Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, made an appearance on Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan Wednesday to tout the Chamber's "American Free Enterprise" campaign to generate 20 million new jobs over the next decade. Ratigan seemed to be more interested in taking Donohue to the woodshed.
"The government can't do it, the unions can't do it, the trial lawyers can't do it and it's going to have to be done by the private sector," said Donohue, explaining the Chamber's multimillion-dollar campaign. "Let's remind, let's educate, let's promote the idea that a free enterprise system with open capital markets and free trade and the ability to fail and get up and go again and the ability to be very successful is what brought us the greatest economy in the history of the world."
Ratigan asked if Donohue favored idle speculation with taxpayer money and eliminating "the anti-competitive practices that surround the health practice in this country... or are you more in favor of lobbying the government to change rules to the benefit of special interests who can't adapt to a real competitive marketplace?"
(The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $26,196,000 lobbying so far in 2009.)
"I don't believe that federal money ought to be used for any speculation," said Donohue, "and that the great preponderance is being held in those institutions to insure that they can reach their capital mandates... They are going out and pressing them to create more liquid capital for loans and investments so that small companies and medium-sized companies and, yes, large companies."
Then, the interview became acrimonious. Donohue had no response to Ratigan's assertion that "unless the government and people like you that lobby to the exemptions that allow banks to [speculate with taxpayer money] get out of the way, we will never have fair play again in this country and we'll have job creation by virtue of taxpayer theft, which is ultimately destructive, and I would argue, treasonous to this country."
"Boy, when you get on this show, it's really hard to get four words in without hearing six more," said Donohue at the end.
"Yes, it is," replied Ratigan. "Especially when you talk nonsense."
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