Tom Keene Talks to Guggenheim Securities' Anne Mathias
You talk about “taxmageddon.” What’s that?
It is the absolute fiscal cliff that Congress appears to be facing at the end of this year, which is setting us up for a lame-duck session of Congress after the elections that could be epic in the volume of noise it makes, though maybe not necessarily in what it produces. But there are just an enormous number of tax measures, tax benefits, tax breaks, tax cuts, tax etc., that are expiring at the end of this year.
Will we kick the can down the road?
That is probably what will happen. Our main call is that we will have an election where basically the parties retain their current control of the organs of government, maybe with slightly weaker mandates, and that we are in a similar kind of power structure. So we will basically kick the can down the road through the end of 2013. And we will give ourselves 2013 to try to fix everything, which will be impossible.
So it’s going to be easier to extend the tax breaks instead of trying to end them?
Right, for the most part. I mean, if you look at the list, it is something like more than $600 billion in total, if you really add everything in there. And the economy is not going to be in a position where it is going to be able to withstand that kind of fiscal shock.