CEOs to Washington: Get a 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Done
Following President Obama's re-election on Tuesday, CEOs, investors and other business leaders are pushing for Congress and the president to reach a deal on the looming "fiscal cliff."
Calling the fiscal cliff a "financial superstorm," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said Congress and the president should deal with it during the lame-duck session. "In the end analysis, what we need is leadership. I think what the CEO of our nation needs to do is convene, set the agenda, and say we don't come out of the room until we've got a deal," he said.
Former Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli also called for the two sides to come together and address the country's problems. "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," he said.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is optimistic a deal will get done and when it happens, the U.S. economy will ride a wave of growth spurred on by energy production and technology investment, he told CNBC.
Energy can also be part of the solution to the fiscal cliff, Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor, said. He noted that the U.S. has the cheapest oil, natural gas and gasoline in the world, which can help bring manufacturing back to the U.S.
Tax reform also is likely be part of any deal reached on Capitol Hill, particularly after House Speaker John Boehner suggested House Republicans were open to tax reform. Pimco's Bill Gross expects Obama to push for higher taxes including a dividend-tax hike that could cause a substantial drop in U.S. stocks.
Wilbur Ross, meanwhile, expects the tax treatment on carried interest to change in any deal. But he, too, is optimistic that Obama will use his second term to think about his legacy and work to build a consensus on solutions to the country's fiscal problems.