Pounds: Phantom menaceWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
How can something that does not exist cause such concern? The looming “fiscal cliff” may be a metaphor, but as discussed in this week’s special report by staff writer John P. McCartney, its scenario carries very real ramifications.
As a small business owner with imminent expansion plans, I am unceasingly concerned about the upcoming economic changes. Toledo Free Press is ready for growth but the speed and amount of that growth may be affected by tax cuts, tax additions and business uncertainty.
As Michael Dowd, chairman of UT’s Department of Economics and an associate professor of economics, told McCartney, Lucas County businesses will struggle because of the increased uncertainty the business community faces in dealing with the fiscal cliff.
“They won’t know what their tax bill is for next year other than these draconian levels that will be imposed by the fiscal cliff. With increased uncertainty, businesses are likely to reduce any sorts of investments in their own businesses — capital, machines, software — because they can’t project their own tax bills or profits in six months, a year, two years down the line.”
I particularly agree with John Gibney, vice president of marketing and communications at the Regional Growth Partnership, who said that the “fiscal cliff” serves as another term for uncertainty.
“In general, businesses do not like any type of uncertainty,” Gibney said. “In the time between now and a resolution, we might see companies putting off capital investment and hiring decisions. Once the issue is ultimately resolved, it becomes a ‘known’ and businesses will be more apt to move ahead.”
You see the pattern here. It is unwise to take steps when you do not know where your feet will land — or what they will step in. It is frustrating — and dangerous — to depend upon the quibblers in the federal government to provide stability. That is the system we operate in, but as the current crisis illustrates, cliff or no cliff, we need a discussion about major changes.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.