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American Express CEO Chenault Challenges Congress on Jobs

If the employment situation doesn’t improve soon, voters are going to hold Congress and the Obama administration responsible, said Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express at a summit of CEOs hosted Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

This is an opportunity for business to really seek out a clarion call to say we’re going to be unified, we’re going to focus on sustainable job creation, and in fact, we’re going to look through the job-creation lens for every policy. Taxes, we’re going to look at it through that job-creation lens. Regulation, we’re going to look at it through that job lens.

So some of you might ask, there are longer-term issues out there—that’s why we said we need to categorize short term, moderate term, long term. But in 12 months, if there is not an improvement in jobs, those politicians will have an issue and we will have an issue. And those of you who are in the nonfinancial sector who think you will be exempted: It’s coming to you, because you will be viewed as not really having made a major effort to create jobs. Second, small business and the middle market is critical.

(Image by New Hampshire Public Radio via Flickr cc 3.0)

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