United we stand?
November/December 2001

"We all have to sacrifice to fight this war against terrorism" turns out to mean "you all will have to sacrifice, while we loot the U.S. treasury and give big tax rebates to ourselves and our buddies." This was the conclusion of citizen's groups who looked at the House's "economic stimulus package" on Nov. 5:

WASHINGTON-Citizen advocates converged today in Washington, D.C. to call on President Bush and Congress to end the outburst of wartime opportunism since the September 11 tragedy.

"Since September 11, members of Congress have served up a nonstop buffet of corporate pork legislation. Under the guise of 'national security' our federal treasury is being raided and democratic rights are being taken away while Congress feeds sympathetic campaign contributors at taxpayer expense, sends working people to fight, and leaves the unemployed, disenfranchised, and American families to suffer," said Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and Citizen Works founder.

Organizations in the environmental, labor, consumer, civil liberties, civil rights and pro-democracy communities have had to defend citizens against a new onslaught of opportunism in areas ranging from multi-billion dollar corporate tax cuts to expansion of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"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," said John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA.

Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth stated that, "The Administration and many in Congress are pushing energy legislation that will actually weaken national security."

Mildred Brown, past national president of ACORN said, "The nation recognizes that the heroes of this tragedy are our nation's working people, but all Congress and the President want to do is give more tax breaks to big business and the nation's wealthiest people."

Citizen Works, a pro-democracy citizen organization, laid out nine areas of corporate opportunism in a call to action released today:

  1. A so-called "Economic Stimulus" Plan that benefits corporate treasuries and neglects workers
  2. Pharmaceutical Gouging
  3. "Bailouts for Billionaires" not workers
  4. The Re-emergence of autocratic "Fast Track"
  5. Handouts for the Insurance Industry
  6. More Phony "Defense" and the Reintroduction of Biological Weapons
  7. Endangering the Environment and Energy
  8. The oxymoronic "USA PATRIOT Act"
  9. Restrictions on Information/Invasions of Privacy

"From Fast Track to pharmaceuticals, wartime opportunists are shamefully using the September 11 tragedy to advance narrow corporate interests at the expense of public health and safety," said Robert Weissman, co-director of Essential Action.

Press release from Citizen Works, 202-265-6164.

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