What it means to be ‘pro-business’

With many in the business community starting to take their concerns about GOP tactics public, maybe it’s a good time to revisit what it means to be “pro-business.”

Noting pressure on Congress from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to resolve this crisis quickly, Steven L. Taylor, writing at the center-right Outside the Beltway, noted the disconnect between congressional Republicans and their traditional allies.

What this underscores yet again is that most people who understand the situation also understand that the debt ceiling has to be raised. The only people who seem not to understand this are a faction of ideologues in the GOP, a gaggle of talk show hosts, and a smattering of bloggers and blog commenters.

I have not seen a serious economist (regardless of philosophical predilections) or really anyone I would consider serious/informed about this topic who thinks otherwise…. I find all of this interesting as well because it seems to speak to a serious internal identity crisis within the GOP at the moment. The Republicans are allegedly the party of business, yet they have created uncertainty in the economy over their game of chicken and have now forced some of their allies to speak publically.

I realize that the Republican Party’s leadership fully accepts the fact that the debt ceiling has to be raised, and I’m glad. But as has become painfully clear of late, members of the leadership are no longer doing the leading; they’re doing the following.

I agree with Taylor that we’re talking about “a faction of ideologues in the GOP, a gaggle of talk show hosts, and a smattering of bloggers and blog commenters” who appear to have gone completely mad, but it’s worth emphasizing that this group just happens to dictate the outcome of most key votes in the House of Representatives.

In the bigger picture, there is quite a bit of irony here. Under the first two years of the Obama presidency, economic growth was restored, corporate profits soared, the major Wall Street indexes rocketed up, and nearly all of the job creation was limited to the private sector. The Chamber of Commerce crowd, unsatisfied, invested heavily in Republican candidates, hoping they would create a climate even more business friendly.

News flash, business community: you invested in the wrong horses.

Jon Chait noted today that if Republicans block a debt-ceiling increase before August 2, “The business elite will decide that the Republicans are dangerous and must be stopped.”

I think that’s true. I also think the business elite should have thought of this last year.