeover of the chamber last fall. He almost choked up as he promised to "give the government back to the American people."

Boehner was not choking back tears, however, he literally was choking on the flagrant hypocrisy of his words. You see, the people he's giving the government back to are not tea partiers, but the rapacious corporate lobbyists who ran the Congress during the years when former Majority Leader Tom DeLay ran the show. Apparently, the name "Boehner" is derived from an ancient Teutonic word meaning: business as usual.

Throughout his two decades in Congress, the new speaker has been a reliable ally of corporate interests. In recent years, he has formed unusually tight legislative, political and even social ties with a group of lobbyists for such giants as Citigroup, Coors, Goldman Sachs, Google and R.J. Reynolds.

Of course, most congressional leaders work with lobbyists, so that's not odd, but to have them also be his closest friends and social chums — well, you just want to say, "For heaven's sake, Johnnie, get a life!"

These influence peddlers are now the speaker's inner circle, guiding his legislative decisions. Even before last November's election, Boehner had a private meeting with a flock of top corporate lobbyists to help shape "a new GOP agenda." Forget the tea party. No tea party operative is a Boehner insider. It's the corporate agenda that Republican leaders will be pushing, and to make sure that it stays on track, Boehner has hired a top corporate lobbyist to be his policy director.

So, while tea party regulars are giddy with the thought that their movement took over the U. S. House, they were actually a Trojan horse.

They delivered the votes to make Boehner speaker, which allowed the corporate powers to move inside, quietly take over and return Congress to business as usual.

On opening day of the 112th Congress, beaming members of the new Republican majority entered the House chamber, accompanied by their proud families. But the moment did not belong to members alone.

Also entering the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremonies was David Koch, the multibillionaire industrialist and laissez-faire extremist who bankrolled much of the tea party/GOP victory last fall. What symbolism! The members were taking office, but Koch and his corporate agenda were taking power.

Indeed, many lobbyists for Wall Street banks and big corporations have been hired as top legislative aides for Republican members. As Rep. John Campbell put it, "You want someone with experience." Yeah, experience in corporatizing our government.

In fact, some of the most powerful lawmakers in the House are simply handing their power to corporate interests. For example, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the new chairman of the Wall Street oversight committee, declared that his role is to "serve the banks."

The chief comforter of corporate crybabies, however, is Rep. Darrell Issa of California, chair of the wide-ranging government reform committee. He sent letters to 150 corporate interests, asking them to tell him if Obama and his Democratic meanies have imposed any consumer, worker or environmental protections that should be undone. That's like asking a barber if you need a haircut!

The letters unleashed an outpouring of corporate whining — big banks, for example, wailed that their ability to gouge customers with rip-off debit-card fees had been curtailed. There, there, Issa said soothingly, I'm here now. I'll make it all better for you.

Under the guise of giving government back to the people, the House majority is giving it to the corporate powers who finance their campaigns. This is not just business as usual, it's business way more than usual.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



5 Comments | Post Comment
Jim -- I am surprized you blame only the republicans. Take a look at and see the support Obama recieved from the big corporations like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Microsoft. Over 65 percent of the top people in the treasury department and federal reserve are retired from - or on leave from - Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase.

General Electric's chief, Jeff Immelt, has had regular meetings with Obama and key democrats for the past year. The company has moved thousands of jobs from the US to China and will sign a multi-billion dollar technology transfer deal while Chinese President Hu Jintao is visiting this week.

Please Jim -- be honest with the readers -- both the democrats and republicans are more interested in lining their own pockets than in doing anything that may make this a better country. Both political parties follow the golden rule - WHOEVER HAS THE GOLD, MAKES THE RULES.

We need to follow the advice of the Tea Party - throw out every incumbent and keep tossing them out until they realize that they are suppose to be working for the people - not the corporations. Any vote for an incumbent congressman or senator is a vote for continued rule by the corporations.

Comment: #1
Posted by: MoneyMatters
Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:31 AM
Hightower blah blah blah.

MoneyMatters rah rah rah.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Tom
Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:50 PM
Who creates the jobs and the wealth in this country? Who creates new inventions that make our lives better, that reduce the cost of living and allow us to buy more and live better? Oh yeah ... Americans working for the private sector, NOT the public sector. Show me the last great innovation that has made your life better and has come from the government. HMMM can't think of any. American entrepreneurs are the best in the world, I believe that 100%!! Look how much better and easier our lives are today vs. only 50 or 100 years ago! So what the heck is so bad about reducing the restrictions placed on our businesses? It is because it takes some of that control back out of the hands of the government, and those who currently hold that control don't want to give it up? I'm thinking YES ...
Comment: #3
Posted by: Kim
Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:47 PM
The vulgar Lowbrowtower continues his jealous rant against capitalists, in accordance with his devotion to the communist manifesto.
Comment: #4
Posted by: David Henricks
Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:25 AM
Re: Kim

we taxpayers bailout airlines, auto industries, financial institutions, et cetera.

left to their own devices, even corporations like enron and mci/worldcom bankrupted themselves. due to the greed and corruption and (moral) bankruptcy of the evil people running those corporations.

left to their own devices, due to DEregulation, financial institutions stole $50 trillion (that we know of) through (what they call) liars' loans, i.e. loans they knew could never be paid. this did not happen while this was regulated by the U.S. government; because then those evil criminals would have all gone to jail at a few million dollars, instead of being allowed to steal TRILLIONS of dollars and get a wag of the finger as their punishment.

these huge mega-corporations who DEMAND we be a capitalist society, not only receive BILLIONS of dollars annually to subsidize them (big oil, television, et cetera); BUT, they are also the first ones to beg for billions/trillions of dollars from WE THE PEOPLE, the American taxpayers - TO BAIL THEM OUT AFTER THEIR GREED AND CORRUPTION HAVE DESTROYED THEIR CORPORATION.

and we bail out corporations destroyed by evil & greedy people running said corporations, time and again, thanks to politicians who have been bought by lobbyists. they make up lots of lies to justify why the American people NEED to bail out all these corporations, knowing that they are completely lying to the American public.

tax cuts, bailouts, everything we little people do for the ultra-rich --- none of that money is ever returned to WE THE PEOPLE in form of jobs. as an automobile factory is shutdown in Detroit, it's pieces are bought (by another AMERICAN automobile maker) and a new factory is built in... MEXICO.

there has never been a time where the American people have been repaid, when the American people have been lied to, and FORCED to bailout corporations destroyed by the evil, corrupt, greed-filled persons running said corporations.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Dwayne
Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:37 PM
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