Big business is counting its blessings -- and anticipating more -- in the wake of President Bush's re-election.You can see where the welfare of the people falls in such an agenda, right?
The Bush administration had already proved itself to business in its first term when it enacted three rounds of tax cuts, eased environmental regulation, filled cabinet agencies with business-friendly appointments, and backed legislation to boost domestic energy production. Now, many companies and industries expect specific gains from new federal policies and programs, and the Republican Party's stronger hand in Congress will mean that those legislative proposals will face relatively fewer hurdles.
In the next four years, drug makers, health-care companies and financial-service concerns expect to benefit from Bush efforts to rein in legal costs and extend dividend and capital-gains tax cuts. Wall Street companies are looking for a flood of new investment if Mr. Bush succeeds in opening the Social Security system to privately owned accounts. Fast-food chains are less worried about a higher minimum wage and auto makers about tighter fuel-economy standards -- both areas where a Kerry administration planned to make changes.
Many industries invested heavily in the Bush campaign as much to avert a victory by Sen. John Kerry as to help ensure four more years for Mr. Bush. Health-care and drug companies contributed $26 million to Mr. Bush and the Republican Party, knowing the Massachusetts Democrat planned to have the federal government bargain directly with drug makers on Medicare prices and allow drug imports from Canada.
While Congressional Democrats will probably continue their push for such measures, Mr. Bush's victory, along with Republican gains in the House and Senate, greatly diminish the Democrats' chances.
UPDATE: An iteresting tidbit from the above article also provides a hint about what another four more years of the empty flight suit will bring:
"This was a meaningful mandate, and we can expect aggressive action on the Bush agenda," said Tom Gallagher, a Washington policy analyst for ISI Group, a New York investment firm. Mr. Gallagher's company put together a "Bush index" of stocks and industries that would be expected to do well in a second term; they include health care, insurance, defense, energy and utilities.
... Mr. Gallagher reasons that Mr. Bush's combative foreign policy would lead to "increasing short-term geopolitical risk ... causing some investors to seek protection" in gold.