A few weeks ago I lauded Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) for promising to halt fundraising activities while he served on the supercommittee. Well…as it happens, Upton only decided to stop scheduling new fundraising events, but continued accepting fundraising dollars. This means that Upton accepted $45,000 from oil companies in the last quarter alone. Add other energy companies and the number jumps to $60,900. During the same period, Fred’s Republican supercommittee colleague, Rep. Dave Camp (also Mich., sorry to say) put his numbers in the shade, raising $71,000 in oil money. With other energy companies included, Camp’s total soared to $83,750.
At that rate, Upton would pull down nearly a quarter million dollars from energy companies this year alone—and Camp would pocket almost a third of a million. In case you’re curious, you can see Upton’s public donations record here and Camp’s here [h/t OpenSecrets].
Here’s an outlandish guess for the months to come: Expect Upton and Camp to repeatedly shake their heads, throw up their hands, and explain that we’re “broke” and simply can’t spend money on health care for low-income children or the elderly. Expect them to moan that the money’s just not there for us to rebuild our infrastructure and schools. Expect them to insist that we’ll just have to do without clean air and water, since regulating pollution would cost too damned much. Expect them to claim that the country’s (non-corporate) citizens will have to make do with less government support because we can’t afford programs that support a decent community life.
Those billions we blow on tax subsidies for oil companies? Those (nearly) countless dollars of yearly government money that take corporate oil profits from extreme to full-blown obscene? Well, somehow those particular programs avoided the supercommittee’s cutting room floor. Can’t imagine how. Still, America’s (corporate) citizens are extra special.
Sorry, kids! Sorry, grandparents! Sorry, middle class! Maybe you guys should have thought to toss a few hundred thousand bones at the supercommittee while it was “deliberating!” Rubes.