By Joe Sims
The broadening character of the movement against right-wing extremism rose to a new level yesterday as Barack Obama held an economic summit in Washington DC, attended by former Republican officials including Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neal and Securities and Exchange Commissioner William Donaldson. The meeting was entitled “Economic Security for American Families” and was held against a backdrop of the IMF saying the US economic crisis is ongoing with inflation at its highest level in 17 years, a record deficit along with a loss of 62,000 jobs in June according to the BBC.
O'Neal, who angrily broke with Bush over the Iraq war and other issues is known to be close to none other than Dick Cheney and Alan Greenspan. With a former author of the right-wing Contract on America endorsing Obama, a broad multi-class coalition of the US people is forming to oppose Bush and now John McCain, who is lurching rightward on affirmative action, tax cuts for the rich and off-shore drilling.
The super-rich it seems are also fed up with Bush feeling the Republican cabal has bankrupted the country. On a recent talk show on Bloomberg radio an investment councilor for the wealthy expressed the disgust and worry of big business at the Bush administration policies that are viewed as wrecking the economy.
Obama at the meeting pointed to the existence of an economic “emergency.” The gathering was also attended by AFL-CIO and Change to Win officials John Sweeny and Anna Burger.
The BBC suggest that former Treasury Secretary and Harvard President Larry Summers favors nationalization of some banks. “Mr Summers argues that the US government should nationalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, assuming their $6 trillion debt and begin a rapid programme of aid for households facing foreclosure.”
Labor the BBC report says is against new trade deals than don't include union rights, while big capital is resisting. “Trade unions argue that the US should not sign any new trade deals that do not have clauses protecting workers' rights, while Mr Rubin believes that a descent into protectionism would exacerbate the world economic slowdown.”
Here's a list of who attended from the democraticunderground as reported by NBC's Chuck Todd and NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli:
Bill Bradley, former US senator, managing director of Allen & Company;Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer, SEIU; Jon Corzine, governor of New Jersey; William Daley, former Commerce secretary, JP Morgan Chase; James Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase; William Donaldson, SEC chairman, 2003-2005; Indra Nooyi, chairman of PepsiCo; Paul O'Neill, former Treasury secretary, Blackstone Group, Alcoa special Adviser; Federico Peña, former Energy and Transportation secretary, Vestar Capital Partners; Penny Pritzker, CEO of Classic Residence by Hyatt; Robert Reich, former Labor secretary, professor at the University of California (Berkeley); Robert Rubin, former Treasury secretary, Citigroup; Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google; William Spriggs, economics professor and chairman of the department at Howard University; Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary and former president of Harvard; John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO; Laura Tyson, former chairman of Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers; Paul Volcker, former Fed chairman.