Why 'Rise Above?'
The election is over, but the American economy will only be unleashed if we avoid the fiscal cliff, pare our deficit and rise above partisan politics. On this point, nearly every business leader and investor who appears on CNBC has been consistent: The status quo leads to economic stagnation or worse; solutions could release powerful forces that propel the nation out of its post-recessionary funk.
Politics and politicians can solve this crisis but they are now in the way. For a deal to get done, we must rise above partisan bickering. For a deal to get done, they must move the public toward some form of sacrifice. That's always been the spirit of America.
So far, failure by Congress and the White House to come to terms on various budget and tax plans, like the Simpson-Bowles proposal, has set up a January deadline for a set of tax hikes and budget cuts that most economists agree will push the country back into recession. The threat of such dire consequences was supposed to force Washington to act. But it hasn't. Instead, it has moved us closer to the brink.
(Read More: Next Up for Markets? The Fiscal Cliff)
With the American economy held hostage by politicians from both parties, CNBC and CNBC.com are launching a network-wide initiative aimed at calling attention to the fiscal crisis.
CNBC plans to engage business leaders, politicians and viewers through a series of programming efforts designed to increase the understanding of the core issues and to raise the level of dialogue beyond the rhetoric and talking points that have saturated media coverage of this topic.
(Read More: What Is the 'Fiscal Cliff'?')
The network's campaign is called "RISE ABOVE", a call to action appealing to everyone to rise above partisan political views in an effort to come to agreement on a plan that tackles both the long and short term challenges to the American economy. We will prod and poke guests —from elected officials to corporate chiefs — to do their part. You will see it in our coverage and our questions – and you may even spot a "Rise Above" button on the lapels of some guests, reporters and hosts.
-By CNBC's Nikhil Deogun