When I was state leader of a large veteran’s organization, I made some attempts to get the Chamber of Commerce to be more inclusive and allow veterans organizations to become Chamber members for a nominal fee. I was somewhat puzzled that the idea hit a stonewall.
Now that I reflect on the Chamber I am very disturbed! Why would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce rate and support liberal Democrats more than most conservative Republicans? Very simply, it is because the Chamber has bought whole-heartedly into the idea that business needs to be a partner with — and encourage — big government. The tax and spend big government that plunged the United States so deeply into the abyss that unfunded liabilities and national debt exceed $205 trillion. That’s about $700,000 for EVERY legal and illegal man, woman and child in the United States. For those who studied Common Core Math, that’s just under $3 million for a family of four.
Despite more than $33 million spent supporting candidates in the 2012 Congressional races, Chamber-backed candidates lost 36 out of the 50 elections in which the Chamber participated. In late 2013 the Chamber announced it would distribute campaign contributions in “10s” of Republican primary elections to oppose the Tea Party movement and create a “more governable Republican party.” In early 2014 Tom Donohue clarified that the push would be to elect “pro-business” members of Congress “who favor trade, energy development and immigration reform.” Yes, the Chamber is a major supporter of Mass Amnesty. I will show who some of their bedfellows are at the end of the blog.
Just last year U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue had barely finished calling for the further impoverishment of American workers (i.e. “immigration reform”) when he showed up as a guest of Cuba’s Stalinist regime and gave a speech at the University of Havana calling for a further fleecing of American taxpayers (i.e. ending the so-called Cuba embargo).
“For years, the US Chamber of Commerce has demanded that our government eliminate the commercial embargo on Cuba. It’s time for a new approach,” proclaimed Donohue to an ovation from Communist Party insiders, some of who in 1960 stormed into almost 6,000 U.S.-owned businesses (worth almost $2 billion at the time) and looted them all at Soviet gunpoint. By the way, you do know that the Communist Party endorsed Barack Obama’s candidacy for President in 2008 and 2012 don’t you?
Former Congressman and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul had top ratings from the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayer’s Union and The New American’s own Freedom Index (FI). He earned a perfect 100 percent in 2007-08 for the Freedom Index (FI), but rated only a 47 percent on the Chamber of Commerce’s ratings. Meanwhile, Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank earned a 61 percent rating from the chamber while earning only a 15 percent FI rating. For the record, I did not vote for Ron Paul but I’m pretty sure he is better for business than Barney Frank.
Ron Paul wasn’t the only conservative given the short-shrift from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina (FI 79) scored a 57 from the Chamber, lower than uber-liberal Democrats John Kerry of Massachusetts (FI 13, Chamber 63) and Barack Obama (FI 11, Chamber 67). Remember, these rankings are from six years ago. Jim DeMint resigned from the Senate to become President of the Heritage Foundation. Just exactly what does it take to become a CofC Darling?
Congressman Paul and Senator DeMint lost points twice for voting against the wasteful $700 billion federal bailout that created the wasteful TARP and once for voting against expanded federal educational spending. The Chamber seems to believe that learning should flow from Washington. Paul was also penalized for opposing NASA reauthorization and the FISA reauthorization bill. Do you remember that Obama gave NASA a new mission to reach out to Muslims?
According to the Chamber of Commerce, telecommunications companies under FISA that secretly cooperate with the federal government in unconstitutional searches should not be able to be sued by their victims in federal courts: “The Chamber believes it is critical that telecommunications providers are not subject to litigation for assistance they provided to the government in good faith and at the government’s request.” The Nuremberg “I was just following orders” defense?
The Chamber argued that the federal government needs the power to spy on every Americans’ telephone conversations and internet usage without the constitutionally required warrant and this would “help preserve the self-sustaining public-private partnership that the government has sought to protect our country in the post-September 11 world.”
The Chamber of Commerce wasn’t always a stooge for big government, nor was there always a “national” Chamber of Commerce based in Washington. Chambers of commerce sprung up organically across the United States with the idea of promoting free enterprise early in the American republic. The first chamber of commerce was the New York Chamber of Commerce, which was chartered in 1768.
Businessmen formed chambers of commerce early in the American republic as the public need presented itself, especially after the Civil War. The New York Chamber of Commerce in particular led petition drives to repeal the Civil War income tax. Senator Roscoe Conkling presented the New York Chamber’s anti-income tax petitions to the Senate on April 11, 1871, and Representative James Brooks did the same in the House on the same day. By 1870, more than 40 chambers of commerce had been formed across the nation.
The national, or U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wasn’t created until after President William Howard Taft suggested combining the chambers into a single voice in an address to Congress at the end of 1911. The next year, the national organization was created, and the chambers’ leaderless resistance to big government began to end.
The local chambers of the 1800s didn’t follow pure laissez-faire doctrine all of the time. But the “sins” of those local, independent chambers of commerce consisted chiefly of petitioning the Congress to construct a local dock, bridge or other “public works” facility in the area. While these projects were generally not constitutionally authorized, they could at least be opposed by chambers from areas outside of the area of the local chamber petitioning Congress.
Once the chambers of commerce were united under a single U.S. chamber, molding the organization to the passing fads in Washington was a far easier task. This happened shortly after Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office and pushed through Congress his “New Deal” of big government, big deficits and high regulation of business. The centerpiece of the early new deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, which created the NATIONAL RECOVERY ADMINISTRATION (NRA) and quickly racked up 10 million pages of rules and regulations that Congress didn’t approve.
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce approved of the NRA program, which had been modeled on Mussolini’s “corporatist” economic plan of state control. Chamber of Commerce Chairman Henry I. Harriman complimented the National Industrial Recovery Act for the legislation’s “sincere and probably effective efforts to coordinate and rationalize American industry along democratic lines and to assure economic security.”
Even as the nation’s popular support for the massive NRA regulatory scheme waned and the NRA appeared headed for a constitutional conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court, leftist historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. wrote that the Chamber of Commerce continued to back the NRA: “The United States Chamber of Commerce voted for continuance [of the NRA] by nearly four to one.”
The fate of the NRA was sealed with the 1935 Supreme Court decision Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US, where the Supreme Court ruled that the NRA didn’t have the authority to make laws on its own without consulting Congress. The NRA was abolished after being declared unconstitutional.
You probably thought it couldn’t get any worse but the Chamber is all in pushing Climate Change legislation including a Carbon Tax. I have written profusely about the Climate Change nonsense and will probably publish a blog soon. You either believe that the United States will become a desert wasteland; be covered by glaciers soon or you believe God’s promise that, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” We have real problems to contend with but they fly below the Chamber’s radar screen.
Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has once again sold out its old free market principles for Washington, D.C. beltway politics. And local chambers of commerce may want to separate from the beltway-based national organization if they want to avoid promoting more self-destructive Obama and Nancy Pelosi liberalism that increases regulations and taxes on business.
The Chamber is among the groups that support mass amnesty. Maybe when I list some of the groups you can see who the Chamber is in bed with:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
People for the American Way
Change to Win
National Council of Churches
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Methodist Council of Bishops
The list goes on……..
Are you beginning to see why Jeb Bush and some other RINOs who put self above country have jumped on the Amnesty Band Wagon? Is there any hope for America?