Published: October 09, 2012
BRT President John Engler reports he's optimistic that America's problems CAN be solved. But WILL they?
Engler participated in a panel discussion this morning sponsored by Leading Authorities, joined by the presidents of three other major business associations: Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Matt Shay of the National Retail Federation.
To wrap up the discussion, moderator Katty Kay of the BBC asked all four if they were optimistic that America's politicians can solve the major problems that have held back the U.S. economy. Sure, they can, Engler responded. But will they?
I think that there’s going to be enormous pressure from the business community to get off the dime. This is really an opportunity. Really, 2013 in many ways could determine I think the first half of the 21st Century in terms of economic growth and opportunity in this country. This could be a very good time for America if we make decisions.
This could be a very good time for America if we make decisions. If we dawdle, if we miss our opportunities, we’re really dooming our children to a less than stellar future. I think we can win the argument.
Granted, not all of the conversation was as upbeat. From National Journal, Influence Alley (subscription), "Business Leaders Not Ready to Compromise on Economic Positions ":
Business Roundtable president John Engler said Tuesday that if the country doesn't reform its tax codes and relax industry regulations, all Americans will be paying sky high gas prices and facing an even worse economy.
"California is America if we don't change. That's the scary thought," the former Michigan governor said. "We can see the future -- just look to California. It ought to scare everyone in America. No one would want to go there."
There is a fear in the business world that lawmakers will deadlock after the election and fail to prevent the looming tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect in January — a scenario that would hurt the economy, the panelists said.
“When you got people walking around up there on the Hill saying we should let this happen, chilling effect doesn’t cover [it] in terms [of] the way it damages the psyche,” said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO.
C-Span has the video.
UPDATE: Also, Fox Business News has a report: