There are bad behaviors animals repeat because they tend to reprise actions that produce positive results; like extra attention, and in time, their learned behavior becomes habit. These bad, learned behaviors are not unlike innate activities such as a male dog that marks its territory by urinating on everything within its territorial boundaries, and pet owners are aware it is nearly impossible to break bad behavior. Republicans practice the bad behavior of lying about the economy to the point that they are able to stand in front of cameras with a straight face and utter fallacy after fallacy with pomposity and condescension as if their utterances issue straight from the mouth of god. It is unclear if lying is a requirement to be a Republican advocate, but it appears that is the case based on statements from one of the Republicans’ corporatist advocacy arms. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce president, Tom Donohue, is certainly a Republican operative and he, like all Republicans, has practiced, perfected, and learned that lying about the economy as a matter-of-course is as natural as a dog marking out its territory.
The Republican puppet Donohue gave his annual address on the state of business and the economy and took the opportunity to tell President Obama to “green-light the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta Canada to the Gulf Coast without delay.” Donohue said “There is no legitimate reason, none at all, to subject it to further delay,” but as usual, Donohue is lying. Well, maybe not entirely lying, because there are many reasons why the President should delay the pipeline. Donohue displayed bad behavior and followed Republicans’ modus operandi and lied about the economy, and parroted misleading statements about the pipeline the oil industry has reiterated for months. The biggest fallacies about the proposed pipeline is that Canada’s oil will end up in Americans’ gas tanks, it will create hundreds-of-thousands of jobs, and reduce U.S. dependency on oil from unstable countries overseas.
The pipeline will create no more than 2,500 – 4,650 jobs for two years and most are manual labor, minimum wage jobs. The Canadian crude oil will pass over prime agricultural land and end up in refineries on the Gulf Coast that will process the crude into diesel for export to Europe and Latin America. Because the oil originates in Canada, the U.S. State Department first has to process the request and then environmental assessment will take six to nine months. The oil industry that refines and sells Canadian oil will avoid paying taxes on profits because they will sell the diesel on the foreign market. The pipeline is good for big oil and big business, but does little for the American people except threaten another environmental disaster.
Donohue did not limit himself to lying about economic benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline and took the opportunity to assail President Obama and Democrat’s legislation as being a drag on the economy. The Chamber president said that “regulations stemming from the Affordable Care Act, financial reform law, and NLRB” were impediments to economic growth. The health law is not fully implemented until 2014, so how it is impeding economic growth is a mystery; especially considering that in September it created 44,000 jobs and in December, 23,000 jobs. The financial reform and Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) law that Donohue claims is killing economic recovery with outrageous regulations languished in inactivity for eighteen months because Senate Republicans promised to block any presidential nominee to protect Wall Street and banks. Remember, Republicans squealed like spoiled brats when President Obama appointed Richard Cordray last week in a recess appointment, so Donohue’s remark that the law is a drag on the economy is fallacious. There is little mystery why he complained about the NLRB because big business, and by extension the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, would love nothing more than to eliminate labor laws in order to increase their profit margin. Donohue said the Chamber was considering a lawsuit to challenge President Obama’s recess appointments to the CFPB and the NLRB because like all Republicans, Donohue hates the idea of consumer and employee protections; he also is deluded in thinking he is an important member of the judiciary or legislative branch of government.
Donohue also pushed the Republican agenda of making “constructive changes” to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid that translates into privatizing those programs to enrich Wall Street and the insurance industry; if children, seniors, and disabled Americans suffer, then, so be it. It is no surprise that Donohue is pushing for passage of the bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) because the Chamber advocates censorship to protect Internet monopolies. Typically, like any conservative, Donohue’s speech proposed nothing that might help the American people and instead promoted Republican economic lies and misinformation to help corporations. It is noteworthy that Donohue and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce promotes outsourcing jobs and manufacturing to help corporations boost their profits, and if Americans lose their livelihood, it is just good business.
The only bit of truth from the Chamber was that they were going to expand voter education efforts because they had an “influential role in the 2010 midterm elections.” The Chamber’s chief lobbyist, Bruce Josten, said they will ramp up their efforts in 2012 and that “we are going to have a bigger effort. We are going to spend more and do more in this cycle than the last cycle.” The Citizens United decision ensures the Chamber will be unrestricted in campaign spending to impose corporatism on the country that offers nothing positive for the American people.
Donohue may as well have gathered the past year’s Republican statements regarding the economy and compiled a video instead of taking the time to speak about the economy. There was nothing revealing for business or the American people that Republican presidential hopefuls or Republicans in Congress have not already repeated ad nauseum. Despite the fallacies Donohue cited as being a drag on the economy, it is improving in spite of Republican lies.
The main point Americans can take away from Donohue’s state of business and the economy speech is that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, like Republicans, is only interested in promoting the interests of corporations, the oil industry, and big business. The programs, legislation, and policies Donohue criticized most are President Obama’s that help 99% of Americans, and as more time passes, the people are becoming aware that Republicans are working against economic prosperity for the people. The people are also aware that the GOP only works for the wealthy’s interests leaving them to conclude that Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, and big oil are their enemies. Lying about the economy and President Obama to enrich corporations is bad behavior and although the voters can break Republicans of the habit at the ballot box, there is little recourse to stop Donohue and the Chamber of Commerce except to boycott any business that belongs to that vile, un-American organization.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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