Friday, July 20 , 2018, 3:22 pm | Fair 75º


Tom Donohue: What’s at Stake on Election Day?

If we want to bolster the economy, we need to elect pro-business candidates

What’s at stake on Election Day? The answer is: a lot! Taxes. Spending. Regulations. The size and scope of government. The business community’s ability to freely and fairly participate in the political process. The list goes on and on.

Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue

But this election is about two fundamental questions: Do we want an all-powerful government that micromanages all aspects of our business and personal lives? Or do we want a government that will create the right conditions for businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals to do what they do best — innovate, create jobs and grow the economy?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has led a national conversation about the policies needed to jump-start the economy. We’ve talked about keeping taxes low, cutting spending and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure with private capital. And we’ve aggressively defended the business community’s right to have a voice in the elections despite vicious attacks by those who would use legislation, intimidation and smear campaigns to silence us.

Many politicians — seeking to change the conversation away from the economy — don’t want to have a debate about jobs. Why? Because they can’t win it. We’ve tried their policies for the past two years, and they haven’t worked. They’ve piled on higher taxes, an avalanche of new regulations, and vilified the private sector (apparently they have forgotten where jobs come from!).

Elections are about choices, and choices have consequences. Think about what’s at stake. Unless we elect more pro-business candidates, the tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003 could expire, resulting in one of the largest tax increases in our nation’s history.

Consider the explosion in spending — supported by both political parties — that threatens to drown the country in red ink. Unless we get expenditures under control, the long-term prospects for our economy will be diminished.

Think about the deluge of new regulations embedded in the health care and financial reform bills and those coming from the federal agencies. Will we continue to pile ever more burdensome regulations on businesses, or will we demand fewer, smarter regulations that will provide businesses with the certainty they need to grow and hire new workers?

Now is the time for the business community’s voice to be heard. We may not agree on every single issue. But we can all agree that the country is on the wrong track, and that only a vibrant private sector can restore our economic health. Figure out which candidates best meet that test, and get out and vote for them.

Click here for a list of five questions you can ask your candidates to help you make an informed decision. Like I said, there’s a lot at stake.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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