making it clear once again,

only welfare programs for corporations are moral in the American political ethos

Could they make the nexus any more clear?

A special government board earlier this week rejected a $1.8 billion loan guarantee request by troubled United Airlines. On friday, House Speaker Dennis Hastert blasted the move to deny a federal bailout of a major employer in his home state of Illinois.

"This is clearly a wrongheaded decision for our nation's economy on so many grounds," Hastert said in an usually strongly worded statement.

Hastert, a Republican, led a high-profile lobbying campaign on behalf of Chicago-based United, which employs 83,000 people and could be headed for bankruptcy court in the coming days.

He discussed the matter with President Bush and his senior economic advisers, including ousted Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, in the weeks before Wednesday's decision by the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.

The only surprise is the government's initial rejection of the request, especially in the face of such pressures. Yes, the issues are complex, the good guys are not facing off neatly against the bad guys, and the story isn't over yet. We can be certain however that the big money will make the decision in the end, and most of the messiness will not be visible to us.

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Published on December 6, 2002 7:13 PM.

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