The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest and most powerful business lobbying group in the country, criticized presidential candidates challenging President Donald Trump on their proposed policies concerning Medicare and taxing of the wealthy, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Tom Donohue made his remarks during his “State of American Business” address on Thursday (Jan. 9). He warned candidates that it is dangerous to go “after corporations,” and he called out policies that candidates have outlined as priorities should they be elected.
“The business community must not and will not stand on the sidelines,” he said. “While the chamber never engages in presidential politics, nor will we while I’m here, we will praise or criticize proposals by presidential candidates from both parties. We will lead the opposition to the policies that undermine the job creators, that penalize the innovators and that target the wealth creators and investors that allow Americans to provide for their families and plan for their futures.”
Donohue’s remarks were published online, but when he gave his speech live he omitted a line about the dangers of “demonizing corporations.”
He said plans for nationalizing healthcare and raising taxes on the wealthy where not good for the economy. He also said banning certain types of energy production is a bad idea.
His tone was a contrast from what many corporations have been espousing lately, which is social responsibility and environmental action.
Many in the upper levels of the business community, including the Business Roundtable, which is a different chief executive group on Capitol Hill, called for a return to a more stakeholder-focused plan.
Many wealthy elites are upset with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is vying for the nomination, because she proposed a 2 percent tax on household riches that are above $50 million, which would raise the tax rate to 6 percent for billionaires.