Wall Street and Main Street Businesses Agree: Regulations and Taxes are Obstacles to Recovery
A survey by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, reveals the 900-pound corporate gorillas are losing confidence in the nation’s ability to pull out of the stagnating economy by the end of the year.
Business Roundtable chairman and Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney and Roundtable CEO John Engler attribute the decline in optimism to “government regulations, looming budget and tax issues, and the European debt crisis.” This Perfect Storm has an increasing percentage of the nation’s business leaders bracing for another difficult year.
Engler called the current climate facing business owners “pretty lethal” and warned of lowered expectations for growth in sales, capital spending and hiring.
A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business of its small business members echoes the Roundtable’s results. Small business owners report a decrease in the already historically low Small Business Optimism Index, and, like their corporate counterparts, identify taxes and government regulations as two of the three biggest threats to small businesses (with poor sales rounding out the top three).
Both the Business Roundtable and NFIB survey results highlight the growing “uncertainty” regulations and taxes have created for business owners, large and small. This uncertainty translates into more businesses opting to hold off on expanding their business or hiring more workers.