The Chamber of Commerce Does Not Care About Unemployment

July 11, 2011 - 5:37pm

By Jake Blumgart

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held its "Jobs For America Summit". Consider it part of a continuing campaign to convince the public that the organization cares about something other than the profits of its largest donors. (It doesn’t.)

Instead, the hyper-partisan lobbying group is responsible for fighting against policy options that could create jobs. Every cap-and-trade policy that graced Capitol Hill last Congressional session contained provisions for job creation. The Chamber attacked every single bill. Today, if the Chamber really wanted to fight unemployment, they’d push for additional counter-cyclical spending or additional aid for the unemployed. Perhaps they could oppose the draconian budget cuts Congressional Republicans have been enthusing over recently (a sure recipe for continued job loss in the suffering public sector). But it is unlikely the organization would fight the House majority on anything. As the Washington Post editorialized last year the Chamber of Commerce has become “arm for the Republican Party”.

The watchdog group Chamber Watch branded today’s conference the “Summit to Kill American Jobs.” Lauren Levenstein, Research and Communications Associate for Chamber Watch, goes on to write:

Tom Donohue and the Chamber have distinguished themselves, job creation-wise, by rooting for America’s failure by attacking the unemployed, promoting the outsourcing of American jobs and opposing policies that would keep good paying jobs here in America.  Instead of offering real solutions to create or save jobs at home, the U.S. Chamber’s agenda reads like a wish-list for major corporate interests-- including Wall Street, pharmaceutical companies and Big Oil.

According to columnist Dana Milbank, when Chamber CEO Tom Donohue was asked “what corporate America should do to help bring about the ‘jobs recovery,’ Donohue was utterly stumped…‘I think the most important thing to tell a company is to return a reasonable return to their investors.’”  The Chamber's true agenda today? Pushing whatever job-killing policies will create a return for Corporate America’s investors – from outsourcing, to supporting the Ryan Plan that will kill 2.1 million jobs and Medicare as we know it, to giving billions in corporate windfall profits to shareholders that kill, rather than create, jobs. 

Click here for the facts on the Chamber’s job-killing agenda.

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