U.S. Chamber: Obama neglecting jobs

By Reuters
Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:04 a.m.

One of the most influential U.S. business groups accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of neglecting job creation and slowing economic uncertainty with burdensome tax and regulatory policies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the letter before a “Jobs for America” summit it is hosting and on the same day Obama’s Council of Economic advisers is releasing a report that shows the president’s policies are creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The letter adds to growing criticism the Obama administration has faced lately from the business sector.

The group urged Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress to shift their approach to “unlock frozen capital and jolt our economy back to life.”

Four months before November congressional elections in which Obama’s Democrats are struggling to preserve their dominance, Republicans have pounced on the criticisms to try to paint Obama as “anti-business.”

The Chamber gave Obama credit for stabilizing the economy and heading off another Great Depression.

“But once accomplished, the congressional leadership and the administration took their eyes off the ball,” the letter said. “They neglected America’s number one priority — creating the more than 20 million jobs we need over the next 10 years for those who lost their jobs, have left the job market, or were cut to part-time status – as well as new entrants into our workforce.”

The Chamber’s jobs event, which takes place in Washington, will begin at 12:30 p.m. Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are among the speakers.

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, leaders of a panel appointed by Obama on deficit reduction, are also scheduled to speak.

The healthcare reform legislation, financial regulatory reform and proposals to cap carbon emissions are cited by some in corporate America as examples of regulatory overreach. Business groups have also criticized Obama’s fiscal policies, warning of the danger of high deficits.

Business groups also oppose Obama’s plans to allow President George W. Bush’s tax cuts on higher-income Americans expire at the end of this year.

A rift with the business community could pose other problems for Obama.

U.S. businesses are holding onto some $1.8 trillion in cash. The Obama administration wants to encourage them to invest some of that money to help jump-start the economic recovery.

Read more about the topics in this post: ,


  1. Tony Bonen July 14, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I find it repugnant that the Chamber of Commerce is framing its complaints over Obama/Democrats’ policies as a lack of job creation. While the ‘independent poll’ launched by the Chamber does show that small businesses and voters are concerned about taxes, higher deficits and regulation these were the only three realistic options offered (the other two being ‘higher tariffs’ and ‘carbon taxes’ which we all know are a far cry from ever happening at the national stage).

    What is missed in this article and in Chamber’s poll is that virtually every economist is quite clear on the fact that the lack of growth (and therefore job creation) is due to a lack of consumer demand – which accounts for 70% of the GDP.

    The Financial Times article (and interview with Mr. Donohue) earlier this week makes this clear. It notes that “US corporate profits have risen by 36 per cent this year, and profit margins as a share of gross domestic product are at or near post-war records.” Adding that “Corporate analysts say most of the gains in US profitability have come from cutting jobs”.

    While uncertainty over taxes and regulation do not help the business climate and generally reduce demand this does not mean they are the greatest cause of falling demand.

    The Chamber of Commerce representing the upper echelons of businesses is of course concerned more with profitability and share prices than with effective consumer demand. Hence, although increasing payrolls and employee benefits would be the most direct way to stimulate demand the short-term affects on share price and profitability are less attractive for these leaders. Obama’s policies are simply an easy scapegoat for ever-greater gauging of the American consumer.

  2. NANCY July 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Well, there is no consumer demand because people are so uneasy about their jobs and the economy. I own a small business and talk to business owners on a daily basis. We are terrified about what this President and Congress have up their sleeves next. I truly believe that they want to pass their socialist agenda and are the most anti-business group I have ever seen. Businesses have huge $$ set aside and are not using it to hire – why? Because Obama and the Dems are in charge – at least we have a chance if we can get Repubs in charge of House or Senate so there will be gridlock!

  3. jimbobets July 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Is this the same Chamber of Commerce that represents all the CEO’s who continue to off-shore millions of jobs. The same CEO’s who hire hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens because they don’t want to hire American workers?

  4. MinsterR July 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I find the US CC’s comments strange. According to everything I am hearing and reading the economy is on the right track and 3 millions jobs were saved/created as of today.

    End of sarcasm.

  5. Pete July 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    The Chamber of Commerce stopped representing small business a long time ago. We can all thank the Chamber for removing pensions, health care, protection for older workers and raising the minimum retirement age.

    People are just consumable commodities to the Chamber. Never forget that.

  6. alex July 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    oh my. The Chamber is at it again.

    What a bunch of creepy twits.

  7. alex July 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm


    I too have a small business and am far from sharing your fringe views. I’ve yet to see one single piece of “socialism” to grip our nation. Healthcare reform was far from being socialist, which is really too bad because an approach like single payer really would save all of us a lot of money in the long-term. You might be in the camp that believes that insurance companies (or middle-men) should make money off our nation’s health. I am not. Obama failed in taking the corporatist approach to solving our nation’s HC problem.

  8. Harvey Wallbanger July 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Nancy, excellent job on parroting right wing talking point propaganda.

  9. FillB July 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Oooooohh. The US Chamber thinks Obama is doing a bad job.

    In other news, the sun rose above the eastern horizon, and it set in the west. Also, it turns out water…it’s wet. Who knew?

  10. Jimmy Ray July 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    The only jobs Obama knows how to create are government ones.

  11. alex July 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Jimmy Ray,

    You’re in the camp of being uninformed, which is okay. It seems to be the GOPs M.O. these days.

    For example, Teabaggers exclaim,
    “He’s a tax loving communist! A communist!”

    Fact: Obama has cut taxes for 97% of Americans. At a time that cutting taxes isn’t the most sensible approach.