3. Improve rhetoric about the role of business in this country. During the last campaign, speeches by the president and then-candidate Elizabeth Warren were taken out of context, particularly the line by the president: “you didn’t build that.” Republicans misleadingly said the phrase implied that the government built their businesses. But even if you took them at face value, it insinuates that businesses in this country should be thankful for government and Washington, D.C.
This sets the wrong tone. Yes, government regulation helps level the business playing field and facilitates honest competition while ensuring consumer protection and safety. And, yes, the government does build the transportation infrastructure, educates future employees and protects our national interests abroad. But, it’s businesses putting money into the federal coffers that allows the government to function. Not vice versa.
Over the past several years, everything has become more polarized in Washington, and nearly every special interest has been forced to align itself with one party or the other — and business groups are no different. Congressional Democrats can go along with that status quo, but, ultimately, we believe that is bad for both the party and, more importantly, the nation. If Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House want to lead over a successful economic recovery, they simply must find ways to work more closely with the employers.
Gary Meltz and Steven Schlein are former Capitol Hill staffers who serve as senior vice presidents at Dezenhall Resources.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.