The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Priorities are the Same as Always—Protecting Profits Instead of People

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue gave his “State of the American Business” address yesterday, signaling that the trade association and the nation’s largest lobby spender couldn’t be happier about benefits that were handed out to Big Business over the past year, which included record Wall Street profits and a massive tax giveaway.

Unfortunately, many of those gains did not reach Main Street and won’t. And, even though Donahue himself admitted that “the prosperity hasn’t flowed to every community or every household,” he remained undeterred in touting discredited “trickle down” economic theories. His address featured a laundry list of anti-consumer priorities for 2018 that are geared toward maximizing big business’s profits at the expense of public safety and health.

Donahue gushed both about last year’s massive tax giveaway for the wealthiest, as well as the Trump administration’s commitment to undo critical health and safety regulations in order increase corporate profits. The tax handouts for corporations will be paid for by cuts to critical government services like Medicaid, education, and nutrition programs leaving hard working U.S. families decidedly worse off. The push to deregulate and undo our nation’s public safeguards will lead to more tainted food, dangerous products, and unsafe medicines—outcomes that will harm or even kill Americans.

If cutting services that help everyday people in order to pay for tax cuts for profitable corporations and gutting health and safety regulations weren’t enough of “achievements” for the Chamber, it is urging Congress to make massive cuts to the nation’s safety net benefit programs moving forward, which could gravely impact millions of older and underprivileged Americans. And the Chamber is gearing up its fight to help corporations combat shareholders resolutions that give shareholders a say in the management of the companies they invest in and increase transparency in those companies.

In addition, the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform will continue to work to limit a person’s right to their day in court—benefitting big banks, insurance companies, and massive corporations that seek to close the courthouse doors on consumers who have been defrauded, cheated, or ripped off.

To accomplish all of this, the Chamber is doubling down on siding with Wall Street over Main Street by aggressively recruiting candidates for political office who promise to work on behalf of their overly partisan, Big Business-enriching goals.

Unlike most fair-minded Americans, the Chamber is devotedly against the principle that America succeeds when everyone succeeds, and instead leaves its faith in the failed theory that when “pro-growth agenda succeeds, America succeeds.” Instead of asking what policies will directly help working families, the Chamber continues to pursue policies that limit our access to courts, curtail health and safety regulations, advance trade policies that harm American workers, and side with corporations over investors.

Donohue firmly believes that the “state of American businesses” is strong. Unfortunately, it is at the expense of hardworking Americans and their families.