Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
>> remember a few weeks back when house oversight committee chairman darryl issa asked 150 corporations for help on what to target to deregulate. basically asking them, what can i do for you? well, they responded. big time. so far issa has refused to release their responses, but 33 companies responded to a request for citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington. so we have a sample of their wishlist. the american chemistry council wants issa to crackdown on a recent proposal to increase the epa standards on boilers and incinerators. those regulations would cut down on pollutants that are harmful to children. who doesn’t want more pollute at that particular times that are particularly harmful to children. then there’s a national multihousing council. who doesn’t like the epa safety regulations that prevent contractors from releasing lead-based paint into the air during home renovations. so they say the renovations pose a major obstacle to housing market recovery. more lead for everybody. and the flamability test for children’s mat tress. so your kids could be pumped up full of pollutants, and poisoned by lead paint but it wouldn’t matter because they could be sleeping on mattresses that can burst into flames. you do need a careful balance of safety for the public and efficiency for business. but in this case, the republicans are only listening to the companies whose soul interest is in making more money. the less regulations there are, the more money they make. 20 regulations, health care retirement benefits, financial reform, and environmental regulation. these guys are against ceos having to disclose their earnings, they don’t want protections for whistleblowers and they really don’t like the regulation of greenhouse gases and the gop is working hard to appease these guys. a bill to eliminate epa regulations of car emissions. lovely. two representatives released the following statement, we firmly believe that federal bureaucrats should not be unilaterally setting the climate change policy. of course not. it should be left up to big business. joining me now is david sirota, author of “the uprising.” the republican part, how bought are they? 80%, 90% or 100%?
>> that’s an impossible question. but one thing, cenk, give darryl issa credit, right? he came out and was honest about how the system works. i mean, i’m saying that a little tongue and cheek, but here’s the thing. he came out and said listen, big money interests, you want to buy policy, here’s how you buy it. you tell me exactly what you want and we’re going to try to deliver. and the problem with this is really in a process way is usually what’s happened in the past is industries hood to come to the government and testify and tell us what they wanted. now he’s doing it through this letter-writing situation where the public won’t necessarily know who’s asking for the policy when it ultimately fits into the bill that the republicans offer.
>> how do they do it? i guess they do it with the money, right? they get the money from the industry guys, they run for office and pretend to be for president people and turn around and say okay, how do i pay you back? how do we let people know these guys aren’t an your side. you have to suffer pollution in your local area or whatever. it’s for the guys who pay their bills.
>> i think the public knows that in a general sense. i think the public is rightly suspicious of congress, rightly suspicious — every poll shows suspicion of money and politics. but every time a story like this comes out, it reiterates just how grandular it really is, legislating different lines, different regulations of bills. it’s important to continue highlighting this to reiterate that money, as you suggest, money buys things in politics, just like it buys things in the rest of the economy.
>> real quick, david. do you think they’re going to be successful? they’re going after the epa hard. how successful do you think they might be?
>> i think if the democrats roll over– and that’s a huge if right now — the president is focussing on being, quote, unquote, pro business. that may be the president tries to appease the republicans, schilling iffer their big money interests, and we may see that come to fruition when it comes to epa policy making.
>> let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but i’m a little worried.
>> david sirota, thank you for