Ralph Nader's political olive branch to Bush

Brian James hillbily at SPAMintergate.ca
Fri Mar 30 16:21:44 MST 2001

Ralph Nader's political olive branch to Bush

By Barry Grey
30 March 2001

Earlier this month former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader
co-authored a column that appeared on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street
Journal. Entitled “Ending Corporate Welfare as We Know It,” the article
by Nader and Robert Weissman (editor of the Nader-backed Multinational
Monitor magazine) presented a generally positive picture of the newly
installed administration of Republican President George W. Bush.

Nader and Weissman sought to couch their enthusiasm for aspects of the
Bush administration—above all its extreme nationalist and unilateralist
predilections—in measured terms. The article, published March 7, began:

“If it took Richard Nixon to go to China, could George W. Bush be the
president who ends corporate welfare as we know it?

“That doesn't appear likely. But in a budget outline that offers little
reason to smile to those concerned about the concentration of corporate
power, the Bush administration has offered a glimmer of hope on the
corporate-welfare front.”

Nader and Weissman went on to praise Bush's budget outline, published
the preceding week, for proposing a reduction in funding for three
federal programs that provide government subsidies to corporations: the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank and the
Advanced Technology Program.

“These are positive steps,” wrote Nader. He then proceeded to applaud
Bush's Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, who “has voiced skepticism
about the Wall Street bailouts regularly engineered by the International
Monetary Fund in coordination with his Department.”

The thrust of the article was that the proposed scale-back in the above
named programs and O'Neill's public criticisms of IMF bailouts were
promising moves, but only partial steps. “But while all these initial
moves are in the right direction, there is much, much more to do to rein
in corporate welfare,” wrote Nader.

In conclusion, the authors of the article respectfully reminded Bush of
his “commitment” to (quoting Bush) “reduce subsidies that primarily
benefit corporations rather than individuals” and wondered whether the
new president would show “the political courage to offend the very
corporate fat cats who funded his campaign.”

In assessing this altogether remarkable article, one is obliged to
assume that                     Nader's professed hope in Bush's ability
to oppose the influence of “corporate fat cats” is merely a journalistic
device aimed at currying favor with the new administration. That would
be consistent with the generally groveling tone of his commentary. The
alternative, that Nader really believes the new president to be
something other than a tool of corporate interests, would brand the
former Green candidate and long-time lobbyist a political idiot.

Full Article: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/mar2001/nad-m30.shtml

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