Major business groups in Washington, D.C., have expressed general disappointment with President Clinton's State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Among the reactions:
- Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "The President is to be commended for addressing a number of issues vital to the business community -- especially fixing broken entitlement programs, expanding trade, bolstering our national defense, and solving the Y2K computer problem. However, his prescription for health care, with its reliance on politically appealing but burdensome new mandates, is once again all wrong . . . And it was disappointing to see the President embrace such a timid tax cut agenda."
- Jerry Jasinowski, president, National Assn. of Manufacturers: "While the President clearly has the right goals in mind and many of his proposals have substantial individual appeal, it is nevertheless difficult to understand how they fit together coherently. Taken together, the President's wide-ranging initiatives would significantly increase the reach of Washington's influence in our lives. A simpler and more effective approach is the NAM's proposal for an across-the-board 10% tax cut for individuals and businesses and transformation of Social Security into a system that combines personal retirement accounts with basic guaranteed benefits."
- Jack Faris, president, National Federation of Independent Business: "We are keenly disappointed. . . . The sound of a cash register ringing up sales is sweet music to a small-business owner. But during the State of the Union address, it was Uncle Sam's cash register that was ringing to the tune of billions in new spending -- a sound that sends chills up the spines of small-business owners, who heard nothing to assuage their fears that they'll get stuck with the tab."