The uneven mixing of business and politics is nothing new. Bloodthirsty lobbyists representing corporate power always find their way onto a politician’s shoulders, and now they have found an easy path in the 2016 elections with Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush.
Bush’s foreign policy team is obviously enough made up of officials who served in his father’s and brother’s administrations — consultants, lobbyists, lawyers and corporate board members for big business eager to influence the next president.
"Former government officials who are now in the private sector, there are concerns about what you are going to get [with their advice]," said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption.
"Are they representing the taxpayer and are they promoting government interests and what’s in the best interest of taxpayers?" Amey said. "Or now that they wear a hat that’s outside of public service, at that point are they just going to be promoting interests that favor special interests or their clients?"
And that is exactly the worrisome takeaway with Bush’s team: who do they really care about? The American public or corporations who exploit the working people and destroy our environment? If Bush wins in 2016 (oh please, no) these men will have a helping hand in influencing defense spending and forging deals with foreign governments that will surely benefit their clients at the expense of others.
More defense spending means greater profit for companies who manufacture weaponry, and smooth relations between foreign governments and corporations that could (most likely) grant these companies contracts to drill oil or build gas-emitting industries — something many local residents would oppose.
We already experience corporate interests consistently represented in our government today with bailouts and subsidies. What we really need in 2016 is a progressive system that reverses this pattern of business before people.