The American Legislative Exchange Council has one heck of an agenda for 2014, and it all centers around one idea – profit over people. ALEC will meet this week in Washington, DC, for its “States and Nation Policy Summit.” The event is a closed-door conference headlined by Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Ron Johnson, where ALEC will push their “model legislation” for 2014. And, all of these “model bills” focus on putting corporate profits and power ahead of the American people.
For example, ALEC will push the so-called “Public Employee Choice Act” - which is just a clever name for legislation that is effectively a “right to work FOR LESS” bill for public employees. When they're done attacking workers, ALEC will move on to students, and push for the continued destruction of our public schools. The council is offering a number of different model education bills for next year, but they all focus on funneling money out of our public school system and into for-profit charter schools and online universities.
Of course, no ALEC conference would be complete without proposing huge cuts to our social safety net – like a Medicaid block grant program that would cut as much as 75 percent from low-income healthcare programs. And, just to round out the entire pro-corporate, anti-American event – ALEC will offer up a few ways to weaken environmental protections so that corporations can drill and pollute and dump without restriction.
This is just a portion of the so-called “model legislation” that ALEC will offer this week, but it's more than enough to figure out who they really represent. The American Legislative Exchange Council gives corporate lobbyists unfettered access to our elected leaders, so that lawmakers know just what their corporate masters want. As long as politicians are bought and paid for, organizations like ALEC will continue to have dangerous influence over the legislation that effects us all. It's time to remind our lawmakers who it is that they work for, and put an end to the corporate control of Congress once and for all.
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.