Head of KS Chamber of Commerce publishes stupid commentary



This morning, The Kansas City Star's Business section ran a guest commentary by Amy J. Blankenbiller, president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Slugged "Businesses are under fire from Washington," Blankenbiller's spin on current events was predictably conservative. But coming from the head of a pro-business organization that expects to be taken seriously, it was also laughably irresponsible.

  • Blankenbiller
During the course of a national discussion whose violent tone is disgusting most reasonable people, Blankenbiller escalates the rhetoric:

"Never before in American history has your job and your personal prosperity been under attack as it is today," Blankenbiller begins (emphasis mine).

Second paragraph: "Our president is leading the charge with several pieces of legislation... "

Third paragraph: "The most recent assault is in the form of health care reform."

That's right. You are being attacked and assaulted by the president and his army.

On health-care reform, Blankenbiller says that, under current reform

proposals, Kansans would see an increase of $460 in private health

insurance costs. She gets her figures from the Lewin Group, a favorite

supplier of GOP "facts" now widely known to be owned by UnitedHealthGroup, one of the country's biggest insurance companies.

In July, the Washington Post reported that the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a

UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney

general and the American Medical Association of helping insurers shift

medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. ... In

January, UnitedHealth agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New

York attorney general and a $350 million settlement with the AMA,

covering conduct going back as far as 1994.

Blankenbiller goes on to drop some warmed-over GOP talking points about cap-and-trade and card check,

too, warning of 40 percent increases in energy bills and invoking scary

union bosses -- as if these "threats" to our jobs and our personal

prosperity were way, way, way worse than deregulated mortgage

traders and unnecessary wars against dictators with

imaginary weapons of mass destruction. (Her source for info on the

scary union bosses: the Republican polling firm McLaughlin & Associates.)


jeez, forgive me for bringing up those expensive wars. After all, our

current unhappy predicament isn't really anybody's fault, as

Blankenbiller concludes in this ridiculous display of disingenuousness:


assigning blame to the economic troubles, we need government at all

levels to stop attacking our employers and our jobs. Misguided

government "remedies" of intrusion and spending need to stop, so

businesses can bring the economy back by creating new jobs.

Right, Amy. Way to note, without assigning blame, that the current administration needs to stop attacking us.

I call bullshit.

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