Fixing U.S. Fiscal Policy: Ask the CEOs
Washington has a few tricks in its bag whenever the debt ceiling is approached. But quick fixes can only work for so long before global confidence in the nation's government and currency erode.
This week, TheStreet asks CEOs what it will take to restore some fiscal sanity to the U.S. government.
Power-One (PWER) CEO Richard Thompson: "I'm a non-debt guy," said the chief executive of the Camarillo, Calif.-based solar inverter company. "You can see it in our company, cash positive, and personally I manage my finances the same way. I don't want to see debt we have accumulated passed on to our grandchildren. We have enough resources in this country to live within our means and we've gotten a little too 'big government.'"I realize it means cutting social programs and limiting what we ship abroad in terms of support to other governments, but I am a Stone Age guy and would take you back to the Monroe Doctrine and ask you, "What's wrong with that?" "My stance as a citizen creeps into my stance as a businessman, too. As far as the renewable energy industry, we don't depend on the U.S. government, and we can get to grid parity without the support; it just might take a year or two longer. Support would be good to have because it creates jobs and keeps greenbacks in the U.S. That said, I was recently in the office of a U.S. senator, and I asked him about this issue, and his response was, 'We aren't spending on anything.' I was pleased with the answer, if they stick to it, if there is no pork barrel." "One potential solution to the debt-ceiling problem can impact the competitiveness of U.S. companies. I've heard various ideas about eliminating the corporate income tax as a way to make the U.S. a more competitive manufacturing base. This is not renewable energy specifically, but think of all the foreign countries that have inexpensive labor and big balance sheets. You can figure out which ones those are. Bring the manufacturing back home. There are lots of large companies that already are barely paying income tax. It's the mid-sized to small companies and small business owners paying the corporate income tax."
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