The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, led by Thomas Donohue, is a lobby group in Washington that without question is politically powerful. It claims to have 300,000 members with some of the largest companies in Corporate America on its rolls. Many observers say the Chamber has done some strange things recently. For example, it supported the Bush bailout program (TARP) and the Obama fiscal stimulus measure and claimed credit for getting both through Congress. It has also opposed efforts to combat climate change which is impossible to understand – that is, until you look at some of its members and consider their special interest in that topic.
The main thrust of the national Chamber is to work for and protect the interests of the rich and powerful and they have done a very good job on that front. But smaller business owners should wonder where their interests rank on the Chamber’s list of priorities. The record shows clearly that maintaining the status quo in our Nation’s Capitol is tops on the Chamber’s priority list. I would say the Chamber has done extremely well in its lobbying activities on that front. As we all know, there is a huge amount of entrenched self-interest in the status quo in Washington.
Lobbyists are paid extremely well to keep things as they are and that has been the case for years. Reinforcing the status quo is their collective goal and that is seldom in the best interest of ordinary folks in this country. President Obama is trying to disrupt the way things have worked in Washington over the past many years. He doesn’t believe that way of running the government has served the American people as a whole very well and I agree with him whole-heartedly. This President wants to give the people a real voice in the affairs of their government. I see the Chamber of Commerce as a real stumbling block for him!
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