Who Does the Chamber of Commerce Work For?

shocked george

Hero to libertarians everywhere Justin Amash has been taking the Chamber of Commerce to task on Twitter over the organization’s very real tendency to prop up crony capitalism, this time by openly supporting the Ex-Im bank (make sure you go down the rabbit hole of retweets to get the full effect):

 

It’s good to have people on the Hill pointing out that those with access in DC are the ones who really do pull the policy strings, for better or worse. And the Chamber definitely has that access, one of the largest lobbying groups, and reportedly the largest spender yearly on behalf of its members. So, it’s easy to find fault with with them. They epitomize those “special interests” that all who disapprove of big government complain about. But then, sometimes they go and do things like this:

For several years, Josten has pressed the case that the federal debt, and in particular the tab for retirement programs, is an urgent concern for business, even if executives don’t see its effects firsthand the way they do for more traditional business worries such as taxes or regulations.

As it becomes ever clearer that taxation cannot pay retirement benefits that have been promised, the Chamber has made entitlement reform and debt reduction an urgent priority of its lobbying.

Social Security checks and prescription drug bills for seniors will drain money away from road building and other infrastructure, scientific research and basic administration that every business needs in order to be profitable.

 

Entitlement reform is the clarion call of most conservatives who understand anything about the economy (or common sense). Put simply, it’s terrible fiscal policy to spend on mandates with promised money. Which is to say: money that doesn’t actually exist; and, may never exist. And a mandate, by its very definition, means that it is something that MUST be funded.

You see the problem.

Put simply:

But something else happened in 2011 that better explains the current fiscal fiasco. In that year, the first baby boomers turned 65 and began to retire.

The demographic bulge caused by the birth of 80 million people (including immigrants) between the end of the Second World War and mid-1964 explains the mismatch between expected revenues and projected spending.

Currently, there are 49 million retirees collecting Social Security checks, according to the trustees’ report. When the last baby boomer reaches retirement age in 2029, there will be 71 million, even assuming that one-fifth of boomers will by then be dead.

Far more retirees will be supported by far fewer taxpayers — the reverse of the situation that prevailed when federal retirement programs were created.

 

Read the entire thing and be prepared to find some sympathy for the position the Chamber finds itself in.

 


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