Business leaders: Obama policies 'job-destroying'

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed President Obama's economic policies Wednesday, saying administration officials "took their eyes off the ball" and "neglected" to focus on job creation.

A letter posted to the business group's site and a summit with 500 business leaders were the latest moves in an ongoing battle between big business and the Obama administration.

The two are at odds over the best way to keep the recovery from slipping into a double-dip recession. The Chamber believes tax cuts are key to job creation. The Obama administration, however, has focused on stimulus and spending to create jobs.

The Chamber said in its letter that the administration "vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised course of government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits and job-destroying regulations."

The letter also included "some different approaches to unlock frozen capital and jolt our economy back to life."

The six suggestions are: create a growth and jobs tax policy; restore fiscal health; expand trade and export-driven jobs; rebuild and expand infrastructure; ease regulatory burdens; and eliminate uncertainty for business owners.

Legislation 'causing uncertainty': In a speech at the jobs summit, Chamber president Tom Donohue focused on what he considers a glut of recent legislation, including financial reform and health reform.

"We must address the cumulative job-killing impact of over-regulation," Donohue said, stressing the uncertainty he considers rampant in U.S. businesses.

Donohue also said lawmakers were "spending at astronomical levels -- we're setting ourselves up to be the next Greece," a reference to the debt crisis plaguing the European nation.

Americans for Financial Reform, a group supporting the financial reform bill that the Senate is expected to pass this week, took issue with the Chamber.

"Attempts to kill accountability and transparency for the financial sector should come as no surprise given who pulls the strings for the Chamber: Wall Street," the group said in a statement.

Separately, in its latest stimulus report, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers said stimulus has already fueled about 3 million jobs. That's in line with earlier ongoing predictions from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the council.

But in January 2009, Romer predicted the stimulus package - then just a proposal from the new administration - would keep the unemployment rate around 7% at the end of 2010.

A Labor Department report earlier this month said the American economy shed 125,000 jobs in June. More than 8 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's latest economic forecast was more pessimistic when on Wednesday it issued the minutes of its June meeting. The Fed now predicts the unemployment rate would be between 9.2% to 9.5% this year, slightly higher than previous estimates. To top of page

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