by Max Brantley
The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce is pounding all social media outlets with endorsements of the half-billion-dollar city sales tax increase. It's worth remembering that taxpayers are providing the chamber with a $200,000 subsidy to do this sort of thing.
It is probably a good time, too, to quote the chamber on its objectives:
From City Hall to the halls of Congress, the Little Rock Regional Chamber is the Voice of Business for the region at all levels of government. Ensuring that business interests are protected and served in public policy, the Chamber is the private sector’s leader in education, public safety, transportation and infrastructure.
The Wall Street Journal recently lauded Arkansas’s nimble business community for leading the fight against big labor’s attempts to do away with the secret ballot in union elections.
In most cases, the biggest expenses for businesses, after employee payroll and benefits, are costs associated with taxes and governmental regulations. Most businesses simply cannot afford to retain a full-time lobbyist to protect their interests.
The Little Rock Regional Chamber fills that role as the interface between the business community and government at all levels. To that end, the Chamber's priority in the public arena is simple and straight forward - to promote policies which increase its members' profits.