NC Chamber of Commerce

The deterioration of the NC Chamber of Commerce

No longer the visionaries they once were:

In the last few years, things changed at the state Chamber. The main emphasis became lower taxes -- corporate and personal income taxes – along with a draconian approach to modifying the state’s unemployment insurance tax plan by reducing unemployment benefits. The money saved by cutting benefits, in a plan pushed by the chamber, was then used to pay the employers’ debt to the federal government for money borrowed to support the exploding burden brought on by the Great Recession.

The Chamber got its tax cuts and was silent on the controversial matters that were important to the ideologues controlling the General Assembly. The Chamber made a deal (it might be said ‘sold out North Carolina’) as attacks on public education, the environment and the fair treatment of people, go forward.

Like many organizations in North Carolina, the NC Chamber used to operate in an autonomous fashion compared to its national counterpart. But that unique approach is gone, replaced by the same, tired pursuit of profit margins and short-term gains pushed by the US Chamber. When they should be taking whatever positions they can to shore up the middle class, they're actually working hard to destroy it, and turn a sizeable portion of the workforce into wage slaves.

NC Legislative staffer, or Chamber lobbyist?

Blurring the lines of ethics and accountability:

The General Assembly’s top economist told legislators the state has collected $120 million more than projected for the first six months, or through Dec. 31. Barry Boardman wrote Friday that’s 1.2 percent above the revenue target of roughly $10 billion. He says that means revenue is “essentially on track.”

Boardman’s report says moderate economic growth is expected in the state and wage growth is helping personal income tax collections exceeded projections. Sales taxes are below their target.

When this story first caught my eye (or nose, if you will), I detected a whiff of corporate influence, and decided to do a little digging. While Boardman has been working for the General Assembly going on ten years now, he has also recently become involved with the NC Chamber of Commerce:

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