Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Pipelines stored on the side of the street in Brooklyn on February 28, 2020. (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'The Corruption Is on Full Display: Trump Executive Order Directs All Agencies to Gut Business Regulations Amid Covid-19

"Trump's corporate-friendly executive order aimed at rolling back even more regulations that protect the public is just the latest sign that his solution to the pandemic is the opposite of what the public needs."

Jake Johnson

In a move watchdog groups decried as an effort to reward big corporations at the expense of public health and safety, President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order directing the heads of every federal agency to "waive, suspend, and eliminate" all regulations that they consider unnecessary obstacles to economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

"Instead of real, direct help for the tens of millions of Americans struggling financially due to the pandemic, or a real plan to reopen the economy safely based on the best public health expertise, Trump wants to keep giving handouts to corporate interests."
—Robert Weissman, Public Citizen

"And we want to leave it that way," Trump said during a press briefing, indicating he would like to make the sweeping deregulation permanent. The president's order could have enormous implications for workplace safety rules, environmental and labor policy, consumer protections, food and drug regulations, and more.

Robert Weissman, president Public Citizen, said the executive order shows that "instead of real, direct help for the tens of millions of Americans struggling financially due to the pandemic, or a real plan to reopen the economy safely based on the best public health expertise, Trump wants to keep giving handouts to corporate interests."

"Trump's corporate-friendly executive order aimed at rolling back even more regulations that protect the public is just the latest sign that his solution to the pandemic is the opposite of what the public needs," said Weissman. "The corruption of this administration is on full display as it uses this crisis as an excuse to further its corporate agenda while distracting the public from its utter failure to fight the virus."

Trump's deregulatory push amid the Covid-19 pandemic is a continuation of his administration's policy of hacking away at as many restrictions on big business as possible prior to the crisis.

As Common Dreams reported, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency has already used the coronavirus pandemic to suspend reporting rules and other requirements for the fossil fuel industry, which green groups warned gives oil companies "a green light" to pollute the nation's air and water with impunity.

The president's executive order instructs agency heads to "determine which, if any, [deregulatory actions] would promote economic recovery if made permanent," giving the EPA and other agencies the go-ahead to indefinitely lift regulations on big polluters and other corporations.

"Remember when the EPA got all 'how dare you' about anyone saying their rollbacks were permanent? Well, now there's an executive order that makes them so," tweeted climate journalist Amy Westervelt. "There will be many, many more. Oil and gas royalties? Bye. Restrictions on offshore drilling? Buh-bye. This is unbelievably bad, reckless, and a complete fuck-you to democracy."

While Trump presented his administration's sweeping assault on regulations as an attempt to accelerate economic recovery from the coronavirus emergency, economists have disputed the longstanding right-wing notion that deregulation necessarily boosts activity and growth.

"This sounds exactly like the type of opportunistic political move that absolutely should not be attempted right now," Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the Washington Post last month. "Correlations between regulations and economic activity are far shakier than they assume, and I don't believe this idea will help at all."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·


'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo