Obama calls on business to do more to boost US

By admin
Saturday, February 5, 2011 9:14 EDT
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama called on U.S. businesses on Saturday to do more to boost the economy by hiring more workers and making investments.

The government has an obligation to make the United States the best place to do business, by providing the best schools, incentives to innovate and the best infrastructure, he said, but added that businesses also have to do their part.

“If we make America the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark in America,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “They should set up shop here, and hire our workers, and pay decent wages and invest in the future of this nation. That’s their obligation.”

Obama had difficult relations with the U.S. corporate community during much of his first two years as president, as some businesses — and the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group — balked at his initiatives to revamp Wall Street regulation and overhaul the healthcare industry and took umbrage at some of his sharp rhetoric on executive pay.

But the White House sought to mend relations of late, by toning down the presidential rhetoric and making staffing choices that appeal to the corporate community, such as making Bill Daley, formerly of JPMorgan Chase, the new White House chief of staff.

Obama heads into the lion’s den on Monday by making his first address to the members of the Chamber.

In the weekly address, Obama said he would tell the Chamber that government and business have mutual responsibilities.

“If we fulfill these obligations together, it benefits us all. Our workers will succeed. Our nation will prosper,” he said.

With the economy the central concern of U.S. voters, the White House has been promoting its push to support businesses, and generate more jobs, despite having its attention distracted by the crisis in Egypt.

Obama has been traveling around the country to tout initiatives including a program to increase the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and another to expand access to high-speed wireless.

“All we did for these companies was provide some tax credits and financing opportunities. And that’s what we want to do going forward,” Obama said.

His address aired the day after the Labor Department said U.S. employment rose by only 36,000 jobs in January, far fewer than economists had expected. But the jobless rate plummeted to 9.0 percent from 9.4 percent in December.

“This week, we received a report on jobs and unemployment that told us we’re continuing to move in the right direction,” Obama said. “But we need to get there faster.”

(Editing by Eric Beech)

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  • Taleisin

    Obama, maybe you should have told them this, before you played salesman to China for them.

  • Anonymous

    Businesses have no obligation to do anything. That’s what freedom is about. They are free to succeed or fail on their own merit, and seeking their own goals, given that they do not coerce or defraud any consumer. Beyond that, STFU and business people will stop laughing at you. Profit-seeking in a free market that operates under the framework of a functioning legal system almost always has the exact benefit Obama is trying to promote. Going about it that way, though, comes off as a bit bossy and misinformed.
    Business owners will not do what they see as being detrimental to their existence, so give them time, and the average is that they will do what makes sense, when it is prudent. Everyone that has been crying to the skies that businesses aren’t hiring enough are conveniently not addressing the cause of this behavior, which is a contracting/correcting economy. The world is the way it is for many reasons. You can’t change this with hopes and dreams.

  • Anonymous

    Okay then, yeah, wow he told them. Now this is the decisive action we have been waiting for. Ooh I can’t wait to watch ‘business’ just tremble and swoon, knuckling under to Obama’s limp wrtsted exhortations.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    So, do you think maybe we should cut off the oil depletion allowance and the embargo on Cuban sugar and the tax write-offs for sending jobs overseas? After all, if you think the government should stay out of commerce, that would be an ideal way to start.

    I didn’t think so, you damned hypocrite. “Thought Police” indeed.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    Did I mention the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to bail out the banks and the auto makers? You arrogant little bastard.

  • Anonymous

    Oops accidental post

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you should take a deep breath and approach the situation with a calm spirit. The answers to all four of your questions “yes yes yes and yes”
    Who is the arrogant one? Emotion clouds argument, and assuming someone’s beliefs before you get to hear them destroys any chance of it.
    People like you are the problem.