News Release

Interviews Available: Stimulus or War Profiteering?

MICAH SIFRY
A senior analyst with Public Campaign, Sifry said today: “It’s obscene that some of corporate America thinks this is the moment to cash in on all their access and influence in Congress with unwarranted tax rebates and unnecessary bailouts. By a margin of 56 to 32 percent, the public chooses increased government spending over new tax cuts, according to a Gallup Poll. But Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill says not to worry. The $100 billion House bill will provide 300,000 new jobs, he told the Sunday TV talk shows. That works out to $333,333 in corporate welfare for every new job. Rather than using the word ‘stimulus,’ the bill should be called the Campaign Contributors War Profiteering Act of 2001.”
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WILLIAM HARTUNG
Senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute and author of “The New Business of War,” Hartung said today: “U.S. military spending will increase by more than $50 billion over last year’s total, creating a windfall for U.S. weapons manufacturers. Despite the evidence of Sept. 11 that the U.S. is more vulnerable to low-tech terrorist attacks than to ballistic missiles, President Bush’s Star Wars scheme was authorized for more than $8 billion, an increase of nearly 57 percent. The vast majority of the funds authorized have little or nothing to do with protecting the country from future terrorist attacks. The money the Democrats tried to add is a real mixed bag. There is a danger that homeland security could become another pork barrel project — or worse, an excuse to cut back on civil liberties and the right of dissent…. I don’t think you can organize a country simply under the rhetoric of war on terrorism. There are other priorities that need to be respected.”
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HOLLY SKLAR
Co-author of the new book Raise The Floor: Wages and Policies That Work For All Of Us, Sklar said today: “We have crucial choices to make as we work to revive the economy in the wake of Sept. 11 and recession: We can rebuild the economy in a way that brings us closer together — or drives us apart. During the boom, we grew further apart. Average workers have still not caught up to the wages of their counterparts in 1973, adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent has as much after-tax income as the 100 million Americans with the lowest incomes. Tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations would be as irresponsible as taking your paychecks, health insurance, retirement savings and children’s college funds and blowing them on a gambling spree. We need economic stimulus, not greed stimulus.”
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JOAN CLAYBROOK, [via Shannon Little]
President of Public Citizen, Claybrook said today: “While virtually everyone in the country saw Sept. 11 as an immense tragedy, many special interests saw it as a rich opportunity. They promptly sent hoards of lobbyists to swarm Capitol Hill to line up for all kinds of goodies. The airline industry was the first in line and got a $15 billion bailout package with no strings attached. It didn’t even have to share the money with its workers. Other industries have followed suit. The insurance industry is pressing for the government to bail it out in future attacks…”
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STEVEN WEISS
Weiss is communications director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which recently published the article “The Economic Stimulus Package: A Guide to What Special Interests Want and May Get.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167