Tags: Naroff | fiscal | cliff | uncertainty

Naroff: Fiscal Cliff Fueling Economic Uncertainty, Not Elections

Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 11:23 AM

A rapidly approaching combination of spending cuts and tax hikes is fueling uncertainty across the economy and is keeping businesses from investing in new projects and adding to payrolls, said Joel Naroff, founder and president of Naroff Economic Advisers.

At the end of this year, the Bush-era tax cuts and other tax breaks and benefits are scheduled to expire at the same time automatic government cuts to spending kick in, a combination known as a fiscal cliff that could send the economy sliding into recession next year if left unchecked by Congress.

Election-year rhetoric may be heating up and grabbing more and more time on the airwaves, but the fiscal cliff is keeping capital spending and hiring at bay, and not presidential campaign barbs.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

“I think the biggest uncertainty is honestly the fiscal cliff. I don’t even think it’s the election. If it was just the election, everybody would know on Nov. 6 or maybe early Nov. 7, who the president is and whether you like it not you have to deal with it for four years and you move on,” Naroff told CNBC.

“It’s the fact that no matter who gets elected, we have to get through a lame duck Congress and then deal with this problem, even if it’s pushed off it still has to be dealt with in the first half of next year, and that’s the uncertainty that’s creating the cautiousness,” added Naroff, also a Moneynews.com contributor and columnist.

Lawmakers have been unwilling to address tax and spending issues in an election year, but some have said they could convene just after elections or even early in 2013 and tackle the problem with retroactive legislation, even if it takes several weeks or months to do so.

Maybe so, but until lawmakers steer the country away from the cliff, expect hiring to remain weak and growth sluggish.

“It doesn’t necessarily change the uncertainty because all it says to a businessperson is now we have to figure out what they’re going to do by June 30,” Naroff said, referring to some calls to extend the tax cuts for six months.

“You’re not going to invest, you’re not going to hire if you think the cliff is going to be reached.”

Other experts agree that the fiscal cliff is becoming a main concern among not just business owners but investors as well, nudging out the European debt crisis on a laundry list of investor concerns.

“Investors now view the U.S. fiscal cliff as a greater threat than the eurozone — and the upcoming election is putting these fears into sharper focus,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, according to CNNMoney.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that monetary policy is not a panacea and has added that lawmakers must make fiscal reforms if the economy is to see more robust recovery, the sooner the better.

The Fed has slashed interest rates and pushed through other measures to spur recovery, though the U.S. central bank has little say on fiscal matters.

“If the fiscal cliff isn’t addressed, as I’ve said, I don’t think our tools are strong enough to offset the effects of a major fiscal shock so we’d have to think about what to do in that contingency,” Bernanke told a press conference to address monetary policy, according to Reuters.

“So, I think it’s really important for the fiscal policymakers to, you know, work together to try and find a solution for that.”

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

© 2017 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
StreetTalk
A rapidly approaching combination of spending cuts and tax hikes is fueling uncertainty across the economy and is keeping businesses from investing in new projects and adding to payrolls, said Joel Naroff, founder and president of Naroff Economic Advisers.
Naroff,fiscal,cliff,uncertainty
611
2012-23-20
Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 11:23 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved