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U.S. Chamber of Commerce President to Teapublicans: Raise Debt Ceiling or “We’ll get rid of you”


I’m certainly no fan of the anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-progressive U.S. Chamber of Commerce or its right-wingnut president Tom Donohue. But I definitely enjoyed this one, in a warped sorta way:

In one of the funnier moments during his Rotary talk, Donohue was asked if Congress was going to raise the debt ceiling.

Yes, it will be raised, Donohue answered, mainly because the country can not afford to not pay its bills. To those newly-elected representatives who say they aren’t going to raise the debt ceiling and will shut down government, Donohue said the U.S. Chamber has its own message: “We’ll get rid of you.”

OK, just for the moment, let’s leave aside the issue of how powerful corporations can “get rid of” representatives who are theoretically elected “by the people” and “for the people.”  Let’s also leave aside Donohue’s breathtaking arrogance in general. Other than that, he’s right on this one: there shouldn’t even be a question, not two seconds of debate, on whether we raise the debt ceiling limit. The fact that there has been question and debate over this, and for far longer than two seconds, demonstrates wild recklessness, woeful ignorance, and crazed ideological extremism, among its many miserable qualities. In the real world, of course, raising the debt ceiling is a simple, but extremely important, technical matter, essential so that the United States of America stays fiscally solvent. It has nothing whatsoever to do with causing the rising national debt, or with solving the problem of deficits and debt, and anyone who thinks it has anything to do with those things is absolutely, wildly wrong. Sad to say, based on the polling I’ve seen, that’s the majority of the American people, in its infinite wisdom. Sigh…

Anyway, back to Donohue’s remarks about how he’ll “get rid of” any Teapublican member who fails to raise the debt ceiling or attempts to shut down the government. Again, I find this level of corporate power to be disturbing, disgusting, deplorable — possibly worse than the infamous Robber Baron era in our history. Having said that, I guess I have to (sadly) agree with this commenter at the Atlanta Business Chronicle who writes, “If Donohue’s checkbook can bully know-nothing far-right congressmen into avoiding a US default, I guess he’s good for something.” Now, if only Democrats would call these people out for who and what they are, demand that we deal with the deficit by repealing the $4-trillion-per-decade Bush tax cuts, add on a carbon tax, wind down our two unpaid-for wars (or pay for them!), get spiraling healthcare costs in check (preferably by instituting a public option or, even better, single payer system), etc., we’d be in great shape. The chances of that happening, unfortunately, are not high, as courage is in short supply in Washington, DC today, as it always has been. But we can always hope things will change, right?

h/t Brad DeLong


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