Anyone who thinks that money doesn't talk in our Nation's Capitol might be right. Cash doesn't really talk – it screams!
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

Anyone who thinks that money doesn’t talk in our Nation’s Capitol might be right. Cash doesn’t really talk – it screams!

Take George W’s recent state-of-the-union speech. After six years in office, the prez finally got around to admitting that there’s this little, festering problem called global warming. Top scientists, industrialists, evangelical leaders, and others are alarmed by this looming disaster, so Bush tried in the speech to make it sound as though he had a “bold” plan for dealing with climate change. But all he really gave us was a bold fib. Indeed, even before Bush spoke, presidential mouthpiece Tony Snow admitted that the one essential reform to stop greenhouse emissions would not be a part of the plan: “We knocked that down. That’s not something we’re talking about,” he said.

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What made Bush so meek? Follow the money. The staunchest opponents to even the mildest steps for halting global warming are Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and other oil giants. In last year’s elections, oil corporations pumped $17.5 million into congressional campaigns – 83 percent of it going to Bush’s Republicans. In 2004, George himself got $2.6 million from Big Oil – eight-and-a-half times more than went to the Democrat.

Look also at the congressional vote this year to rescind a $14 billion tax giveaway to oil corporations. With Democrats now in charge, this take-back passed in the house, but money still spoke for many of the members. Those who voted to protect Big Oil’s subsidy had received nearly $22,000 in oil contributions – five times more than those who voted to stop the giveaway.

This is Jim Hightower saying… It’s time to quiet the shrill voice of big-money politics by providing a public financing option for all national elections, just as several states have done for their elections. To follow the flow of money in politics and learn about effective reforms, check out

“State of the Union Preview,”, January 22, 2007.
“Money Divided House Vote to Tax Oil Industry,”, January 23, 2007.
“Forces unite to push for change in climate policies,” Austin American-Statesman, January 23, 2007.
“Rhetoric softer, but little compromise seen on policies,” Austin American-Statesman, January 23, 2007.

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