Friday, January 23, 2009

Firm of Bush's Ex-Treasury Secretary Owns Chrysler

One reason the Bush & Obama Administration's Treasury Department may have been interested in recently bailing out the Big Three automobile corporations with a big corporate welfare grant is that the chairman of the board of the private investment firm that owns Chrysler--Cerberus Capital Management--is John W. Snow.

Coincidentally, between January 2003 and July 2006 Cerberus Capital Management Chairman of the Board Snow was the Bush Administration's Secretary of the Treasury.

Goldman Sachs-Linked Foundation Funds Economic Policy Institute

If you check out the Ford Foundation website, you’ll notice that sitting on the Ford Foundation board of trustees are Goldman Sachs Senior Director Robert Kaplan, former Carlyle Asset Management Group CEO Afsaneh Beschloss and former Morgan Stanley Senior Advisor Peter Nadosy. Yet the Economic Policy Institute [EPI] has apparently been accepting large amounts of money from the Wall Street-linked Ford Foundation at the same time it claims to be “a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy,” on its website.

According to the EPI’s Form 990 filing for 2006, for example, the Goldman Sachs-linked Ford Foundation has contributed over $3.7 million to subsidize the research work of the EPI. The Ford Foundation’s own website indicates that the EPI’s New York office was given by the Ford Foundation a grant of $1,250,000 in 2005, two grants (totaling $650,000) in 2006, two grants (totaling $1 million) in 2007 and two grants (totaling $400,000) in 2008.

Billionaire Wall Street Speculator George Soros’s Open Society Institute also has apparently invested a lot of money in the EPI think-tank. According to EPI’s Form 990 filing for 2006, Soros’ Open Society Institute, for example, has contributed over $1 million to the EPI. The Open Society Institute’s own website indicates that the EPI was given by Soros’ Open Society Institute 3 grants (totaling $1,050,000) in 2005 and a grant of $800,000 in 2006.

The Rockefeller Foundation has also contributed $850,000 to the EPI, according to the EPI’s Form 990 filing for 2006. In addition, $730,000 has been contributed by the Mott Foundation and $650,000 has been contributed by the Joyce Foundation to the EPI.

Besides collecting large amounts of money from Wall Street-linked foundations, the EPI also is apparently heavily-funded by some of the same U.S. labor union leaders who have not had much success lately in preventing U.S. corporations from laying off large numbers of U.S. labor union members during the “Great Recession of 2007-2009.”

UAW leaders, for example, have contributed $400,000 to help subsidize the research reports of the EPI, while the AFL-CIO has contributed $595,000, according to the EPI’s Form 990 financial filing for 2006. Over $1.1 million has been contributed by the American Federation of Teachers and over $370,000 has also been contributed by the National Education Association to the EPI. In addition, the United Steelworkers of America has contributed $400,000, AFSCME has contributed $562,000 and SEIU has contributed $410,000 to the EPI, according to the 2006 financial filing. Not surprisingly, therefore, U.S. labor union leaders like UAW President Ron Gettlefinger, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, Lee Gerard of the United Steelworkers of America and Gerald McEntee of AFSCME have been sitting alongside folks like former Soros Fund Managing Director Robert Johnson, Lehman Brothers Senior Managing Director Ernest Green, former American Income Life Insurance Company CEO Bernard Rapoport, American Prospect magazine co-editor Robert Kuttner and an unsuccessful 2002 Democratic Party candidate for governor in Massachusetts, Robert Reich, on the board of directors of the “nonpartisan” EPI think-tank.

Much of the Wall Street-linked foundation and labor union money that the EPI is given each year is apparently used to pay the EPI executives, consultants and researchers annual salaries that are a lot more than what the average U.S. factory worker, U.S. office worker or U.S. student anti-war activist earns each year. In 2006, for example, the “nonprofit” Economic Policy Institute’s total revenues exceeded $6 million and the EPI’s President, Larry Mishel, was paid an annual salary of $199,457 that even exceeded the annual salary of UAW President Gettelfinger. At leasat five employees of the “nonprofit” EPI also were paid annual salaries in 2006 which exceeded $98,000 per year; and for his “professional services” of “project research,” the EPI apparently paid a researcher named Peter D. Hart $127,500 in 2006, according to its Form 990 financial filing.

So given the heavy extent to which the EPI is dependent on Wall Street-linked foundations and U.S. labor union leaders for its funding, it’s not likely that any of its economic research reports will ever demand that “nonprofit” institutions like the Ford Foundation or Harvard University be taxed at the same rate as “for-profit” corporations, in order to obtain the government tax revenue needed to provide union-wage jobs for all unemployed U.S. workers.

Nor is it likely that the EPI will produce an economic research report which demands that U.S. automobile industry finally be nationalized under democratic, working-class community control, in order to avert more mass layoffs of U.S. auto industry workers in 2009 and to protect the economic class interests of rank-and-file U.S. union members, all U.S. working-class people and U.S. consumers.

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Greetings:

I think bailing out auto, is a step to prevent catastrophe, to the economy. I think if the timing of the bailout, didn't happen when the economy was in the tank, it would be denied.

Now other countries auto industry, is going in a protectionist matter as a result.

Bob Feldman 68 said...

My impression is that their corporate economy was already in a catastrophe on a global-wide basis even before Bush agreed to throw the Big Three another corporate welfare grant (after the corporate welfare grant couldn't get through Congress and proved to be unpopular with the majority of U.S. working-class people); and mass layoffs of U.S. workers have actually increased since the Big Three were given its latest corporate welfare grant (although the Big Media argument for bailing out its top television advertisers during the last 10 years was "the auto bailout will prevent layoffs and another Great Depression."

Following is the UK newspaper's NewsLine take on the auto bailout/corporate welfare grant program:

Thursday, 8 January 2009

"Nationalise the motor car industry to defend wages and jobs

THE international banking system has collapsed, the steel industries of the planet are in slump, and the US and Japanese motor car giants are in desperate straits, on the brink of bankruptcy, with huge debts instead if profits, amidst rapidly collapsing order books.

"Capitalism is in crisis and nowhere more than the UK.

"This is where Margaret Thatcher decreed in the 1980s that the UK did not need mining or ship building industries, and, in fact, did not need any industries at all.

"All it needed were banks, and a banking system that would sit astride the planet, sucking out its wealth, with a portion of it trickling down to the millions who would be working in service industries.

"The Blair-Brown gang carried forward this position, regarding it as a virtue that manufacturing jobs were leaving the UK by the million, and instead advocating that we all live off the ‘knowledge economy’.

"Now the banks have collapsed, the remnants of the manufacturing industries are on short time or closing down and the high streets are putting the boards up.

"Never has there been a clearer example of the failure of capitalism to satisfy the elementary requirements of the working class and the middle class, and the need to get rid of it, replacing it with a socialist planned economy producing to satisfy people’s needs and not to satisfy the needs of profiteers, parasites and billionaires.

"However the reaction of the Labour Party and the trade union leaders to this historic collapse of capitalism, has been to rally round it and to seek to save it, at the expense of the working class.

"Labour is pushing through plans to set the whole nation on a course of coughing up all its wealth to save a relative handful of failed bankers and capitalists. The trade union leaders are now telling their members to accept wage cuts and job losses providing some jobs remain.

"They have become the chief lobbyists for the Labour government to hand billions of taxpayers’ money to the owners of the motor car and steel industries so that they can decide at their leisure which plants to close and how many jobs are to be cut.

"The trade union leaders have dumped socialism, and nationalisation, in favour of understanding that bosses have no alternative in a crisis but to cut and close.

"Tony Woodley told the world the other day that the government must ‘waste no more time in putting together a package to save Britain’s car industry. The union is urging the government to move quickly to ensure that at least 70,000 car workers and their families are not made to pay the price for City greed and recklessness.’

"He is not calling for nationalisation.

"Woodley added: ‘2009 is going to be a difficult year. We start it heading into what may prove to be the deepest recession any of us have seen.

"‘That means anxiety for millions of working people – not least those employed in or dependent on the motor industry and its long supply chain, very many of them working at Vauxhall, Land Rover and Jaguar plants on Merseyside and in Birmingham.

"‘Car workers and their families should not have to pay the price for the economic storm. . .’

"‘So there is a strong business case as well as an overwhelming social justice case for government help for the motor industry. . .

"Tony Woodley puts forward a business case for the bosses. The bosses say that there is a very good business case for sacking thousands!

"Woodley does not demand nationalisation, he does not pledge to defend every job. He is acting for the bosses and not for the workers. Socialism, not a business plan, is the only way out of the crisis. Union leaders like Woodley who have become cheerleaders for the bosses must be sacked and replaced by leaders who fight for the real interests of the working class."