#110 – Dick Bernard: $300,000,000,000

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been subjected to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 30-second ad that solemnly (and scaringly) intones (and helpfully prints on the screen) that Health Care Reform will mean $300 billion in new health care taxes.
Oh, it’s so good to have a consumer advocate in the good ole C of C, just watching out for the little folks like you and me.
I have no means to assess whether or not the $300 billion ($1,000 per American) is accurate, or what “helpful” (to viewers) information that it leaves out, but my guess is that the $300 billion is not the extravagant expense the Chamber proclaims it to be.  The $300 billion, will, after all is said and done, be spent for goods and services…produced and provided by U.S. Chamber of Commerce companies.  No, that’s not the issue(s)
I think that the ad is on there for a major reason: The Chamber is terrorized by the possibility of competition which may cut into the far more than $300 billion which will be realized if the government is kept at bay.  “Get rid of the $300 billion, so we can rake in $400 billion from the rubes” might be a more accurate rendition.
The Chamber is also terrified of the possibility of government regulation – regulation by the people who are its customers.  Regulation is for other folks, not “free enterprise”.  Free Enterprise, after all, can regulate itself (note the Wall Street collapse, et al.)
So, the Chamber shamelessly enlists its victims to lobby in its behalf, asking us to reject $3 in favor of, say, $4.
It’s the good old “American Way”: there’s truly a sucker born every minute.
Want to see the ad?  Here’s the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website. #mce_temp_url# It’s right there, plus lots more.  (it’s in the health care section at the bottom of the page.)  You’re looking at the association of the biggest and most powerful businesses in the country.  (The local Junior Chamber of Commerces are another entity, not quite as rapacious, in my view.)
UPDATE: October 22, 2009
Joyce helpfully pointed out two websites that “fact check” such things as political advertising (which the Chamber of Commerce item is).  They are politfact.com/truth-o-meter and factcheck.org.  Go to the website, and you should be able to easily search references to the Chamber of Commerce and find information about the specific ad, which began to run this past summer.
The “facts” at these sites about the ad in question would not cause me to change any of the content in my post (above).  The intention of the ad is to mislead and ultimately convince the ordinary consumer of the ad to work for the cause of those who are far wealthier than the vast majority of Americans, and thus far more able to help fund the cost of Health Care Reform.  This is not an unusual strategy of the wealthy: they are numerically inferior, but have much more money at their disposal to influence others.
Harold Meyerson, in a column I noted in this mornings Minneapolis Star-Tribune, originally written for the Washington Post, makes essentially the same points I do, at least in my opinion #mce_temp_url#