Americans Really Really Don’t Want to Go Over the Fiscal Cliff

Nov 14, 2012

According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, a large majority of Americans think it’s either very important or extremely important that Congress and the administration avoid letting the economy go over the “fiscal cliff,” tax increases and automatic spending cuts set to take effect starting on January 1, 2013.

They understand that going over the cliff risks the economy going into recession.

Not only are Americans worried, but so are the manufacturing and retail sectors. Matthew Lavoie at Shopfloor writes about a Wisconsin cast-iron company [emphasis mine]:

Neenah Enterprises President and CEO Tom Riordan doesn’t believe that policymakers in Washington truly understand the situation. “The political back and forth and the brinksmanship have put us and our customers in a situation where Neenah Enterprises is being buried by uncertainty. Even coming this close to the fiscal cliff has placed us in a position where we’ve had to significantly scale back our operations. If we go over the cliff, it’s going to get a lot worse.”

In an announcement about October retail sales, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay also expresses concern going into the next few months:  

While Hurricane Sandy certainly impacted consumer spending in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, the larger threat to the overall economy is the impending fiscal cliff, which impacts Americans across the country. The automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year may have more of an impact on business confidence and consumer spending than any other issue. It’s imperative that policymakers address the looming fiscal cliff now to give consumers some certainty heading into the holiday shopping season.

Concerned from the business sector isn't new. For a number of months the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Outlook Survey has seen large majorities worried about the fiscal cliff.

It’s critical that Washington not let the economy go over the cliff by the end of the year. And in 2013 our leaders must work on a “Big Deal” that includes comprehensive tax reform, entitlement reform [read this letter to the President and Congress sent today from the U.S. Chamber and other business organizations], and energy development. These three components would promote economic growth, create jobs, and put the federal government on a firmer fiscal foundation, something all Americans want.

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