Chamber of Commerce all that's standing between us and communism

The business group launches a campaign "to defend ... America's free enterprise values"

By Alex Koppelman

Published June 10, 2009 3:50PM (EDT)

Thank God for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: If they weren't out defending America's free enterprise system, who would be? It's gotten so bad that even Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are voting for socialism.

Fortunately, Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue is ready to take a stand.

"Supporters and critics alike agree that capitalism is at a crossroads," Donohue said in a statement announcing his organization's new pro-free enterprise effort. "We're launching this campaign because those who make or influence economic policy must understand that a productive, competitive private sector is not something they can take for granted  ... Dire economic circumstances have certainly justified some out-of-the-ordinary remedial actions by government. But enough is enough. If we don't stop the rapidly growing influence of government over private sector activity, we will squander America's unmatched capacity to innovate and create a standard of living and free society that are the envy of the world.”

The Chamber says its campaign will be a "sustained, multiyear effort ... budgeted at tens of millions of dollars annually" and that it will employ various tactics, including:

  • A vigorous media, new media, and public education campaign in support of free enterprise, with a special focus on the economic literacy of younger Americans.
  • A highly visible national paid advertising campaign to include TV, radio, online, print and other outlets.
  • An aggressive issue advocacy program, leading up to the 2010 elections, to educate citizens on the critical economic issues facing our country.
  • Active and effective lobbying to defend free enterprise values, advance pro-growth legislation and, where necessary, legal action to challenge unconstitutional and unlawful government regulations.

That all sounds great. Just one question, though: Who will defend us from the anti-free enterprise efforts of groups like, say, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? The group did, after all, support the $700 billion financial bailout last fall -- to the point where it was warning anti-bailout legislators that their vote would cost them -- and it backed the stimulus passed this year as well.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room