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New Administration Goes to Work for Business

The new administration has been staffed primarily by big business executives. In fact, there has not been an administration so deeply connected to big business and the banking community since that of Herbert Hoover, which was ended by the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932.

And the new president has wasted no time in serving the needs of big companies and banks. Yesterday, he backed down on his campaign pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major causes of global warming. This comes after the U.S. refused to sign the Kyoto treaty on the environment and has asked for a delay in upcoming world environmental conferences.

The shift in policy occurred just days before moderate Republicans planned to introduce legislation to require limits on CO2 emissions.

"The president has walked away from his most explicit environmental promise in the campaign," said Phil Clapp, of the National Environmental Trust.

Bush has said that he takes climate change "very seriously," but that mandatory controls on emissions will lead to lower utility profits because more utilities will be forced to shift to natural gas from cheaper coal. Vice President Dick Cheney told senators Tuesday that the campaign position on carbon dioxide was a "mistake." The mistake has been corrected.

The new bankruptcy bill is as big a help to banks as the abandonment of the environment is to big business. It means that millions of middle-class Americans will be unable to shed their credit card debts, which charge 18 to 20 percent interest, and start fresh. However, it does nothing to make banks reduce credit card interest. It was rushed into law just as a severe recession was hitting in order to make certain that consumers would not be able to seek costly debt relief during a time of job loss and economic desperation. It is expected to do an excellent job of preserving banking profits during the coming recession.

Also, while Bush's new Medicare proposal sounds initially as if it will be expensive, it actually requires an elderly person with a $15,000 annual income to spend $6,000 on prescription drugs before they receive any benefits, so it is not expected to be very costly at all. A person with an income of $15,000 would have to choose between eating and taking prescriptions before the effective deductible would be triggered. It is anticipated that they will choose to eat.

For more information about the CO2 decision, click here.

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