Let me finish tonight by addressing the challenge Bob Schieffer of CBS News issued to the White House this Sunday: “Is that the best you can do? Bob was challenging David Axelrod on the White House charge that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was using money it raises from overseas to finance Republican political campaigns. So why “is” it so darned important to the average voter out there that multi-national corporations, some of them based outside the U.S., have their fingers in this election? How about this? It’s the central economic issue of our times. Look how the giant corporations get their profit margins up these days! Are they out there selling hot new products every consumer wants to get their hands on? Or are they doing the job by cost-cutting, cutting down on the number of employees for whom they have to pay those tiresome health packages, those costly pension and 401k plans? Are they doing it through those highly-celebrated “productivity gains,” by substituting robotics for people, outsourcing to cheaper vendors overseas, over to where the price of labor is dirt cheap. That’s the way to go these days: Cut out unnecessary American employees. Don’t let a recession go to waste. Use it as a great time to get rid of people. No wonder the multi-nationals want to give to candidates who love to deregulate, love so-called free markets, love tax structures that leave them as free as possible to continue doing what they’re doing: the kind of free-wheeling cost-cutting that meets the quarterly bottom line. No wonder the U.S. Chamber is such a popular lobbying body for the multi-national operation, in whatever country it happens to currently find the best haven. No matter it’s a convenient way for international business types to land its chubby finger on the scale. So the right answer to “Is that the best you can do?” is “Is this the best America can do? It’s about jobs. And if it’s all the president and his people can talk about this election season, all I can say is keep talking. You’ve finally found you’re electoral finger on the “pulse” of this country. It’s about the economy.
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