Campaign Kick-Off Speech
(Given by Phil T. Rich before the Billionaires Ball on January, 31, 2004)
Let's hear it for the DON'T stop shopping DON'T stop bombing choir!
And our very own let-other-people-go-Hungry March Band.
Good evening, esteemed ladies and gentlemen, I'm Phil, Phil T. Rich — then again — who here isn't?
And this is the lovely Texy Money Honey...
It is a great privilege to be here today. Like you, of course, I'm used to privilege, so that's no biggie. But it's more than a privilege, it's also an honor to be here-and hell of a lot of fun.
I trust you're having a great time.
We have the band, the choir, the ice sculpture, rich food, rich company, some very rich companies, a full bar — Iona, did you get yourself a Harvey Warmonger? Those Corporate Pigs in a Security Blanket are terrific... What fabulous bounty, what excess, we enjoy tonight!
And who do we have to thank for this? Ourselves, of course. Probably, the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement, but also, and above all: President George Walker Bush. Our best friend in Washington. And arguably, the best friend we billionaires have ever had in Washington.
He's been there for us. And now we need to be there for him.
Billionaires! Multi-millionaires! Aspiring multi-millionaires! And all other people of wealth gathered here today!
I call upon you...
This is our hour. This is our moment. Today we launch our great campaign.
For too long we have ruled the country from behind closed limo doors. But today we come out. Today, we face America and face ourselves. And we have nothing to be ashamed of. We run this country-and we do a damn good job of it.
All the others have come out-the blacks, the women, the gays, even the mothers-and today, it's time for us to come out too And show the world who we REALLY are.
We are the Billionaires for Bush.
We are the CEOs who make 280 times the pay of an average worker.
We are the 1% who own more than 40% of the wealth in this great land!
We are the 10% who hold 88% of the value of all stocks and mutual funds owned by households.
We are the 10% who give 90% of the campaign contributions!
We are the Pioneers, and Rangers, and the as yet unnamed category of fundraisers who bundle together $100,000, $200,000 and now $500,000 in contributions for George Bush's campaign coffers.
We are a who's who of corporate America and we are organized!
We are the Billionaires for Bush.
And we are on a mission — a mission to re-appoint George Walker Bush as President of the United States of America (copyright pending).
To those who say Big Money should be kept out of politics, I say show me where in the Constitution it calls for a separation of cash and state!
In fact, there is no better business than politics. And in George Bush's America, not only is the business of business business, but the business of politics is business, and I don't need to tell you, business has been good — for us.
Generally, you're pretty happy if a mutual fund returns 20%. But in the high-yield, low-risk world of legislation, you can expect returns on your dollar of 50,000% or more!
Just look at these numbers. Cue the first slide, please. [slide : "Legislation"]
In 2002 & 3 Halliburton spent a paltry $2.4 million in campaign contributions for Iraqi logistics contracts worth $2.3 billion-the return on their investment: 98,000 percent!
For $44 million in campaign contributions, the Pharmaceutical Industry were able to secure a Medicare Reform Bill that included a Prescription Drug Benefits package worth almost $140 billion in increased profits-that's an incredible 316,000 percent return on their investment.
If you can get this kind of return when you buy a bunch of congressmen, just imagine what you get when you buy the President.
And we are buying the President. To the tune of $200 million.
Look around you ladies and gentlemen.
THIS (gesturing in a sweep towards the crowd) is what plutocracy looks like. Suh-weet!
THIS IS WHAT PLUTOCRACY LOOKS LIKE ! (chant)
This IS what plutocracy looks like. And from here it looks good.
But we must remain ever vigilant.
Because once again the poor, and the so-called "working" class, and a few renegade class traitors like George Soros, are conspiring to elect a president who will pander to the special interests of ordinary Americans. They have initiated a campaign to blame the corporate world, OUR corporate world, for THEIR substandard wages, illiteracy, deficient health, crumbling tenements, filthy air and water, short vacations, and incarcerated youth.
Will we stand for this? NO!
And I wonder: do those who blame the corporations — those who drag us through the courts, expose our accounting practices, jam our shining logos, mar our seamless billboards — do they ever stop to think: corporations are people too?
No, I don't believe they do.
And so, to show our compassion — our conservative compassion — in the face of man's inhumanity to his fellow corporations, let us take a moment of silence, so that we will never forget the greatest Supreme Court decision ever, the 1886 Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific, which enshrined in U.S. law the principle of legal personhood for corporations. Out of respect for our very origins, out of a deep reverence for the fount of our wealth, power and limited liability-a moment of silence. Gentlemen, your bowler hats please.
Let us also never forget what a staunch defender of these same sacred corporate prerogatives President Bush has been.
And what a good friend he's been to the super-wealthy.
Over the last three years he has served us exquisitely, and we must stand with him now.
He drastically reduced our share of the tax burden.
He made it possible for us to pass on our huge fortunes to our children, tax-free!
In a masterful act of creative austerity, he shackled the federal government with such deficits that no new spending programs will be viable for decades to come.
He liberated our oil reserves, which were somehow trapped under two Arab nations.
And he freed us from the green jackboot of the Kyoto Protocol.
George Bush understands our concerns — and he delivers.
He likes us. And he's like us. Just like us.
And so — could we all help the President come forward now please — I hereby enjoin all billionaires assembled at this illustrious gathering and all those watching on C-Span across this great nation — from Grosse Pointe to Greenwich, from Manhattan to Malibu — to place one hand on your warm heart and another on your cold cash and endorse, with unprecedented enthusiasm, George Walker Bush for President of the United States of America (copyright pending)!
Stay the Course!
what you pay
Give 'em a listen!
(Website requires Flash Player 8)
Watch the archives on the I.N.N. website, including a clip show of the first season,
Social Insecurity Calculator
See how much privatization will cost
taxpayers while we