Ad Watch 2010: U.S. Chamber’s Hypocritical Attacks On Barbara Boxer

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is up with its latest ad slamming Barbara Boxer for “voting to add trillions to the national debt” and “making America less competitive and driving away California jobs.” As usual, it turns out the ad is just an empty political attack reel at the behest of anonymous corporate interests and the shadow Republican Party.  The Chamber’s attacks on Boxer simply reflect its own agenda.

 U.S. Chamber Spent Millions Lobbying for Policies That Would Increase Federal Deficit

  • U.S. Chamber Supported Policies That Led To The Financial Crisis. According to the New York Times, derivatives “were a major cause of the financial crisis and have gone largely unregulated for decades.”   Efforts by the big banks to block proposed regulations proposed by the Obama administration and Congress appeared doomed until the US Chamber weighed in.  As Reuters reported, “the banking industry will get an assist from the influential U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which plans to lobby Congress hard to ensure companies are able to use customized derivatives.”  The Chamber and other trade groups subsequently formed the Coalition of End Users to soften proposed derivatives regulation, “much to the relief of several big Wall Street banks that had been waging a lonely and uphill lobbying effort.” [New York Times, 5/14/09; Reuters, 7/14/09; National Journal, 9/26/09].  
  • US Chamber Strongly Backed Extension of Bush Tax Cuts, Which Would Ad $36 Billion To Federal Deficit and Help Fewer Than 2 Percent of Small Business Owners.  The Chamber has been very vocal in its support for extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest two percent of Americans.  Despite all their rhetoric on deficits, extending the Bush tax cuts would add $36 billion to the deficit in 2011 alone. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, fewer than two percent of small businesses make enough to even file in the top two income tax brackets. [Washington Post, 8/12/10]
  • U.S. Chamber Spent Millions To Kill Health Care Reform That Would Reduce Budget By $138 Million. Backed by the health insurance industry, in 2009 and 2010 the U.S. Chamber spent over $26 million to kill health care reform, using scare tactics to claim it would increase the deficit.  The Congressional Budget Office actually found that the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit by $138 million by 2019. [ABC News, 8/14/09; National Journal, 1/30/10; CBS News, Congressional Budget Office, 3/18/10]

U.S. Chamber Has Long Record of Supporting Outsourcing, Policies That Would Kill U.S. Jobs

  • U.S. Chamber Opposed Bill To Crack Down on Outsourcing And Bring Jobs To U.S. For all their talk about creating U.S. jobs, in September 2010, the U.S. Chamber opposed a Senate bill offering a tax holiday to multinational companies that would shift overseas jobs to the U.S. [The Hill, 9/23/10]
  • US Chamber Opposed “Buy American” Provisions Of the 2010 Jobs Bill. In January 2010, the Chamber unabashedly opposed “Buy American” provisions in stimulus funds. “We must limit the negative consequences of the Buy American requirements in the Recovery Act, and we must ensure that additional Buy American requirements are not included in future legislation.”  [US Chamber of Commerce Release, 2/17/2010, Report & Joint Business Letter Opposing Buy American Provisions in Jobs Bill, 1/24/10]
  • U.S. Chamber President Defended Outsourcing of U.S. Jobs, Arguing That Americans Are "Short of Skills." Defending outsourcing in 2004, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said, "The big fundamental issue that we need to understand is we are short of skills in this country." [CNNFN,5/3/04]
  • U.S. Chamber President Vowed to Fight Any Attempts to Reduce Outsourcing.  "The chamber's message is clear: The US must be able to source around the world to stay competitive in the global economy and the business community will fight any attempts by our government to restrict outsourcing," Thomas Donohue, the chamber's president, told a news conference.”  [Agence France Presse, 4/14/2004]






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