CEOs Pressure Politicians to Get Serious on Debt
Corporate America is putting together its investment and hiring plans for next year. But with “fiscal cliff” uncertainty hanging over the economy, many corporations may spend and hire less next year unless the fiscal issues are cleared up, CEOs told CNBC this week.
Chief executives of more than 80 corporations, including Goldman Sachs (GS), Dow Chemical (DOW), Caterpillar (CAT) and Weyerhauser (WY) have gotten together to pressure Congress to tackle the country’s fiscal problems with a combination of tax reform and spending cuts. (Read More: US CEOs Call for Action to Reduce Federal Deficit.)
“If we go over the fiscal cliff we’re looking at a negative 1.7 percent GDP growth for the first quarter and that means jobs and that companies like ours are going to have to pull back on our capital investment,” Mark Bertolini, Aetna’s (AET) CEO, told CNBC. “The sooner we get clarity the more we can invest in the economy.”
Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City CEO, echoed that sentiment.
“We’ve got more than $1 trillion sitting on the sidelines tied up in our American businesses that they’re not putting to work because they can’t figure out what’s going to happen in Washington,” she said. “We’ve lost faith that there’s a solution to this problem. We have to bring this country together to get something done, and then we can all benefit.”