Thursday, June 20, 2002

The Bush Money Machine Steamrolls Washington

Tonight at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, the GOP fat cats are filling the trough to the tune of $28 million—just shy of their own record of $30 million. In a big land rush to gush forth the last of the soft money that gets to go into general slush funds, the GOP is filling its war chest with a fervor greater than any they ever criticized Clinton for. And, to be fair, the Democrats are raising a lot of soft money too. Of course, the Dems get a lot of money from hard-working, middle class folks through unions and environmental organizations. The Republicans get their money from big, rich corporations they're doing favors for.

Case in point: Drug companies. Two days ago, the GOP unveiled a prescription drug plan that industry is backing. Tonight, these pharmaceutical companies are among 21 donors paying $250,000 each at tonight’s GOP fundraising gala.
Robert Ingram, GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s chief operating officer, is the chief corporate fundraiser for the gala; his company gave at least $250,000. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group funded by the drug companies, kicked in $250,000, too. PhRMA, as it is best known inside the Beltway, is also helping underwrite a television ad campaign touting the GOP’s prescription drug plan.
The GOP's drug plan, predictably, requires seniors to buy insurance for drugs; Democrats want the drug benefit to be covered by Medicare. The companies, of course, cry that that would drive down profits. Well, they'll cry about how they won't be able to do Research and Development if they can't make the outrageous profits they do. They'll tell you about how expensive it is to develop these drugs, and how risky, and how they deserve the profit because of the risk. What they won't tell you is that the profit they MIGHT lose if Medicare covered durg costs would be more like the difference between the CEO getting $100 million a year, or only $50. The CFO might have to take a big cut in pay, down to $20 million. Hell, some of the executives daughter's might have to go to Harvard driving a Toyota instead of a Mercedes! Heaven forbid! I just love it when these guys cry poverty. It breaks my heart.

Now you folks out there who spend 30% of your fixed income on drugs you need to stay alive and healthy, tell me who you're going to vote for. C'mon. It's really simple. Vote for Republicans and pay through the nose for their summer home in the south of France. Vote for Democrats and get your prescriptions covered by Medicare. You folks in Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana, South Dakota, New Jersey and Minnesota: the balance of the Senate is in your hands. Only you can stop Resident Bush and his extreme right wing, anti-working man, anti-environment, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-civil rights, anti-logical administration.

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