Monday, August 1, 2011

The worst is yet to come

Does anyone think, this morning, that the debt ceiling crisis has been "solved?"

I'm no political analyst and it's going to take me (and the rest of the country) some time to figure out exactly how bad the pending deal is going to be for poor, working class and middle class people of this country.  But I got a big hint this morning of where we're headed next during CNN's interview of Sen. John McCain.

McCain mentioned that as a way to stimulate the economy and get businesses investing, he'd like to see a two year moratorium on all government regulations.

Following is a list of some of the federal agencies and bureaus that would be affected by McCain's plan.  Take a look and use your imagination: Just how might the robber baron corporations exploit lack of regulations, both those that currently exist and those that might be proposed?

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Bureau of Prisons, Commission on Civil Rights, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture,
Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services,Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Division, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Maritime Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Fish and Wildlife Service, Food and Drug Administration,Food Safety and Inspection Service, Housing and Urban Development, Justice Department, Labor Department,Marine Mammal Commission, Mine Safety and Health Administration, National AIDS Policy Office, National Park Service, National Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Public and Indian Housing, Veterans Health Administration.

Well, I can give you a hint: as of last Friday, 39 anti-environmental riders were attached to the 2012 spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.  If passed, they would mean that for a year: no greenhouse gas regulations, no new auto efficiency regulations,  no limits on mountaintop coal removal, no strengthening of protections for wetlands, no labeling the toxic ash from coal-fired power plants as hazardous waste-- and much more.  You can read some details in a Sunday Editorial in the New York Times.

So what are we to do?  Our options on a federal level may be limited at the moment, but as a lifelong community organizer, at least one course of action is clear to me: fight for local control on every front of this war against us.  Build our strength and our skills to challenge, from the bottom up, the corporate control over our lives.  Tell the truth!  Oppose illegitimate authority!  Start taking back our power-- at the next street corner, at the steps of city hall, at our state capitals.  And do it now.

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

                                           ~ Cree saying

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