U.S. Chamber leader: American business must lead country
NATCHEZ — American business should step in and provide leadership when those in Washington, D.C., can’t or won’t, a leader of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’ said Tuesday.
Executive Director of the Southeast Region Moore Hallmark delivered his blunt message to local business people Tuesday during the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon at the Carriage House Restaurant.
“Forty seven million Americans are on food stamps, the average median income of families is at 1995 levels and youth are in deep despair in urban areas of our country,” Hallmark said. “We need leaders who can nurture success and provide hope — empower it, reward it and celebrate it,” Hallmark said.
The current climate in Washington does not look good, Hallmark said. Congress is becoming more polarized, and moderates are becoming extinct, he said. What is left is a Congress that is both more liberal and more conservative at the same time, he said.
That is why it is important that American business and the U.S. Chamber should step up and provide leadership, Hallmark said.
From the U.S. Chamber’s perspective, there are several things that need immediate attention, he said.
Among those are addressing the country’s current fiscal crisis, considering serious entitlement changes, tackling comprehensive tax reform, developing a comprehensive energy policy, advancing a bold trade agenda and addressing the flood of new regulatory activity.
By addressing each of these agenda items seriously, America can generate jobs, lift incomes and expand opportunity.
“We can’t spend our way out, and we can’t tax our way out (of our current crisis),” Hallmark said.
One other important issue facing the nation is immigration, Hallmark said.
Immigration is important in our country, Hallmark said. Immigrants work in our universities, hospitals and local schools. They serve in our military, he said.
Even still, immigration reform is necessary. Reforms must include securing the country’s borders, an employment verification system, a tough pathway to citizenship and ability for employers to hire immigrants when domestic help is unavailable, Hallmark said.
After all is said and done, the one thing the country needs now is leadership, Hallmark said.
“American business has the capacity to provide that leadership and the profound duty to do so,” he said.