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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-31-01

Bush's Picks: A Cabinet that looks like Radical Right America - Part III

As for Washington experience, O'Neill was deputy director of the Office of Management & Budget under President Ford, after which he headed International Paper--known to be a polluter. He supports a balanced federal budget. He supports Bush's 1.6 trillion-dollar tax cut plan. He's a Washington insider, counting Dick Cheney, Alan Greenspan, and George Schultz among his friends. He is chair of the board of trustees of the RAND Corp., which specializes in national security. He also serves on the board of several conservative think tanks. "It's not a small matter that a corporate person like that is moving into the secretary of the treasury slot," says Rudolph Ryser of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an Olympia, Washington think tank. As the main stockholder, the U.S. calls the shots at the international financial institutions: "In effect you determine global economic financial policy," says Ryser. Expect more Seattle-type protests.

Office of Management & Budget, Mitchell Daniels, Jr.
Another corporate insider lacking experience in financial policy making, he was senior VP for Corporate Strategy and Policy for Eli Lilly & Co. pharmaceuticals. He joined the company in 1990. Daniels wants to maintain research and development funding for drug companies (again, corporate welfare) but he has no experience in budgetary matters and no tax experience. Two of the things he'll be doing in his job are drafting the national budget and dealing with tax issues. He will be working, like all George II's economic advisors, on Medicare and Social Security privatization. Daniels served as chief of political strategy under Reagan and headed the conservative Hudson Institute. Daniels is a graduate of Dan Quayle's VP campaign.

Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, Lawrence Lindsey
A defender of Reagonomics, Lindsey has been a long-time tax-cut advocate. He drafted George II's tax cut plan and his plan to reform Social Security by creating individual investment accounts. (No captive of consistency, he pulled all his money out of the U.S. stock market when it hit 8500, according to the Washington Post. He has argued, also according to the Post, that a federal tax-cut plan cannot be implemented in time to affect a recession. But expect him to argue the reverse just as well. He'll pull the economic strings. He's also a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Secretary of Education, Rod Paige
Paige sailed through hearings on his confirmation as--the first African American to hold the job. He has his Ph.D. in Physical Education, was head football coach at Utica Jr. College and Jackson State University. He coached and taught at Texas Southern University. As Houston's School Superintendent, he raised test scores, downsized administration, devolved authority to individual schools, and granted charters to religious organizations under what critics say was a massively undermonitored system. At the Senate hearing, Paige emphasized his key issues: literacy, school safety, accountability (i.e., testing, testing, and testing). On school vouchers, he claims to sit on the fence.

Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tommy Thompson
As governor, Thompson was the architect of Wisconsin's welfare reform, one of the nation's first. His was the first state to ask the federal agency for permission to put a time limit on welfare benefits--later a critical part of the 1996 federal welfare law. His program features some carrots: money for child care, health insurance, and job training, but plenty of stick: withholding cash benefits to parents whose kids skip school, to women who have babies while on welfare, and to unmarried parents.

At HSS, Thompson will oversee Title X, the nation's oldest family planning program, which serve some 4.5 million women a year (many of them young, poor and dependent on Title X funded clinics.) Moreover, he'd ov

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