Big companies — not just Wall Street bankers — are finding themselves and their priorities “more adrift” from American politics than they have in decades, says The Washington Post.
Trump blasts firms for outsourcing jobs overseas. Sanders hits them for how much corporate tax they pay. Clinton laments their focus on profits at the expense of broader economic vitality.
Factors fanning the flames include a recovery from the financial crisis that’s produced few sustained income gains for most workers. Corporations have record profits but are investing a historically low amount of them back into the economy. And social media have given corporate critics new and powerful platforms.
In the postwar era, “There’s never been a greater disconnect” between the presidential campaign trail and the business community, says John Engler, a former Michigan governor who now heads the Business Roundtable in Washington.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is focusing its political spending this year on the House and Senate, in hopes of electing candidates who will pursue the business lobby’s agenda no matter who wins the presidency.