“The government can support a few jobs in the short-run, but over the long-run only the private sector, powered by free enterprise, can keep America working,” Donohue said in his prepared remarks.
“We believe it is imperative to remind, educate, and persuade our fellow citizens and leaders that it was a free enterprise system based on individual initiative, hard work, and personal responsibility – operating with free trade, free capital markets, and reasonable taxes and regulations – that created the greatest economy the world has ever known,” he said.
“It’s free enterprise that will put America back to work,” Donohue said.
Donohue told CNSNews.com that raising taxes in the current economy would be ‘devastating’ and that the organization of some 3-million-member businesses would engage Congress on the subject, including whether the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire in 2010.
“We’re going to participate in that debate, and we’re going to encourage government at every level to look very carefully about increasing taxes, because we have seen time and time again – both here and around the world – that if you increase taxes on, around or near a recession, the results are devastating,” Donohue said.
Donohue said the goal of the campaign is to work on the local, state, and national levels to create 20 million jobs over the next decade. It also calls for the United States to double its exports over the next five years.
“It’s our best ticket for creating jobs, restoring economic growth, and bringing our deficits under control,” Donohue said.
Although Donohue and other Chamber officials claim that the campaign is not aimed at any politician, political party, or specific legislation, the message of preserving the free market and limiting government was clear at the event, held at the Chamber’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“It is time for this nation to take stock of all that our free enterprise system does for us, how precious our economic freedoms really are and how unfortunate it would be to take those freedoms for granted,” Donohue said.
Donohue said he hopes the campaign will also help lawmakers across the nation “take stock” as they look for solutions to the country’s economic woes.
“What we’d like to think is that lawmakers in states and here in Washington could look at [the campaign] as a prototype that they keep their eye on as they deal with these challenging economic issues,” Donohue said, “and always ask themselves this question: Is this something that will create jobs, that will open capital markets?
“Is this something that will expand trade? Is this something that is good for all Americans and going to put 20 million people back to work?” Donohue added.
Robert Milligan, a successful entrepreneur and chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the campaign’s goal is to preserve America’s promise for future generations.
“We need to keep the American Dream alive – a dream found all across America, from the most urban cities to the farmlands of the Midwest,” Milligan said. “Keeping the American Dream alive – that is really what the ‘America Free Enterprise, Dream Big’ campaign is all about.”