September 2010

From the Officers
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We Need More Jobs, Less Lobbying

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the premier lobbying group for big business, announced earlier this summer that it would spend at least $50 million on political races in 2010, a 40 percent increase from 2008. This money comes on top of the nearly $800,000 a day the Chamber spent lobbying against President Obama on everything from "Buy America" provisions in the stimulus act to new regulations on Wall Street excess for the last two years.

That's a lot of cash—cash which would have been better spent creating jobs for someone else besides K Street lawyers and beltway lobbyists.

Despite the Chamber's endless complaints against Congress and the Obama administration that they are anti-business, corporate CEOs are doing pretty well these days. Corporate profits are now $1.2 billion, higher than they were than before the recession, writes Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein.

Columnist Robert Samuelson reports that industrial companies are sitting on a record reserve of $838 billion, money that could be used to revitalize our manufacturing sector or rebuild the power grid.

But corporate America's newfound profits have yet to find their way into the pockets of working families. "Companies are doing much better than workers," Samuelson concludes.

Nearly one in six workers remains unemployed or underemployed. For those lucky enough to hang on to their jobs, employers are resorting to drastic pay and benefits cuts—large enough to have some experts concerned about deflation.

It's no secret that the Chamber is funneling most of its money to Republicans, but ironically it was the efforts of Obama and the Democratic Congress that helped rescue the economy, as economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi point out in a recent report. Those efforts led to business's rebound in profits—profits that corporate CEOs are now using to help Obama's GOP opponents take back Congress.

With unemployment still nearing 10 percent, the last thing we need is corporate America funding multi-million dollar ad blitzes in favor of candidates who have no solutions to our economic problems besides more of the same Bush-era policies that landed us in trouble in the first place. What we need is more investment in our economy, so we can put American workers back on the job again.


Also: Hill: Wanted: Reasonable Carbon/Energy Debate

Lindell K. Lee
International Secretary-Treasurer