Center for American Progress

Special Interest Takeover – Center for American Progress
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Special Interest Takeover – Center for American Progress

SPECIAL INTEREST TAKEOVER

Special interests have launched a sweeping assault on protections for public health, safety, the environment, and corporate responsibility – and unfortunately the Bush administration has given way. Crucial safeguards have been swept aside or watered down; emerging problems are being ignored; and enforcement efforts have been curtailed, threatening to render existing standards meaningless.

This agenda puts special interests above the public interest, sacrificing a safer, healthier, more just America at the behest of industry lobbyists, corporate campaign contributors, and professional ideologues – many of whom the president has appointed to “regulate” the very interests they used to represent.

Over the last 30 years, we have made significant progress through strong public safeguards. Our air and water are cleaner, our food, workplaces, and roads are safer, and corporations and government are more open and accountable to the public. These protections have saved thousands upon thousands of lives and improved the quality of life for all Americans – without hobbling industry or the economy.

Nonetheless, significant problems remain. Every year, more than 40,000 people die on our nation’s highways. Foodborne illnesses kill an estimated 7,000 and sicken 76 million. Nearly 6,000 workers die as a result of injury on the job, with an additional 50,000 to 60,000 killed by occupational disease. And asthma – linked to air pollution – is rising dramatically, afflicting 17 million, including six million children.

We should address these problems by building on past successes. Instead, the Bush administration has reversed course. For complete details, please continue.

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