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Wednesday, 11 January 2012 16:45

Q&A: How will the 2012 elections impact your business and/or industry?

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Election years can be years of inaction as politicians are focused more on running for office and posturing for votes than on actual governing.

Duke SuwynDuke Suywn
President and CEO of West Michigan,
Colliers International

I believe that there is a conservative revolution in the 2012 elections, signaling a pro-business environment that will allow the U.S. economy to accelerate rather dramatically and place the U.S. back in a preeminent spot on the world economic stage.


Kent Riddle
Mary Free Bed Hospital

No matter which party wins the 2012 election, we will need to address health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before it is fully implemented. While there are some good things inherent in the legislation – chiefly, providing health care for all Americans – the legislation has some significant shortcomings. Perhaps most troubling to me is that it does not address rehabilitation services in a meaningful way. Additionally, the legislation will increase cost without improving quality. The models of patient care established in the legislation will drive costs up and reduce patient choice – neither of which is acceptable.

Rick DeKam
Midwest Realty Group

That’s really a wild card. I can say that — like many others — I’ve really lost my faith in our current political system, as evidenced by the recent failure of Obama’s “Super Committee” to resolve our nation’s operating deficit, which failed over apparent partisanship. Government has just gotten too big for its own good, and I feel that some fundamental changes are now required.

Tom Fehsenfeld
Crystal Flash Energy

If whichever party ends up in the minority follows a strategy of gumming up the works to prove their point, it will bog down the recovery and hurt confidence in our ability to govern ourselves.

Bill Main
Executive Chairman, Landscape Forms

I have low expectations. We have already factored in that this is a chronic problem that neither party is capable of fixing. I’m not expecting them to bail us out. Things in Washington will have to get worse before they get better.

Robert Roth
President and CEO,
RoMan Manufacturing Inc.

Quite frankly, if Obama wins and we retain a Republican House and enough Republican power in the Senate, it will be more of the same. I’m not so confident, if a Republican wins, that much will change. Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner with what they’re going to do. (If) they’re not willing to raise taxes, not going to revise the tax code, not going to reduce defense spending, then you’re stuck. They are not moving off of dead center. (There’s) no pragmatic sense in the parties. It’s kind of a scary thing. Play it out long enough and the music stops and you’ll find you don’t have a chair.

Richard VanderZyden
Wolverine Building Group

If we elect a new president, our business and our industry will improve.

Rich Antonini
Managing Partner,
Plante Moran PLLC

From a political standpoint, given an important election year, very little is expected. The tax code continues to be a political tool that moves with the wind, a frustrating unknown. Unfortunately, 2012 likely won’t add much clarity. However, there are many “sunset” tax provisions that fade away as 2012 comes to a close, which will trigger higher taxes for corporations, individuals and estates into 2013. This could make the fourth quarter of 2012 a wild ride as proposed tax legislation changes may occur at a feverish pace. For management, this scenario is more than a little troubling and will make it difficult to plan expansion and growth.

Lynn Kerber
Regional President, Chemical Bank

During the economic downturn, financial institutions have been targeted by the current administration for perceived abuses with increased regulations. Unfortunately though, all financial institutions were seemingly painted with the same broad brush, which has disproportionately impacted the cost of doing business for community banks like ours. Depending on the election results, we could see additional government regulation, or an easement of some of these new laws under which we’ve had to operate, and a potentially more business-friendly climate.

Doug Wagner
Managing Partner,
Warner Norcross Judd LLP

If the Obama administration is elected to a second term, I think we will likely see an increase in regulatory activity and enforcement, which will create a need to counsel clients unfamiliar with new changes in the law. If a Republican candidate is elected, I would expect there would be measures taken to reduce taxes that discourage capital investment, along with a loosening of regulatory restrictions on business. In many ways, uncertainty is the root cause for much of the concern over the economy. When business owners are unsure of what the future holds, they have a tendency to sit on their cash. We are seeing this at all levels of business. Until we can remove some of the uncertainty and improve confidence in government, I don’t think we can expect any significant improvement in our economic growth.

Tom Rosenbach
Managing Partner,
Beene Garter LLP

Unfortunately (they will) not (have much impact), but I’d like to say that something will change. We can’t afford to wait for government to change. You have to go do it yourself.

Cecile Fehsenfeld
Schuler Books and Music

I feel right now the political climate is certainly not a stable one. We have felt in the past that elections create uncertainty, and uncertainty affects the way people shop. I am hoping that there will not be a negative impact, but uncertainty makes people more cautious.

David EislerDavid Eisler
President, Ferris State University

Federal financial aid is very important for our students. If the elections result in a mindset to reduce this, it will be a very significant challenge for our students.

Read 1343 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 16:52
Brian Edwards

Editor & Publisher

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