Dean Attacks Bush's "Enron Economics", Calls For Re-Regulation
Howard Dean gave a speech today in Houston, right in W’s backyard, and criticized the Administration for its Enron Economics.
Not far from here stands Enron Tower. It symbolizes all that is wrong with our country today.
At Enron, those at the top enriched themselves by deceiving everyone else and robbing ordinary people of the future they'd earned. And the Bush Administration is following their lead. They have created an economic program that enriches their friends and supporters at the expense of ordinary working Americans. A program deserving of the name -- Enron Economics."
We were promised fiscal responsibility. We've gotten a 9 trillion dollar increase in the nation's debt over ten years. We were told that tax cuts would reduce the deficit, but the government's chief auditor -- a Republican -- says that's flat false."
Enron Economics benefits those who make the most -- their share of the tax burden declined from 28 percent in the 1990s to nearly 20 percent today. Meanwhile, everyone else suffers -- cities and states across America are raising property taxes health insurance premiums and college tuition. Schools are closing and teachers and police officers are being laid off. Funding for Medicaid and housing is being cut â'" and our infrastructure continues to crumble. We know what happened to Enron. Moral bankruptcy led to fiscal bankruptcy. And the ethos of Enron is where our politics and policies have led us in America.
Today, our tax burden has been shifted to hard work, while wealth is taxed less and less and many wasteful companies are being subsidized -- companies that leave a mess of pollution for us to clean up, or are sending jobs overseas. But we can have a fair and simple tax code -- a moral tax code -- in which hard work is rewarded first and foremost, wealth pays more of its fair share, and corporations who contribute waste to our country will be penalized for doing so.
Dean refreshingly called for the re-regulation of several industries yesterday, a welcome new initiative in showing the differences between the parties.
In an interview around midnight Monday on his campaign plane with a small group of reporters, Dean listed likely targets for what he dubbed as his "re-regulation" campaign: utilities, large media companies and any business that offers stock options. Dean did not rule out "re-regulating" the telecommunications industry, too.
He also said a Dean administration would mandate new workers' standards, a much broader right to unionize and new "transparency" requirements for corporations that go beyond the recently enacted Oxley-Sarbanes law.
"In order to make capitalism work for ordinary human beings, you have to have regulation," Dean said. "Right now, workers are getting screwed."
Dean also picked up a key endorsement yesterday when the former Air Force Chief of Staff retired General Merrill “Tony” McPeak, who endorsed Bush in 2000, came out and endorsed Dean.
McPeak, who headed the Air Force during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, criticized the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq before the invasion in March. He also said he has become disenchanted with the president's economic policies.
"I don't think the younger Bush has put a foot right since he entered the White House," said McPeak, who changed his registration from Republican to independent in April.
And as this month's Washington Monthly reports, McPeak may not be the only member of the military to vote Democratic next year.