June 29, 2002
By Bridget Gibson
It seems that every day the money situation gets a little
murkier. Money rolls in but pours out. At least that's the
way it feels for the average person. Actually, mine seems
to trickle in and pour out. In Washington, D.C., they
worry about leaks. If I were their weather forecaster, I believe
that I would tell them that there are some mighty big clouds
in the sky.
This week MCI WorldCom decided to come clean about their
dirty laundry. It was a whale of an "error," a $3.8 billion
error. Now how do you suppose they could have misplaced so
much money? I get excited when I find a dollar washing out
with my dirty laundry. Imagine if I found $3.8 billion!
In their disclosure, they said that this "mis-accounting"
occurred in the past five quarters. Well, quarters are something
that I understand, so I checked my calendar and came up with
a date for the beginning of their inability to keep track
of their dollars: Since the current quarter will end in five
days, the accounting for it has yet to be done - so we canšt
count "this" quarter. Checking the quarterly calendar for
the past five quarters takes us back to January 1, 2001.
Bad girl that I am, I have to start thinking about the changes
that occurred in January of 2001. I come up with a very big
change for that month. That was the month and the year that
George W. Bush took his oath of office. The oath that said
he would uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.
(Well, George has taken a few oaths in his life. He took
an oath when he was at Yale to the uber-secret fraternity
Skull and Bones. I wonder if that was a lifetime oath or only
a college thing? I have also wondered how seriously he took
the oath of the Presidency, but that is another question.)
Let's go back to MCI WorldCom and January of 2001. During
the election cycle of 2000, MCI WorldCom was a very active
contributor. It was so active that it made a list. No, not
a shopping list (although it may have had a wish list of regulations
that it wanted from its stable of politicians). The list that
I refer to is available for the viewing at the CorpWatch Website
- a list of the top twenty corporations with consumer brands
that contributed to the Republican Party for the 2000 elections.
MCI WorldCom was number 7 on this list. On June 19, 2002,
when George Bush raised $30 million in soft money for the
GOP, MCI WorldCom gave $100,000 and was listed on the program
as a vice chairman of the event.
Something is inherently wrong with this scenario. Enron was
George Bush's number one contributor. It is now bankrupt.
Its top executives have lined their past and future nests
and face little scrutiny for their misdeeds. Arthur Andersen
was George Bush's number two contributor and is now defunct.
Only one corporate executive has been charged with criminal
proceedings and the rest will probably have few fears of a
changed future. Now we have MCI WorldCom, the number 7 contributor
following in their steps.
What about the real losers of all of this money? What about
the workers whose pensions and livelihoods were looted? What
about the stockholders whose portfolios now hold worthless
paper and those whose 401Ks and retirements are now in jeopardy?
You no longer hear the Republicans spouting off about "privatizing"
Social Security, do you? Well, it's still in their box of
What does this administration care about? Remember what Poppy
Bush said about the recession his administration (1991) caused:
"It won't affect my grandchildren." And when young George
was campaigning for President in 2000, remember that he said
"I'm gonna pick up where my daddy left off."
How can we have a government that seems unconcerned when
1,700,000 people have lost their jobs since January 2001?
This does not pass the smell test for me. It appears that
George brought a pile to put in the living room of the White
House, and it wasn't just money.