Mokhiber: A question to change the subject for a second about the
President's political philosophy.
A couple of months ago, Business Week magazine did a poll which found
that three-quarters of the American people believe that "business had
gained too much power over their lives."
And in an editorial, Business Week called on corporations to "get out
Now, this reminded me of something I read by George Orwell, who defined
fascism as an economy in which the government serves the interests of
oligopolies, a state in which large corporations have the powers that in
a democracy belong to the citizenry.
My question is, does the President agree with three-quarters of the
American people that "business has gained too much power over their
lives" and with the editorial that they should "get out of politics"?
Fleischer: The President believes that in this nation we are all in our
economy together. I'm reminded of the old adage that you can't be for
employees if you are against employers. The President knows that to keep
our economy strong, to make sure that the American people have jobs and
high paying jobs, we need to work together in a balanced approach that
protects consumers, that protects workers, and helps business.
Mokhiber: Ari, did you see the lead editorial in USA Today this
Fleischer: Do you really want to make me answer that question on the
Mokhiber: It's titled "More Public Drilling? Let's Collect Bills
First." It says that the President has recommended more public drilling
on public lands, but there is a history of these big oil companies not
paying the royalties. So, over the past couple of years Shell Oil has
paid $110 million in penalties these are penalties Chevron $95
million, ExxonMobil $52 million.
The editorial says "let's collect from the oil companies before we open
up to more drilling."
Does the President agree?
Fleischer: The President is working on the development of the national
energy policy, He has directed a cabinet level review to be chaired by
Vice President Cheney as you know. And they are taking a look at how
best to develop America's energy resources, to promote conservation, to
take the steps necessary to secure America's supply of energy,
particularly as we head into the travel season over the summer.
Mokhiber: What about the oil companies ripping off the government?
(Fleischer goes to another question)