Business leader says Washington is bad for business

June 23, 2010

Politicians and pundits often make grand claims about the effectiveness of their own economic policies and ideals. Too often, however, these claims don’t play out in the real world.

Recently, Verizon CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, shared his perspective on the real impact of Washington’s much-touted “growth” policies.

Below is an excerpt from a speech made by Seidenberg at the Business Roundtable:

My colleagues and I have worked closely with policy-makers across the political spectrum on matters from health care to trade and tax policy to energy and climate change. But frankly, we have become somewhat troubled by a growing disconnect between Washington and the business community that is harming our ability to expand the economy and grow private-sector jobs in the U.S. We see a host of laws, regulations and other policies being enacted that impose a government prescription of how individual industries ought to be structured, rather than produce an environment in which the private sector can innovate, invest and create jobs in this modern global economy.

In our judgment, we have reached a point where the negative effects of these policies are simply too significant to ignore.

In the search for short-term revenue fixes, we’re doing long-term damage to growth.

By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses.

Meanwhile, without a sufficiently comprehensive focus on growth and jobs, our unemployment rate continues to hover close to 10 percent. The CBO says debt will rise to 90 percent of G.D.P. in 10 years. And last month’s job report showed the private sector creating only 41,000 jobs, a figure the Economic Policy Institute says is ‘nothing closely resembling the job growth needed to dig us out of our very deep hole.’

So, from our perspective, it’s time to refocus public policy on creating the conditions that will drive private-sector jobs.

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