OCT 16 - 31, 2003




The Bush Administration’s Actions Directly Parallel A Hostile Corporate Takeover

by Samuel A. Stanson

OCTOBER 27, 2003 – Publicly-held corporations know to keep profits low and cash-on-hand at an absolute minimum.

Why?  Because if there is a nice cash profit each year or there is a lot of cash in the company’s coffers, they become a prime target for what is called a hostile corporate takeover.

You see, all that cash sitting around and cash income becomes a target that is too inviting to pass up.  And so predators undertake hostile takeovers, purchasing a majority share – against the will of the current ownership – of the company’s stock.  They do this by offering an excessively high price for the shares, and so get enough small stock holders to sell out, giving them a majority share.

Why would they overpay for the stock?  Well, here is how the scam goes.

As soon as they get control of the company, the first thing they do is take all the money sitting around in the company coffers and stick it directly in their pockets and the pockets of their co-investors.

Next, they look at the company’s assets and see what else they can sell off or use to put cash in their pockets.  They spin-off, sell-off, and then, when the company is just a skeleton of what it once was, they sell off the remainder by selling off their stock.  This puts money on top of all the other money they just made.

Remember the movie Pretty Woman?  Richard Gere’s character made his fortune by buying up companies, selling off all assets that could put cash in his pocket., and then selling what was left over.  That is exactly what we are talking about – that is the textbook hostile takeover.

Now, look at what Bush/Cheney and company did.

The nation had a surplus – a lot of money sitting around in the company’s coffers.  It also had a high profit – excess tax revenues over expenditures.

So, they decided to try and take over the company (i.e. American corporation) so that they could loot the coffers, line their pockets, exploit any other assets that might bring them profits, leaving the country but a skeleton of what it was.

It was no secret.  George Bush said himself during the debates three different times that the President was a “Chief Executive Officer,” and that he was qualified because he had experience in different capacities as a CEO.

He also was clear that if elected, he would take all of the money sitting in the country’s coffers and hand it directly to his co-investors (i.e. campaign supporters,) the rich people who had each given him the max allowed by campaign finance laws, knowing they would get more than that by far returned via the tax cuts.

As President Bush said during the second Presidential debate in St. Louis on October 17, 2000:

MODERATOR: Governor -- yeah, hold on one second here, though. The governor just reversed the thing. What do you say specifically to what the vice president said tonight, he said it many, many times, that your tax cut benefits the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans, and you've heard what he said.

BUSH: Of course it does.

In addition, he made it clear that he wasn’t just going to take all of the cash and profits – the surplus, as it was called – and stick it in the hands of his rich investors, but that he was going to tap all possible resources to line his co-investors’ pockets, such as the Arctic Wildlife Preserve he promised to drill in, or the pricey pollution control regulations he promised to roll back, putting cash directly into his buddies’ hands.

So, as with most attempted takeovers, first, they tried to do it the nice way.  As a company would make an offer to purchase a majority share in a direct, decent manner, the Bush/Cheney ticket made an attempt to win the election in a legal, democratic manner.

However, as when cash-loaded companies rebuff the takeover offers of predatory would-be purchasers, the American people did not give in and go along.

So, the Bush/Cheney ticket did what any takeover CEO would do, resort to a hostile takeover.  That’s, quite simply, what Florida was all about.

And as soon as they got in control, the hostile takeover successful, they did what all hostile takeover artists do:  ignoring the things that are vital to the company’s (i.e. country’s) survival, such as world affairs and national security, they set about instead with a single-minded focus on putting all of the surplus cash and profits in their pockets and the pockets of their co-investors by making sure their tax cut went through.

Then, instead of getting back to taking care of the vital functions of the company (i.e. country,) they looked at all the other possible cash-producing assets, and, still ignoring things like world affairs (i.e. vital company functions,) pushed things like drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Preserve, reductions in pricey (asthma-preventing) pollution controls, backed out of the Kyoto global warming treaty, putting yet more cash in their co-investors’ pockets, rolled back arsenic rules, ergonomic rules for the workplace, etc., etc…

But even that wasn’t enough.  They were still in control of the company, and there was lots more cash to be had.  Iraq sat there a bounty of wealth beyond anything they could ever dream of – the second largest oil reserves in the world, and largely untapped.

I don’t need to go on further, we all know the rest of the story.  Remaining perfectly clear about their intentions by immediately, during the very first week of the current Iraq war, giving Dick Cheney’s old (and still current) company Halliburton billions of dollars in contracts (no-other bidders allowed,) the Bush team has lined their pockets and those of their co-investors (i.e. campaign financers) with the company’s (i.e. country’s) money even before they get to loot the immeasurable wealth of Iraq’s oil reserves.

The parallels between what this administration has done and a simple hostile corporate takeover are absolutely clear and indisputable.  These CEO’s (i.e. Bush, Cheney, and friends, who each were CEO’s before they ran for President) saw the country’s excess cash-on-hand and high profit margin, as well as other potentially cash producing assets, and so rounded up a group of investors – putting together more money than anyone ever imagined possible – and initiated a hostile takeover.

The returns have been massive, the devastation to the company (i.e. country) massive.  Yet, they are not done.

No, there is a lot more cash to be had – in particular, the massive oil reserves of Iraq have not been tapped and, more importantly, contracted out yet.  And so the investors’ cash continues to pour in, hundreds of millions of dollars, unprecedented cash, so that they can maintain the hostile takeover until this last, massive payoff occurs.

Now that we have put the re-election bid in its proper context, people can begin to assess whether or not they want to support the continuation of this hostile takeover or if they, in fact, care to change course for the sake of ensuring the company’s (i.e. country’s) survival.  Taking the money and running is an option, and for those who get enough the remaining condition of the nation won’t matter much.

But for those who might actually care to prevent the nation from being a flesh-torn skeleton of what it was, decimated and broke, having been raped and robbed by the piratic Bush/Cheney-led corporate raiders, you get one more crack at things in the coming year.  But make no mistake, it will be a hostile campaign you will confront in attempting to save your company (i.e. country.)





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