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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Truth or Scare?

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The reputation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is about to take a hit, as the public becomes aware of what I believe are scare tactics employed by the Chamber. Scare tactics that are held out to be in the interest of the public, but really are profit tactics for large and powerful corporations. So, while the title of the home page of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that they are "Fighting for Your Business," truth be told, they are on the front line fighting for CEO’s of big business.

If you are a member of a union, an employee of a big business, a regular Joe, working hard to make ends meet, realize that the Chamber’s actions are probably not in your best interest. They are seeking to allow the nation’s richest of the rich, the mutli-million-dollar salaried CEOs to have a continued tax break, at the expense of increasing the nations debt. It is these same CEOs who fund the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, so it should come as no surprise that the Chamber would be fighting to protect the interests of the super-rich.

In response, the US Chamber of Commerce says that it is out to protect and help "small business" but their definition of a small business is not the same as mine. I don’t call a business with 100 employees small. In my book, the chamber is seeking tax break for Wall Street CEOs — the same ones that put us into the debt-swap credit crisis that required a government bailout.

Next, the Chamber claims, as they do on their web site, that they are…

"The world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. More than 96% of U.S. Chamber members are small businesses with 100 employees or fewer"

… don’t let them fool you! More than half of the Chamber’s money came from only 45 donors. Here is the dirt that New York Times turned up on the Chamber.

Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.

Dow Chemical delivered $1.7 million to the chamber last year as the group took a leading role in aggressively fighting proposed new rules that would impose tighter security requirements on chemical facilities.

And Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco, and Aegon, a multinational insurance company based in the Netherlands, donated more than $8 million in recent years to a chamber foundation that has helped wage a national campaign to limit the ability of trial lawyers to sue businesses.

These large donations — none of which were publicly disclosed by the chamber, a tax-exempt group which keeps its donors secret — offer a glimpse of the chamber’s money-raising efforts, which it has ramped up recently in an orchestrated campaign to become one of the most well-financed critics of the Obama administration and an influential player in this fall’s Congressional elections.

So the truth is scary, and now the public is finding out that the US Chamber of Commerce is not really their Chamber of Commerce. Contact your local Chamber to get involved and get representation of your interests!

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    The money trail does often lead to the real reasons for what is being done. The shield of little businesses should be exposed so that real responsibility and motives can be uncovered.