Vice President Cheney is a striking example of crony capitalism (the use of government power and public resources to create private profits for politically connected insiders). This sort of corruption has been all too common in American history, but there is an exceptional shamelessness and insolence in the way Cheney goes about it.
After serving as secretary of defense under Bush Sr. from 1989-93, and two years at the American Enterpise Institute, Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, a major defense contractor, from 1995-2000. His 2000 income from Halliburton was $36 million including a $20 million retirement bonus. He earned it. During his tenure, Halliburton's government-insured loans increased 2000 percent and its government contracts by 91 percent. Although Cheney said in 2003 that "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now for over three years," he continues to collect deferred compensation worth approximately $150,000 a year, and retains more than $18 million in stock options.