Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal
assessed the top priorities of nearly 100 CEOs from large companies, with a focus on their needs from the new Obama administration. Their top five priorities are (taken directly from this article
- Fiscal Stimulus
Quickly craft fiscal stimulus for the U.S., in cooperation with parallel efforts by G20 countries, particularly cash-rich economies with capacity to increase domestic demand. For the U.S., a stimulus package should exceed $300 billion. It also should emphasize investment in infrastructure, including environmental, education and low-carbon energy, but should not worsen the long-term budget deficit. Avoid tax rebates and rely on more permanent tax cuts, and use state and local government as a channel.
- Educated Workforce
President-elect Obama should ask businesses to lead in the actions necessary to build a competitive work force for the immediate and long term. Emphasis should be placed on improved K-12 education and intellectual-capital creation. Enact national education standards and assessments, devote funds to teacher excellence and improve teacher education.
- Economic Vision
President-elect Obama should announce his economic team soon and convene a conference with broad representation to recommend both immediate priorities and long-term policy direction. He should communicate a clear message about the direction of policy, including a program for long-term fiscal responsibility.
- Comprehensive Energy and Environment Policy
Put national legislation in place that starts us on the road to decarbonize our economy and to create the most energy-efficient economy in the world. Level with the American people that ensuring an adequate and diverse energy supply in a low-carbon world will not be cheap or easy. But make the case that the transition must be transparent and fair to all Americans, and that linking the economy, the environment and energy policy bolsters security for all three.
- Tax Policy
Change the tax code to encourage employment, job creation and investment and enhance global competitiveness in the short term. Consider raising taxes on gasoline and broadening the corporate tax base to lower rates.