Stop the looting!

From MoveOn.org:

Over the last eight months, we’ve fought to stop President Bush from getting
rid of overtime and to stop the FCC from changing its media ownership rules.
Amazingly, we’ve won. But today, both of these victories are at risk.

Bush is now pushing Congress to approve one of the biggest spending bills in
its history — 820 billion dollars. He’s also cutting lots of last-minute,
back-room deals that would reverse our victories on overtime and on media
ownership, while taking corporate giveaways to a whole new level.

And he’s trying to force votes on this 400 page bill before Democrats have
had a chance to read it.

Join us in calling on Congress to stop this bill, at:

    href="http://www.moveon.org/looting/"
target=_blank>http://www.moveon.org/looting/

Giveaways in the bill include:

  • Allowing media giants to monopolize even more local media outlets than
    before. Companies like Fox that have bought more outlets than current law allows
    would now be allowed to keep them. In fact, this bill raises the limit to just
    the amount that Fox needs. ( href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24131-2003Nov30.html"
    target=_blank>Washington Post, 11/30/03)

  • Rolling back rules requiring that people be paid for overtime. Eight million
    hard-working families count on these fair compensation rules.

These terrible provisions, and others, were added at the last minute by top
Republican negotiators. The final bill was first shared with Democrats the day
they were leaving for Thanksgiving (Tues., Nov. 25th), in an obvious attempt to
force an immediate vote, sight unseen.

Instead, Congress is returning for a special session next week. The House is
expected to vote on the bill on Monday, December 8th. The Senate is being asked
to approve it on Tuesday the 9th.

But as Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “A legislator would have to have rocks
in their head to agree to something they haven’t yet read.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Especially when you consider that majorities in both houses of Congress have
already rejected both the media ownership change and the overtime rollback —
with strong support from MoveOn members in both cases. President Bush couldn’t
get what he wanted through a straight democratic process, so now, once again,
he’s trying to force his agenda down our throats with strong-arm tactics.

Process aside, the spending itself is also outrageous. It’s part of a long
pattern of Bush spending billions of our tax dollars to reward his friends and
campaign contributors, a pattern the Nobel prize-winning economist George
Akerlof has described as “a form of looting.” ( href="http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/080303D.shtml" target=_blank>Der Spiegel,
7/29/03)

And our nation is suffering as a result.

Congress recently approved $87 billion for the Iraq war, much of it going to
contractors like Halliburton through expensive no-bid deals. Now, other
countries won’t help fund the Iraq effort because they know their money will go
to American contractors — not reconstruction. And when we could be developing a
real middle class in Iraq, 60% of Iraqis can’t find work because multinational
corporations are sucking up all the jobs.

We’re hurting at home too. While Bush deals out giant subsidies to
corporations and tax cuts for the super-rich, our kids go without healthcare,
our teachers get laid off, and the deficit gets bigger and bigger. So the kids
we’re shortchanging today will get stuck with the bill tomorrow.

You just can’t govern a nation this way. And even the Republicans know it.
That’s why John McCain and other Republicans will likely vote against the bill.
This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s common sense.

Please join our call to Congress to stop the looting, at:

    href="http://www.moveon.org/looting/"
target=_blank>http://www.moveon.org/looting/

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