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CEOs tell Washington: Get things done

Aug 9, 2012
Carter Wood

The Wall Street Journal today reports, "A Business Message to D.C.: Stop Fighting, We'll Spend."

The Game columnist Dennis K. Berman went through 500 earnings call transcripts and found that at least 35 CEOs vented about Washington, protesting the inability to get things done was putting the economy at risk. Berman interviewed several CEOs to delve into their frustration:

[Washington's] dysfunction, they say, is having real-world effects as many companies plan fiscal years that began July 1.

In separate interviews, the executives made a simple point: Washington is itself trapping much of the energy needed to repower the economy. Find a smidge of common ground, set clear rules, end policy triggered by "cliffs" and brinkmanship, and business will unleash that energy back.

"If you can't plan, you don't spend. And if you don't spend you don't hire," said Paul J. Diaz, chief executive of nursing home and rehabilitation-center Kindred Healthcare Inc. in an interview. "It's just hard to do budgets."

Diaz is a member of Business Roundtable, and many other BRT-member CEOs share his view.


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