Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chamber of Commerce data

Common sense told me the Chamber of Commerce attack was all BS, but I never was sure how much so. Thanks to Jack Kelly, now I do:

Led by President Barack Obama, Democrats are trying to make campaign finance an issue, by charging — without a shred of evidence — that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funding its advertising campaign in part with foreign money.

The flimsy basis for this charge is the Chamber has overseas affiliates for which it charges dues. Revenue from these dues amounts to less than $100,000 a year. The Chamber's budget this year is about $200 million. The Chamber plans to spend about $50 million on independent advertising this year, mostly on behalf of Republicans.

So calling it BS was an undersell; this was a fairy tale of epic proportions.

Foreign revenue amounts to only 0.0005 (1/20 of 1%) of their overall budget, and .002 (1/5 of 1%) of their advertising budget this year (not all of which is on Republicans, so that overstates it some).

The president has established himself as a hyper-partisan attack dog, but even in that context this fable diminishes him and the office. This level of sleaze is best left for the Alan Graysons of the world.

Mr. President, you're better than that.

The entire column is worth a read, as he also addresses special interests and influence buying in elections. The, ummm, money quote:

The funding of our politics chiefly by special interests is one big reason why we're falling off a fiscal cliff. For an expenditure of millions, special interest groups — be they labor unions or Wall Street bankers — reap billions in taxpayer subsidies.

Our politicians respond more to the special interests which provide them with money than they do to constituents who can provide them only with votes.

This is the problem with the Leviathan state, and why it is the biggest threat to our freedom. It is way too easy to bribe politicians into stealing our money to pay back the bribers.

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