On Friday, the Orlando Sentinel reported the following story about Occupy Orlando:
Occupy Orlando protests Orlando Chamber
January 13, 2012|Orlando Sentinel
About 15 members of Occupy Orlando protested outside the Orlando Regional Chamber Commerce groups Friday, denouncing the chamber for taking $300,000 in contributions from a taxpayer-funded jobs agency. Read more…
The Sentinel reported that this protest was in reaction to their Jan 9th story about the Chamber receiving $300,000 from Workforce Central Florida that you can read more about here. Occupy Orlando is right to oppose this kind of corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Taxpayers’ money should not be funding the Chamber.
The Chamber of Commerce has had its snout in the public trough for a long time.
Back in 2009, U.S. Chamber of Commerce publicly supported the $787 billion stimulus bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Public outrage over this massive government spending contributed to the beginning of the modern day tea party movement. The Chamber and the tea party movement are also at odds over government-funded rail.
Back in October 2011, the Orlando Regional Chamber received $63K from the City of Orlando in exchange for 10 seats at a 2-day entrepreneur academy hosted by the Chamber. Considering tickets to this event were offered at a cost of $400 per ticket to the general public, the City overpaid by $59K, or about $5,600 per ticket.
But, while Occupy Orlando protests the Chamber for taking public funds, why does it not protest groups like Planned Parenthood, Solyndra and Fannie Mae when they take public funds? The now bankrupt Solyndra was given $535 million of taxpayers’ money. Fannie Mae has been bailed out with over $120 billion (with a “b”) of taxpayers’ money. Planned Parenthood received $487 million in taxpayers’ money in the fiscal year 2009-2010.
Unlike the hypocrites of the Occupy Orlando, the tea party movement calls for the end of government handouts across the board.