Timothy Carney has a really interesting deconstruction of the US Chamber of Commerce agenda, and it is a good reminder of the forces at work pushing this country towards a corporate state (similar to France and Germany). When large corporations lobby via the Chamber of Commerce, it is apparently not for low taxes and free markets, but rather targeted interventions and subsidies. The article does not have a money quote I could find, but this should give you an idea of what the author discovered in the Chamber of Commerce rankings of Congressmen:
On the House side, it's a similar picture. The Republican with the lowest Chamber score was [Ron] Paul. Even Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, who wants to regulate everything except Fannie Mae, scored 14 points higher than Paul on the Chamber's scorecard.
Suffice it to say a ranking system that has folks like Ron Paul last is not based on free markets and small government. Apparently, the Chamber marks down Congressmen who did not vote for all the bailout and stimulus packages, did not vote for various alternative energy subsidies, and did not vote to expand college loan subsidies.
The victor of almost any new regulation or licensing program is typically incumbents, and particularly large incumbents. In my own business, there have been a series of new government regulations added over the years, with the effect that an industry formerly dominated by hundreds of ma and pa operators has consolidated to barely four or five players. No one else can afford the compliance costs. Licensing is almost always incumbent protection, and the government even frequently turns over the approval process for new entrants to the current incumbents (e.g. medicine and law). And subsidies are almost by definition support incumbents over potential new entrants.
Postscript: In terms of incumbent protection, keep an eye on carbon permits. There will be a ton of pressure to give free or discounted permits to current incumbents, as was done in Europe. This would be a huge structural barrier to competition, as incumbents can service their current market share for free but new entrants (or expansions of existing entrants) will require expensive new permits.