Many business leaders are no doubt disappointed in Tuesday night’s election results. Personally, I’m devastated. I have never been so emotionally, financially and publicly vested in a presidential election and I am sad that my fellow citizens chose to keep the status quo over what could have been.
I know many business leaders feel the same way. The last four years have resulted in a lot of uncertainty for businesses, which need a sense of consistency and predictability to allow them to plan for the future, invest, hire employees, and contribute to the economy. Employers need to know that government is on their side, and the president hasn’t done a great job of convincing business owners that he has their backs.
But I’m an optimist. Now that the campaigning is finally finished, I’m hopeful that President Obama can put aside blind partisanship and work with the divided Congress to make the tough decisions America needs.
With no re-election campaign looming, the president can focus more on establishing his political legacy than politicking. He’ll need to demonstrate his commitment to making hard choices early on, because the challenges he faces in his second term are numerous.
He can start by addressing the impending fiscal cliff, reducing the out-of-control deficit, and rolling back the huge regulatory state that has become a burden on the economy. Our tax code is in desperate need of reforms that will make US companies competitive in the global economy, and encourage businesses to use their profits to invest in the United States.
President Obama must also find a way to keep the best and brightest highly skilled immigrants – students who study and train at U.S. universities often at taxpayer expense – on U.S. shores so they can innovate here instead of abroad.
This was a hard-fought election, and the race was close all the way to the finish, as it should be. President Obama didn’t get my vote, but he is my president and he has my support. I just hope that I, and other members of my industry, have his support in return.
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies, and a New York Times best-selling author. His latest book, “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses,” will be released in January. Connect with him on Twitter: @GaryShapiro.