The Administration and Congressional leaders insist jobs are a priority, right? And most would acknowledge that the private sector has at least a role to play in creating jobs.
Do they not recognize that maligning the private sector fosters uncertainty, that attacking the motives of corporations creates a business climate that discourages investment? Demonizing employers does not help create jobs.
Anyway, just a couple of thoughts after reading the New York Times’ coverage of the latest development on H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, to limit political speech by disfavored groups. From the story, “Senate Democrats Call on House to Support DISCLOSE Bill,” based on a letter written by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee:
“The Roberts Court and its activist majority overturned decades of law and precedent and gave corporations and other special interests unprecedented new power to influence America’s elections,” Mr. Reid and Mr. Schumer continued. “Additionally, the activist decision opened the door to foreign-controlled corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on American political campaigns.”
The senators added, “We fully agree that Congress must take a stand against this naked power grab sanctioned by the Roberts Court and pass the DISCLOSE act.” And they wrote, “We commit to working tirelessly for Senate consideration of the House-passed bill so it can be signed by the president in time to take effect for the 2010 elections.”
The assertions about foreign corporations spending unlimited amounts are not just inflammatory, they are untrue, just as they were when the President made them in the State of the Union address in January. Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith explained:
The president also stated, again misleadingly, that the decision would open the door for foreign corporations to spend unlimited sums in American elections. In fact, another provision of federal law, not at issue in the case, already prohibits any foreign national, including foreign corporations, from spending money in any federal campaign. FEC regulations, which have the force of law, further prohibit any foreign national from playing any role in the political spending decisions of any U.S. corporation, political action committee, or association. And the Court specifically stated that Citizens United was not addressing these laws at all. So while some states may tweak their state rules in the wake of Citizens United to limit the ability of U.S. incorporated and head-quartered subsidiaries of foreign corporations to spend money in campaigns, the “foreign corporation” bogeyman is little more than leftist demagoguery.
Foreign-owned corporations create millions of jobs in the United States. Instead of accusing them of trying to undermine U.S. democracy, it would be better to say, “Thank you.”
If jobs are a priority, that is.
Previous NAM communications …
- Joint letter from 232 trade associations and activist groups, including the NAM, objecting to H.R. 5175, the anti-speech DISCLOSE Act.
- NAM Key Vote letter.
- NAM news release.