CEOs Expect GOP to Regain Control of House, Split in Congress May Be Good for Economy

CEOs expect the Republicans to gain control of the House in the elections, but fall short in gaining control of [...]

November 2 2010 by Ceo Briefing - Nov. 2 2010


CEOs expect the Republicans to gain control of the House in the elections, but fall short in gaining control of the Senate. Most CEOs believe the paralysis of a split in Congress will be good for the economy – and job creation.

In a recent survey of 212 CEOs conducted by Chief Executive, 81.6 percent of CEOs stated they believe the Republican’s will regain control of the House, while only 42.9 percent believe the Republicans will regain control of the Senate. A split in Congress may offer the best outcome, according to some CEOs, “If Republicans win the House this will have a positive impact on the economy. If Democrats lose a couple of seats in the Senate and do not have 60 votes, this too, will have a positive impact on the economy.”

CEOs see the split in Congress as having a positive impact on the economy. One CEO commented, “The best scenario would be a Republican House and deadlock in the Senate. At least if they are paralyzed they can’t do more damage.” This sentiment was echoed by other CEOs, “With no diplomats left in the Congress, we just need a close to even split to create gridlock. If they can’t do anything, at least they can’t hurt us, and we can move forward with some certainty that the rules won’t change.”

While most business leaders welcome a check on the current administration, a vocal minority views the Republicans with caution, suggesting they are on probation pending actions that, should they gain control of either House or Senate, would reduce spending and the tide of regulatory overreach.

For more about the outlook from CEOs about this week’s election from Chief Executive, please click here.

Comments from CEOs

I think it could be a positive impact if they can stop this runaway spending and get control of the federal bailout concept.

Republicans should make big gains. When they do, they have to impose the fiscal restraints that formed the basis of their original philosophy. If they resort to the free spending ways of the early 2000′s, nothing will improve and they will lose seats in 2012.

Neither the Rs or Ds have a good grasp of macroeconomics or the policy directives that would strengthen the economy. The best scenario would be a R House, deadlock in the Senate. At least if they are paralyzed they can’t do more damage.

Republicans will not pick up as many seats in either chamber as their pundits are predicting. But, they may take the house back, which would provide a check and balance on the political scene. This is a requirement today.

There will still be political instability which will impact market conditions, but I will take gridlock as a positive outcome this time around.

Both parties have failed the American public hence giving rise to the Tea Party. Whichever Americans get elected, may they see beyond party lines and remember the constitution, seek a diminished government role in our lives, and we the people want to retain control of our country. To minimize entitlement please enact term limits for all federal and state elected positions similar to the president.

It will have a positive perception impact. The republicans need to show they have changed their spending philosophy also before it will have a significant impact. Just wasting less money (that we don’t have) on different pork will not be enough.

Every business person I know is holding onto cash to see the outcome of the elections. No one can invest in this tax and spend environment, especially with what is coming down the pike in new taxes! Why invest?

A republican sweep would be a big plus for business and for the country IMHO.

The Democrats in Congress are a disaster! We can only hope the Republicans will overcome them!

The Republicans in control of Congress will restore confidence by acting as a counterweight to the tax and spend executive branch.

Neither party is offering anything new and the Tea Party accentuates the lack of progress in Congress. People have finally realized that the incumbent’s only goal is to stay in office and pay lip service to the voters. There is no meaningful results that truly benefited the country only created confusion and uncertainty.

Time for real meaningful, helpful change. Throw the bums out !

I believe republicans gaining control of preferably both houses of congress will have a positive impact on the economy, and on hiring practices.

Stagnation and lack of action continues uncertainty. A divided government is not a good thing during this period and will make recovery that much harder. Regardless of the specific election outcome, I see no real change in government in general over the near term.

I realize that this is probably not a popular view among CEOs but I think the Republicans are being very short-sighted. I do not think that they will truly help business in the long term until they focus more on the deep economic issues in a serious and thoughtful way and less on just winning.
There are too many extremists and ideologues who are shallow thinkers. This is not what we need now.
At the end of the day, we are a consumer-driven economy. If people do not have jobs they will not spend and our revenues will decline.
Business is not a zero sum game. Sure, none of us wants to pay taxes or deal with the overhead of too much regulation. But both taxes and regulation are needed. What we need to do is minimize the pain and make both taxation and regulation efficient and useful.
The assumption that “the market will simply take care of all problems” is simplistic and may be wrong. It does not account for the economic cost of the time that it might take for the market to reach stability nor does it account for the possibility that the market may stabilize in a way that is not optimal.
I think that we have become so political in our thinking that we are neglecting the economic realities. The fundamentals of business do not change. But the environment does. And what we need now is deep and thoughtful thinking not slogans.
Oh, and for those who believe that we should keep our hands off and let the free market adjust as it will, I would suggest that getting rid of the flood of excess money in politics would avoid distorting the free market further. Capitalism to succeed needs a reasonably level playing field.

I believe Republican control of the House/Senate would have a positive impact on the economy and hiring.

The demo make the labors view the rich and the hard working people like their enemies. They are so anti-hard working people and the rich. They want these people to go to China or off shores.

Sad there are no third party choices

The Marxists currently in control need to go before any confidence or growth can be restored.

We have never depended on politicians as business men, to suddenly now “blame” our own lack of innovation and action on a president is sad. We never depended on taxes and policies, whatever they are, we will find a way to thrive. Our company has done great as other sit by the sidelines and cry.

If the conservative tide lifts as expected, confidence will be brought back into the business arena. With confidence comes credit and hiring. Even if the Washington DC climate becomes gridlock, that is far better than spending Trillions of dollars of debt.

Both major parties are shooting themselves in the foot with the negative advertising. Increasingly unknown Tea Party candidates look like the least worse alternative. That in itself is dangerous for the survival of our democracy.

A Republican House/Senate will be stone walled by Obama with the “Veto” pen on anything they pass. Furthermore, he will create more Czars that are sympathetic to his Socialistic beliefs.

I think that if the Republicans gain just one, House or Senate the many laws that are being passed will come to a halt. Currently the agencies cannot even keep up with writing the details of the many laws they have passing. When we try to study what needs to be done to comply we run into not yet written or determined by some government entity. All of this makes us less competitive with imports from especially China or India. If we want a distribution only economy we are going about it at a fast pace.

Until Obama is out of office the United States will continue a steady decline in economy and freedoms. Nothing else will cause a turnaround.

Instead of working to move the country forward, the Republican agenda is an attempt to take us back to the failed policies of past administrations.

The question is: will the Republicans have the political will, assuming they have the power, to reverse or slow our decline?

Americans can make a difference in this coming election. Do not be led by other than the real facts. The economy is not good. Jobs have left the country with no rebound in site. We must sell to the world not buy for import.

Until there are a few major changes in our government, it will not matter which party rules – until the pains of the for profit entities directly impact the politician pockets, real change will not happen. Pay them a flat salary, cap / eliminate contributions / PAY for their own health care / fund their own retirement / these and a few other key changes MAY get true change for the good of the mass, not just politicians.

If the GOP takes both houses: I believe it will have a negative impact resulting from the Mexican standoff between Capital Hill and the White House.

Hope I am wrong on feeling Republicans will not regain control of either house. If they do, economy will improve some in the first six months and significantly over the next year and thereafter.

I believe republicans will gain control of the House. My best guess is that it will have a reassuring effect on business because of a reduced level of anti-business rhetoric, and reduced threat of harmful legislation and policy. I do not expect a major stimulative impact because there is still significant opportunity for the administration and democratic members of congress to resist a meaningful reversal of the current policies; businesses will probably want to see that positive action is possible. That said, a stalemate is much better than continuing on the Obama-Pelosi express!

Republicans regaining control would have a positive impact on the economy and hiring.

If Republicans win the house this will have a positive impact on the economy. If Dems lose a couple of seats and do not have 60 votes this too will have a positive impact on the economy.

I believe that a split Congress with the President will actually remove some of the uncertainty that is now holding businesses back from expanding.

I keep hearing from many customers and suppliers that GRIDLOCK is better than UNCERTAINTY.

I believe Republicans will have a positive impact on economy and hiring.

It took 8 years of little or no effective leadership to put us in the hole we are in. Neither side has all the correct answers but we need to move forward and give the current people in power a full cycle and then make a determination how things look

We need governmental leadership that understands business … what drives risk/reward. Decision makers need clarity on key issues such as regulation, taxation, healthcare and energy … lack of clarity freezes growth!

With that said, should the Republicans gain control of either it will help boost the economy but the degree will be driven by their published position on how they expect to handle the taxation issue in 2011, to what extent they plan on overhauling the healthcare bill recently signed into law (understanding the President will veto what ever changes are included), and finally, how the banking industry responds to the election results.

This administration has long since passed the point where they can blame the problem on the earlier one. The immorality of creating expensive “solutions” for favored constituencies and demonizing those with legitimate opposing opinions is in dire contrast to the professed ideals upon which they were elected. As a result they have lost their moral authority and, thereby, their ability to restore the confidence necessary to turn this magnificent ship around.

We are generally disappointed in the quality of the candidates – both the incumbents and the challengers. The challengers are coming from the aspect of getting the angry vote out – which does not necessarily produce the best results. Typically, the incumbents are distancing themselves from unpopular topics without espousing a new and believable position.

This may be the most disappointing election in memory – because no matter who the winner – there will be no positive spirit coming out of the election.

I am not optimistic that a change in the congressional or senatorial mix will sufficiently change the path of current policies.

If Congress does not stop spending money we do not have, things will get worse regardless.

Obamacare is huge negative. Need to repeal or make huge changes.

I believe the silent majority will show up at the polls in droves. I also believe the number of seats the Democrats are projected to lose will prove to be grossly understated. This will be a very positive event for business and is likely to spur capital spending, PE money will loosen up and companies will feel more confident about expanding and hiring.

Regardless of what the “Republicans” may get passed, the Executive Branch can, and most likely will, veto what it does not agree with. A 2/3 over ride will be next to impossible.

With no diplomats left in the Congress, we just need a close to even split to create gridlock. If they can’t do anything, at least they can’t hurt us, and we can move forward with some certainty that the rules won’t change.

So far I have seen only negative messages from the GOP, nothing constructive. Many opportunities to influence legislation for the better have been missed. Bad scene, embarrassing for a long-time Republican.

Our current administration is anti-business, and moving towards socialism at a time when the rest of the globe is retracting. We need to balance this liberal agenda in the ballot box urgently.