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Dishonest Attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Anthony Randazzo
October 19, 2009, 1:05pm

MoveOn.org is joining the attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) today, sending out an email asking its members to lobby against businesses who believe the health care and energy bills being discussed in Congress will damage their ability to do business. MoveOn writes:

Anheuser-Busch is helping fund a $100 million campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to kill clean energy and health care in Congress. Other companies, such as Apple, have quit the Chamber in protest, but Anheuser-Busch is still a dues-paying member. Can you call Anheuser-Busch and urge them to quit the Chamber of Commerce?

How terrible of Anheuser-Busch to want to avoid increased operations costs that would likely require them to fire employees. Do health care and energy bill advocates seriously not understand that the legislation as written today will increase unemployment?

As for MoveOn's note of Apple. This is especially dishonest. Al Gore sits on the board of Apple. Yep, Mr. Inconvenient Truth himself, who is a proponent of the energy bill and is also personally invested in the alternative energy products that the Cap & Trade bill would force firms to use. Do energy advocates seriously not see the rent seeking behavior going on here? This is the kind of crony capitalism that progressives should be livid about.

And that's not the only reason Apple backed away from the USCC on this issue. Where are most of Apple's products created? In East Asia. So who would get hurt most by the operations costs increases of the energy and health care bills? Apple's competitors. No one can fault Apple for supporting legislation that would hurt its opponents more than its costs would go up. In fact it is good business. But passing the bills would be bad politics.


Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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