"Bart Naylor" "Financial policy reform"The next time Chamber of Commerce lobbyists testify before Congress and claim fatuously on behalf of its contrived three million small business members that Wall Street reform law must be gutted, responsible senators and representatives should throw this in their face: a new poll showing overwhelming support among small business FOR the reform law.

Released Jan. 29 by the Small Business Majority, the poll shows that 81 percent of Republican small business owners believe Wall Street must be held accountable with tougher regulations. In addition, 84 percent support the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), charged with combating “unfair, deceptive and abusive” banking practices.

Eviscerate the CFPB, as Senate Republicans insist, supposedly on behalf of small business? By a 2-to-1 ratio, small business owners believe the CFPB funding should be removed from congressional meddling so that Wall Street lobbyists can’t interfere with its work.

Two-thirds of entrepreneurs believe the level of oversight of Wall Street should be increased.

Conducted by Lake Research Partners, the poll surveyed 500 business owners across the country. Of these, 126 were self-employed; 254 ran businesses with two to nine employees; and 120 ran businesses with 10 to 99 employees. Of these, 52 percent identified themselves as Republican, 34 percent as Democrats, and 11 percent as Independent.

Long ago, observers charged the US Chamber of Commerce with inflating its membership claims. While US Chamber congressional testimony inevitably begins with an assertion that it represents three million members, these are simply the members of the 2,800 local chambers of commerce in the United States. The US Chamber of Commerce maintains no formal relationship with these local chambers; there is no national chamber convention where national policies are adopted, no local chamber votes on US Chamber board members, no dues payments go to the US Chamber.  In fact, 60 local chambers have denounced or cancelled their membership in the US Chamber, according to Public Citizen’s US ChamberWatch.

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