THE CORPORATE HOUSE

On opening day of the 112th Congress, beaming members of the new Republican majority entered the House Chamber, accompanied by their proud families. But the moment did not belong to members alone.

On opening day of the 112th Congress, beaming members of the new Republican majority entered the House Chamber, accompanied by their proud families. But the moment did not belong to members alone.

Also entering the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremonies was David Koch, the multibillionaire industrialist and laissez-faire extremist who bankrolled much of the Tea Party/GOP victory last fall. What symbolism! The members were taking office, but Koch and his corporate peers were taking power.

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Indeed, many lobbyists for Wall Street banks and big corporations have been hired as top legislative aides for Republican members. As Rep. John Campbell put it: “You want someone with experience.” Yeah, experience in corporatizing our government. In fact, some of the most powerful lawmakers in the House are simply handing their power to corporate interests. For example, Rep. Spencer Bachus, the new Chairman of the Wall Street oversight committee, declared that his role is to “serve the banks.”

The chief comforter of corporate crybabies, however, is Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the wide-ranging government reform committee. He sent out letters to 150 corporate interests, asking them to tell him if Obama and his Democratic meanies have imposed any consumer, worker, and environmental protections that should be undone. That’s like asking a barber if you need a haircut! The letters unleashed an outpouring of corporate whining – big banks, for example, wailed that their ability to gouge customers with ripoff debit-card fees had been curtailed. There, there, Issa said soothingly, I’m here now. I’ll make it better. Trust me.

Under the guise of giving government back to the people, the House majority is giving it to the corporate powers who finance their campaigns. This is not just business as usual – it’s business way more than usual.

“Spencer Bachus, New House Financial Services Chief: ‘..Regulators Are There To Serve Banks,'” www.nytimes.com, December 27, 2010.

“Tea Party Billionaire David Koch Entertains Newly Elected Republicans on the First Day of New Congress,” www.alternet.org, January 5, 2011.

“The Corporate House,” The New York Times, January 6, 2011.

“GOP’s New Oversight Chair Asks Businesses Which Regulations Burdens Them,” www.onthehillblog.com, January 5, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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