WICHITA, Kan. - George W. Bush has been invited to speak before the Wichita Chamber of Commerce on November 3rd, 2011.
Citizen activists in Wichita are outraged by the decision to invite Bush. It does appear to be a rather puzzling choice. The Chamber is either suffering from acute amnesia or else does not truly believe in its own goals of creating a positive and strong economic climate by electing "pro-business" candidates since it has no problem inviting a former official who nearly drove the American economy over the cliff.
Bush not only created the nation's crippling deficit by committing troops to fight in two extremely expensive wars, but also gave tax breaks to the most wealthy in society. On top of these grave errors, the banking industry and financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers were running wild with their derivatives scheme by passing off bad mortgages to another company and making their cut until the bubble burst and the scheme was realized. Even as companies were run aground and people evicted from their homes, the CEOs of the very companies that had created the financial meltdown were awarded huge bonuses for their incompetence and thievery. This pathetic story of greed and more greed continues to threaten any real economic stability and financial recovery in America.
And the man at the helm when all of this was going down, George W. Bush, THIS is the man the Chamber is bringing to town to speak?
The Chamber appears to be nothing but a conduit for those who are already formidable players, become even more formidable and working deals for each other. I used to think the Chamber of Commerce was a kind of "Good Housekeeping" stamp of approval that signified a business was honest and would stand by its product. Today, the Chamber appears to be just a republican club seeking influence with elected officials at the local, state and federal level to provide subsidies and other incentives to prop up and protect businesses. Of course, the Chamber holds great disdain when those same government entities waste precious tax dollars to help the poor, fund the arts, educate children or fight for fair labor standards.
As a very powerful lobbying force in D.C., the Chamber occupies a prominent place at the table of government. No one should be shocked that snake oil salesmen are still in high demand to make sure the business sector receives favorable bills, programs and other government largess it would deny to other groups and call it socialist/liberal handouts to losers who are undeserving.
The Chamber has a simple mantra: Republicans are pro-business; anything else is un-American and bad for business which is astonishing when you look at the Bush record. I admit Bush was good for the top business leaders and CEO's of the nation, but what about the rest of those Chamber members who surely must be uncomfortable with this dubious selection? The Chamber has a lot of nerve talking about building a strong business climate and inviting George W. Bush to the podium as if he built a strong and financially sound America.
With over 5,000 deaths in Iraq, almost 2,000 in Afghanistan, families torn apart, lives that will never be the same, and countless Americans without savings, retirement, or decent jobs, it is staggering to think how little businessmen and politicians have been held accountable for their crimes.
From thieves in the banking and financial industry, to the elected and appointed officials from both parties looking the other way to line their own campaign coffers or take top jobs in the very industries they were to regulate, Americans now bear the brunt of the poor decisions made through their gross incompetence and greed. Americans did not expect to be robbed and pillaged by their own government and business leaders.
This Chamber's invitation is just a slap in the face to all Americans who still suffer from the Bush Administration's business acumen. Wichitans have every right to be outraged.