The Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch
April 4, 2016
Highlights of Luntz Poll of American CEOs Shows Broad Support for Progressive Policies
By Mary Bottari
When considering American CEOs as a category, "empathetic" is not the first word that comes to mind. Yet, the fact that these top executives have empathy for their workers is a major take-away from a closed-door webinar about a new poll taken by LuntzGlobal, the polling firm of prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz.
The polled executives want to raise the wage, expand paid sick and maternity leave, and support predictive scheduling. Their desire to "keep health care costs low for American families" far outstrips their opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
CMD was provided with a copy of the poll which was shared with business lobbyists, who were instructed on how to manipulate th e public debate over those policies rather than implement the views of the business executives who were polled.
The poll was commissioned by Council of State Chambers (COSC) is a little-known association that helps the top lobbyists for state chambers of commerce get on message about the national political agenda of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest and most influential lobbying forces in America.
There is no force in America that has spent more time and effort to keep wages low than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the state chambers that aggressively lobby against increasing the minimum wage.
"Keeping health care costs low for American families" was a key concern for CEOs. Significantly, it far outstripped "replacing ACA" or "making health care affordable for small businesses" as a priority.
A top take-away for the pollsters? CEOs have empathy for their workers and society as a whole.
Based on the directives to state chamber lobbyists in the webinar, COSC is eager to help chambers of commerce overcome that empathy and continue to oppose legal policies strongly supported by both the American people and the business executives the chambers tell the press and public that they represent.
Q19/20. All of these issues may be important, but when it comes to where an elected official stands, which issue is the MOST important to you as a business leader? [Combined]
36% Economic development and tax incentives
32% Workforce development and education issues relating to the availability of qualified workers
31% Employer mandates such wages, paid leave, and predictive scheduling
25% Finding state solutions to rising healthcare costs
20% Civil rights issues such as non-discrimination acts and the Religious Freedom and Restoration Acts (RFRA)
19% Climate issues such as environmental regulations and clean power
16% The impact the legalization of marijuana has on employers maintaining a safe workplace
11% Transportation issues including roads, infrastructure, and gas taxes
10% State pre-emptions of local mandates
Q31/32. You said healthcare costs are most important. Which of the following issues do you care about the most? [Combined]
38% Keeping healthcare costs low for American families
30% Replacing the Affordable Care Act
29% Giving employees more choices and control over their healthcare options
25% Making healthcare costs more affordable for small businesses
20% Finding state-based solutions to healthcare coverage issues
19% Promoting innovation in the healthcare sector to reduce costs and save lives
18% Expanding access and coverage to more people
10% Reducing government regulation and red tape
10% Freedom to decide whether to provide benefits like birth control
Healthcare at the Tipping Point
A documentary produced by businessman Richard Master
This documentary takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively impacting on the nation's health, while remaining un-affordable for a third of our citizens.
Free internet access to the full 58 minute documentary is now available at this link:
Comment by Don McCanne
This poll provides us with the reassuring (and not surprising) finding that CEOs of U.S. businesses "have empathy for their workers and society as a whole." Regarding health care, they give the highest priority to "keeping health care costs low for American families."
The poll was conducted by LuntzGlobal - the firm of Republican pollster and wordsmith Frank Luntz. It was commissioned by the Council of State Chambers to help state Chambers of Commerce get on message with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This is ominous.
In their new book, "American Amnesia," Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson describe how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been one of the most powerful organizations in suppressing the appropriate role of government in our mixed economy - an economy that functions best for the private sector when the government is doing what it does best though its services and regulations.
This poll does show that there is significant support for progressive policies amongst these empathetic business executives, including support for health care for American families. But what is really alarming is that the poll is not being used to advocate for the policies supported by these executives, rather it is being used "to help chambers of commerce overcome that empathy and continue to oppose legal policies strongly supported by both the American people and the business executives the chambers tell the press and public that they represent." How nefarious.
American businesses would fare much better if we had a health care system that would ensure access and affordability for both their employees and their customers. Healthy employees and healthy customers who are not burdened by health care debt are key to business success. Businessman Richard Master has produced "FIX IT" - "a powerful new documentary that reaches across the political and ideological divide to expand support for major healthcare reform." The documentary can be accessed for free at the link above.
So your homework assignment is to read "American Amnesia" and to view "FIX IT" if you have not yet done so. Doing one will get you a C- and doing both will qualify for a C+. For an A, you need to share these with as many individuals and organizations as possible. Not only will you receive an A, but finally our entire health care system will as well - and what greater reward could you ask?