Debate Magazine

Mitts on R-money, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Bogus Claims, and the NAACP Convention Speech

Posted on the 17 July 2012 by Mikeb302000
Mitt Romney, aka Mitts on our Money, made reference to a survey of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The reference to the Chamber of Commerce should have merited as much booing as the reference to repealing the Affordable Care Act. 
R-money is lucky the only booed him; given how much of the misery of the black minority is directly attributable to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce policies and lobbying, R-money is lucky they didn't drag him off the stage and tar and feather him - literally, not metaphorically.  The Chamber of Commerce has a bad track record of racism, among their other deficiencies and defects.
It's not like the Chamber of Commerce hasn't been accused of engaging in both overt and incipient racism before, and more than once.
The local Chambers of Commerce of course have little or nothing in common with the national organization with the nearly identical name, which is a right wing organization comprised not of U.S. businesses but largely mega-businesses that are frequently multinationals.
The Chamber of Commerce represents big business; the local chambers of commerce tend to represent small business, the small businesses that largely benefit from the Affordable Care Act.
The ultra-right wing, ultra-big business U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long advocated for the outsourcing of jobs, and sought to dismantle unions, opposes anything that provides a benefit or a living wage to labor, including opposing any increase in the minimum wage.  The Chamber of Commerce is the largest, biggest-spending lobbying organization in this country for the right wing.  They are against regulation of any kind, including for health and safety regulation that would prevent the death and injury of members of their labor force.
While outsourcing jobs, and keeping wages and benefits in the U.S. low, and opposing any form of regulation, the leadership of the Chamber of Commerce is NOTORIOUS for the C-class - the CEOs, the COOs, the CFOs and so on redistributing the earnings and profits of those companies they run int their own pockets and out of the pockets and wallets of their employees.  They opposed allowing shareholders - the actual OWNERS of companies - the right to determine compensation, which would of course mean that the executive class would be held accountable for their mistakes and poor performance through their compensation. 
No no no!  the Chamber of Commerce doesn't want that!  That might interfere with their profiteering!  That might pressure them against dangerous risk practices or hold them accountable for actions like the derivatives swap disasters! 
That Mitts on R-money is listening to -- and no doubt benefiting from donations directly and indirectly - should raise eye brows and anger.  The Chamber of Commerce was a huge lobbying force behind the government bailouts of their members.  The Chamber of Commerce was and still is a huge spending lobbyist against the Affordable Care Act, and against anyone running for office in the 2012 election cycle who voted for it. 
The Chamber of Commerce has circulated some of the most egregious lies about the Affordable Care Act.  They are not a credible source on the topic - on ANY TOPIC.
The Chamber of Commerce is part of the problem, not a source for any advice or solutions.  Citing the Chamber of Commerce should be the reason for every American voting AGAINST Mitt Romney, and for anyone else not on the right.
From Think Progress, back in early 2011:
Leaders Of US Chamber Awarded Themselves Record Compensation While Slashing American Jobs
Today, President Obama addressed the leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a highly ideological right-wing trade association representing mostly large international corporations. Obama urged the audience of business executives to “get in the game” and spend some of the trillions of dollars corporations have compiled in the past year on job creation. Indeed, much of the executive leadership of the Chamber has spent the past few years rewarding themselves with millions in additional compensation while eliminating American jobs.
Trucking Manufacturer Navistar Inc Is On The US Chamber’s Board Of Directors:
– In 2010, Navistar CEO Daniel Ustian increased his total compensation by 27%, from $6.64 million in FY 2009 to $8.43 million in the year that ended October 31. The company has enjoyed healthy profits: in 2009, it earned $320 million, or $4.46 a share, and in 2010, it made $223 million, or $3.11 a share.
– Navistar has slashed jobs at factories across the country. In Springfield, Ohio, Navistar laid off 250 workers from a truck assembly plant. At its plant in Arkansas, the company laid off 477 in 2009 after letting 300 workers go in 2008. Amid the layoffs and plant closures, Navistar, a major military contractor, opened a new factory in Mexico last year.
Telecommunications Giant AT&T Is On The US Chamber’s Board Of Directors:
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was awarded a compensation package valued at $20.3 million in 2009, a jump of 35% from 2008. Last year, AT&T devoted an extra $8.99 million into Stephenson’s pension plan, ensuring that his retirement will include a pension “equal to 60 percent of his highest average salary and bonus in three of his last 10 years at the company. Although he’s not currently eligible for retirement, his pension is valued at an estimated $31 million today.”
– In recent years, AT&T has aggressively downsized its American workforce. In 2008, the company killed over 16,000 jobs as the recession hit. But in the last two years as AT&T enjoyed record profits, the company announced layoffs of “hundreds” in Kansas, 96 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 150 in Connecticut, 525 technicians in California, and 140 jobs in Oklahoma.
Agricultural Manufacturer Deere And Co.
Samuel Allen, the CEO and Chairman of Deere and Co., was awarded a compensation package in 2010 three times the size of his pay in 2009. Allen’s compensation was $12.29 million in 2010.
As Deere and Co. recorded high profits, the company slashed jobs. The company killed 367 jobs in East Moline, Illinois, 325 in Iowa, and 89 jobs in North Dakota.
Health Insurance Company WellPoint Is On The US Chamber’s Board Of Directors:
In recent years, WellPoint has reported record profits and extraordinary executive compensation. In 2009, WellPoint CEO Angela Braly was awarded a 51% compensation boost from $8.7 million in 2008 to $13.1 million.
– During the same period of high profits and highly compensated executives, WellPoint shed thousands of jobs. In 2009, WellPoint laid off 1,500 employees across the nation. Following the first round of layoffs, the company got rid of an additional 136 jobs in Missouri and 111 in Wisconsin. Notably, during this same period WellPoint’s trade association secretly transfered $86 million to the Chamber to fight health reform.
Despite bloated rhetoric about the virtues of “free enterprise,” the Chamber demanded taxpayer bailouts for its bank members (AIG, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc.), billions in taxpayer money for its defense contract members, taxpayer money for cleaning up BP’s oil spill, and preferential tax cuts for its millionaire executives.
As ThinkProgress has documented, the Chamber has a history of being singularly focused on boosting profits, not creating American jobs. The Chamber has pushed for unfettered free trade deals, sponsored a series of conferences to teach businesses how to outsource jobs to China, and even lobbied against legislation that would have created over 1.7 million jobs.
Several dozen protesters demonstrated in front of the Chamber today as Obama walked across Lafayette Park from the White House to the business lobby. Watch a video produced by ThinkProgress interns Kevin Donohue and Paul Breer:

So, here's Mittens making his usual lying statement about the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare / Romneycare:
Personally, I'm looking forward to a debate where Obama presses Romney to give a better explanation for why there is a difference in states enacting Romneycare -- which Romney in the past has advocated for ALL 50 states -- and a federal program which the SCOTUS has deemed legal. Romney makes a LOT of false claims about 'Obamacare', as noted by HERE And then we have the analysis of what a WHOPPER of a lie the claim that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer from Februar 2012:

GOP’s ‘Job-Killing’ Whopper, Again

Republican attack ads peddle a shopworn, overblown claim about the health care law's effects. Posted on February 21, 2012Bookmark and Share


The exaggerated Republican claim that the new health care law “kills jobs” was high on our list of the “Whoppers of 2011.” But the facts haven’t stopped Republicans and their allies from making the “job-killing” claim a major theme of their campaign 2012 TV ads:
  • Five ads by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attack Democrats by repeating the “Obamacare will kill jobs” refrain.
  • Seven other Chamber spots praise Republicans, using the same theme.
  • An ad from the group Freedom Path, supporting Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, says the law is “devastating to small business.”
  • Republican Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama features a large stack of papers he claims are “job-killing regulations and taxes” in one of his spots.
All of this is health-care hooey, aimed at exploiting public concern over continuing high unemployment, with little basis in fact. As we’ve said before (a few times), experts project that the law will cause a small loss of low-wage jobs — and also some gains in better-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries. It’s also expected that more workers will decide to retire earlier, or work fewer hours, when they no longer need employer-sponsored insurance and can obtain it on their own with help from federal subsidies. But that just means fewer people willing to work — and it will free up jobs for those who want them. If anything, that could reduce the jobless rate. Claims about the alleged devastation of small business are also off base. The fact is, businesses with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from the requirement to provide coverage, or pay a penalty to the government. Furthermore, some small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are already getting tax credits under the new law to help defray the cost of providing worker coverage. The GOP ads tend to combine the mostly bogus “job-killing” claim with their well-worn slogan calling the law a “government takeover” of health care, which isn’t true. The law expands the government’s Medicaid system to cover some who are not currently insured, but it also greatly expands private insurance. After the law takes effect, the government’s share of all spending on health care will still remain well under half, rising less than 4 percentage points, according to official projections.You can read more on their findings that this is a grossly untrue statement by the right, here. But here is one more analysis of what Mitts on R-money got wrong about the Chamber of Commerce survey.  From TPM: Consider The Source The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has led the charge against the Affordable Care Act. The right-leaning lobbying group supports repeal of the law and has filed 28 comments to “highlight the operational problems and unintended consequences of the rapidly drafted, flawed regulations” of the health care overhaul. In May, the group announced an ad blitz in 17 congressional districts and four Senate races targeting members who voted for the 2010 health care law. Flawed Methodology Plenty of partisan groups release legitimate, reputable surveys, but this isn’t one of them. The “Small Business Outlook Study” was conducted online on March 27-April 2 by Harris Interactive, a research firm based in New York that is traded on NASDAQ. Many polling experts are wary of internet-based surveys (PollTracker does not include any in its averages) because of their susceptibility to manipulation and the inherent flaws in drawing a sample from an online audience. Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce even qualified its findings in a corresponding press release with an acknowledgement that the survey was “not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.” As Fact Check noted, that amounts to an admission that its survey doesn’t definitively include a representative sample of small business owners. Who Participated In The Survey? The Chamber of Commerce and Harris did try to achieve a balanced sample. Contrary to what Romney suggested to the audience at the NAACP convention, the survey was not limited exclusively to Chamber of Commerce members. Among the 1,339 small business executives who participated in the survey, 536 were members, and 803 were not — seemingly a good-faith effort to ensure that the survey’s participants were representative of the small-business community. Ostensibly, this was also done to avoid a sample overtly biased toward the Chamber of Commerce’s cause. But consider this nugget from the survey: A whopping 94 percent “cite the Chamber’s voter education efforts as important.” Given that many of those “voter education efforts” have included a steady drumbeat of criticism toward the Affordable Care Act, it’s unsurprising that the same survey found an overwhelming majority disillusioned with the law. So, in other words -- the Chamber of Commerce stacked the deck of their not-representative survey, which was less than the 1500 businesses that Romney said participated. Wow, that's pretty similar unethical and misleading behavior to R-money bringing his own mostly-black-people contingent to plant in the audience of the NAACP convention. How sad, how similar, how disgusting and disreputable and deceptive - how Republican, how conservative, how greedy.  What could be more anti-middle class, and anti- African American than R-money and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce patting each other on the back? Only the right wing low information voter would be fool enough to support Mitt Romney against their own interests.

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