Tags: CEOs | economy | boom | cliff

CEOs: Economy Could Boom if Fiscal Cliff Is Avoided

Monday, 12 Nov 2012 11:44 AM

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The U.S. economy could really take off next year if lawmakers successfully steer the country away from the fast-approaching fiscal cliff, CEOs say.

At the end of this year, the Bush-era tax cuts and other benefits are scheduled to expire at the same time automatic cuts to government spending kick in, a combination known as a fiscal cliff that could send the country sliding into a recession next year if left unchecked by Congress.

Should lawmakers put political differences aside and work out a solution that moves the economy away from the one-two punch of tax hikes and spending cuts striking at the same time, 2013 might be a very good year for those in many industries.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

Take technology, for example.

“If we could get this fiscal situation addressed, get a tax code that is more modern and competitive with the rest of the world, I think that with what’s happening with energy in this country and what people are prepared to invest in technology, I think we ride a wave in this country for three or four years that’s going to be very exciting,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC.

Business leaders in other sectors of the economy echoed similar sentiments.

“Let’s get actionable plans on job creation, come together on energy independence, let’s resolve the bickering and the fighting and polarization we’ve had,” former Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli also told CNBC.

Banks are hopeful for greener pastures beyond the cliff as well.

“Housing looks like it’s turning. Household formation is going up. Consumers are still spending. So business itself looks pretty good,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told the network.

“To me the most important thing is we solve the short-run fiscal cliff and the longer run fiscal issues. I personally think if we do that, the economy can boom.”

One sticking point lies in taxes, with Democrats clamoring for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for wealthier Americans, while Republicans are countering with fears such a move would prompt richer Americans, who are also business owners, from hiring new workers.

One senior Republican senator said he was confident both sides could strike a deal.

“I am optimistic,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told Fox News Sunday,

“There is a way of getting there on the revenue side. The real question is can we come to terms on the entitlement side.”

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

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