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July 12, 2002

Dems Declare War on Deregulation

Oh yes- the Democratic leadership have put together a scathing report detailing the GOP war on regulation that led up to the Enron & WorldCom debacles. The GOP may be trying to forget the Contract on America -- as if the only public policy of the 90s was Clinton's sexual dalliances -- but this report is a lovely archeological retrieval of the legislation and rhetoric of the rightwing assault on corporate regulation. It notes not just the legislation passed despite Clinton's veto but the even more radical proposals ultimately stopped by the Senate and Clinton. And the gutting of regulation and the SEC never stopped, even as the rhetoric changed from Gingrich bomb-throwing to Bush's smoother "compassionate conservatism."

Even better, it shows the political will of the Dems to move from single issue criticism of the financial debacles to a full-out assault on deregulation across the board-- from rightwing assaults on the environment to corporate tax giveaways.

As Tom Delay is set to advance to majority leader, it's worth remembering these gems by the still-current power behind the throne in the House GOP leadership:

When asked if there were any federal regulations he would choose to keep, Majority Whip Tom DeLay said "Not that I can think of." (Wall Street Journal, 3/3/95)

"We must break the chokehold of regulations around the neck of every budding entrepreneur and allow them to compete freely." Rep. Tom DeLay (Fortune, 1/16/95)

Bush's personal financial dealings are a fun side-story, but to repeat an article title I wrote earlier this year, Public Policy is the Scandal.

Posted by Nathan at July 12, 2002 08:44 AM

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