Do you think the U.S. Chamber of Commerce favors free markets?
Well, um ... you might want to think that over again.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued its 2009 congressional scorecard, and once again, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex. — certainly one of the two most free-market politicians in Washington — gets the lowest score of any Republican.
Paul was one of a handful of GOP lawmakers not to win the Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise Award.” He scored only a 67%, bucking the Chamber on four votes, including:
- Paul opposed the “Solar Technology Roadmap Act,” which boosted subsidies for unprofitable solar energy technology.
- Paul opposed the “Travel Promotion Act,” which subsidizes the tourism industry with a new fee on international visitors.
- Paul opposed the largest spending bill in history, Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill.
(Rep John Duncan, R-Tenn., tied Ron Paul with 67%. John McHugh, R-N.Y., scored a 40%, but he missed most of the year because he went off to the Obama administration.)
Yes, you read that correctly folks! If you're against corporate subsidies and "stimulus" nonsense, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says you're anti-business.
More from last year ...
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had the most conservative voting record in 2008 according to the American Conservative Union (ACU), and was a “taxpayer hero” according to the National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU), but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says his 2008 record was less pro-business than Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.
Similarly, Texas libertarian GOPer Rep. Ron Paul—the most steadfast congressional opponent of regulation, taxation, and any sort of government intervention in business—scored lower than 90% of Democrats last year on the Chamber’s scorecard.
Liberal Democrats often accuse conservative Republicans of being pawns for Big Business, but the 2008 scorecard for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the largest lobbying organization in the country and the official Washington voice of business—provides convincing evidence to the contrary. In fact, the policy agenda of big business can be very different from that of limited-government conservatives and libertarians.
Even Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, who wants to regulate everything except Fannie Mae, scored 14 points higher than Paul on the Chamber’s scorecard.
It may seem illogical to you that the supposedly "pro-business" U.S. Chamber of Commerce praises politicians for subsidies and "stimulus," but the truth of the matter is, as Timothy Carney says:
[I]t’s still more evidence that “pro-business” is not the same as “pro-freedom.” The U.S. Chamber is the former. Ron Paul, and the libertarian position, is the latter.
In today's world, "pro-business" is just another way of saying "pro-corporatism."