The shortcomings of the fiscal cliff agreement | Business Roundtable


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The shortcomings of the fiscal cliff agreement

Jan 4, 2013

Congress and the White House prevented the fiscal cliff, but the final agreement does too little on spending. A roundup:

From Business Roundtable's statement:

H.R. 8 only just begins to address the scale of the fiscal and spending problems confronting our country and falls short as economic policy that could encourage a sustained and strong economic expansion. When pressed to the limit, political leaders averted some of the most immediate negative consequences of the short-term fiscal cliff, but left unaddressed the most serious and fundamental reforms required for the country’s long-term economic health.

National Public Radio, "Some Frustrated After Congress Kicks The Can On Debt Ceiling, Spending Cuts":

NOGUCHI: Engler, formerly governor of Michigan, is now president of the Business Roundtable, an organization that represents CEOs. Engler says defining tax levels was important, but represents only half of the equation businesses were looking for. He says by not addressing questions of where to cut spending and by how much, Congress missed an opportunity to allay businesses' concerns with a more comprehensive, longer term bargain.

ENGLER: The potential for a bigger deal always seemed to be there, but it was a little bit of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, and different people took turns playing Lucy.

Los Angeles Times, "'Cliff' deal lifts stocks and doubts":

"There's still plenty of uncertainty, unfortunately, that remains," said John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, a group of top corporate chief executives.

The group's quarterly survey last month projected the economy would maintain roughly last year's mediocre growth of 2% in 2013, and Tuesday's deal probably won't change that forecast much, he said.

Still, Engler said: "You can certainly say the potential for some harm was averted, but the potential for greater certainty still lies ahead."

Washington Post, "Business leaders say ‘cliff’ deal won’t ease economic uncertainty":

But business lobbyists said that because itdoes not stabilize rising federal debt levels, the deal could undermine economic growth. They also worried about the psychological effects on both businesses and consumers of watching lawmakers war again and again in the coming months over taxes and spending, under the cloud of a possible sovereign default if they fail to reach agreement.

“There’s nobody holding celebrations today over this agreement,” said John Engler, the president of the Business Roundtable. “There’s a bit of a reaction of, ‘Is that all there is?’ Because there’s a lot that remains to be done.”

Wall Street Journal (subscription), "CEOs' Deficit Push Falters in Political Echo Chamber"

Bloomberg/Businessweek, "CEOs and the Fiscal Cliff: What Influence?"