- How much fun can one administration have? More
dead GIs. New record trade deficit. Stock market
plunges. Ally in Spain goes down to defeat. The
new Spanish prime minister says the occupation
in Iraq is a "continuing disaster," and he's pulling
his troops out.
no jobs. And then the guy who was supposed to
be the new jobs czar turns out to have laid off
75 of his own workers in 2002 and then built a
$3 million factory in China to employ 180 Chinese
that same year.
has the aspirin concession at the White House
must be making a fortune.
unfortunate matter of the would-be jobs czar came
at a particularly awkward moment. More than six
months ago, President Bush promised to appoint
a "manufacturing czar" at the Commerce Department.
As the Center for American Progress points out,
since then we've lost another 250,000 manufacturing
was on his way to Ohio last week, where the economy
has just been hemorrhaging jobs, to "focus on
jobs." He actually claimed, "We're creating jobs
-- good, high-paying jobs for the American citizen."
guy is living on some parallel planet. Bush chose
Anthony Raimondo, CEO of a manufacturing company
in Nebraska, to be the jobs czar, which would
have worked out better if Raimondo hadn't just
outsourced 180 jobs to China. The Web site the
Daily Misleader found a truly impressive convergence
between Bush's top campaign contributors and the
corporations that have outsourced the most jobs
the catch. Even if the globalizers are right,
and outsourcing every manufacturing job in America
is a terrific idea, what does it take to get the
"good, high-paying jobs" that Bush claims they're
theory, the new jobs will be "brain jobs" in biotechnology
and other forms of advanced applied science, plus
the creative fields, and for that you need scientists,
entrepreneurs, creative people and intellectuals.
Basically, everybody Bush doesn't like.
shown so much favoritism to the big corporations
that I don't see how he can claim to like even
consistently replaced scientists on all kinds
of government advisory boards with religious activists.
He ignores scientific reports indicating that
his various policies either don't work or are
actually harmful. This White House has changed
and rewritten reports made by government scientists,
particularly in the area of the environment. Bush
kissed off biotechnology with the stem cell research
he hates Hollywood. We know he doesn't like intellectuals,
and he's not in favor of green technology because
he continues to subsidize extractive and polluting
industries with tax breaks. How do they ever expect
this thing to work?
apparently think they can just lie about it. Last
month, Bush released a personally signed report
claiming that his economic plan would create 2.6
million jobs. Then he had to "distance himself,"
as they say in Washington, from that absurdity.
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao appeared before Congress
last week to claim that Bush never actually signed
contempt for government means they just don't
govern well. What can you say about an administration
that threatens to fire people if they tell the
truth to Congress?
latest example of this charming policy is the
case of Richard Foster, chief actuary at the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Knight
Ridder News Service reported in an exclusive that
Foster's boss at the time, Thomas Scully, wrote
"a direct order not to respond to certain requests
and instead to provide the responses to him and
warned about the consequences of insubordination."
Scully was sitting on was the rather pertinent
information that Foster's cost estimates on that
stinking prescription drug bill were $100 billion
higher than Congress was willing to go. You may
recall that the prescription drug bill passed
the House on a 220-215 vote after the R's held
the vote open for three hours.
R's were unhappy with the bill and vowed not to
vote for it if it cost more than $400 billion
in the first 10 years. Foster had a whole series
of estimates that put the bill at more than $500
billion. In January, the White House said the
cost would be $534 billion.
Pete Stark, D-Calif., said: "Tom Scully told my
staff that Rick Foster would be 'fired so fast
his head would spin' if he released this information
to us." Last summer, Scully told The Associated
Press: "They don't have the right on the Hill
to call up my actuary and demand things. These
people work for the executive branch, period."
said he would release the analysis "if I feel
like it." Uh, actually, "Mr. Scully's people"
work for the taxpayers of this country, and so
does he, and we're represented in Washington by
are also of the opinion that Congress writes better
legislation when it has some idea -- within a
hundred billion or so -- what the blasted law
will cost us.
Molly Ivins writes for Creators Syndicate. 5777
W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Posted: March 22, 2004