Fiscal Cliff: Top Executives Speak Out

The United States’ “fiscal cliff” is the combination of two events taking place at the end of this year. Almost every tax cut enacted over the past decade is set to expire, along with a scheduled reduction in government spending. If Congress and the President fail to address the issue in a timely and responsible manner, the aftershocks are estimated to cause a recession, an increase in unemployment and even another credit downgrade. In order to help move discussions along, some of the country’s top business leaders are speaking out.

The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, has been very vocal on the fiscal cliff. Following President Obama’s re-election, John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, said that the lame-duck session of Congress has to “get the fiscal cliff under control” by extending tax rules through next year and avoid steep cuts to government spending. He believes any type of a “grand bargain” should be delayed to avoid more gridlock.

Here’s a look at how other members of the association feel about the fiscal cliff:

Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) CEO Andrew Liveris says, “This country must show the world we can be fiscally responsible. Both sides of the aisle need to get to work if we are to overcome our current economic challenges. Business and capital hate uncertainty, and the reality is that our current political impasses are creating precisely that.”

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General Electric (NYSE:GE) CEO and Chairman Jeffrey Immelt claims, “If the fiscal cliff does happen, that’s a failure of governance, and that’s something we shouldn’t expect.”

Honeywell International (NYSE:HON) CEO and Chairman Dave Cote explains, “If the last debt ceiling discussion was playing with fire, this time they’re playing with nitroglycerin. It’s important to recognize that the stakes have gone up across the board when you combine the debt ceiling with the fiscal cliff.”