Survey: CEO confidence in economy drops dramatically

Business leader sentiment plays a crucial role in the economy, but the political parties differ on the sources of angst and the solutions.

Congressional Republicans have been arguing that a “tsunami” of regulations from the Obama White House as well as the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and across-the-board defense cuts slated for January are hampering economic growth. They want tax increases canceled now, and a moratorium on regulations.

The White House claims fewer regulations have been imposed under Obama and says a balanced approach to the deficit would avert middle-class tax increases and deep defense cuts, if only the GOP would embrace closing tax loopholes and raising taxes on the rich. It argues that the debt crisis in Europe and housing woes are the key factors in the downturn.

Former White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee is out with a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Thursday arguing that anxiety over healthcare costs and regulations under President Obama’s healthcare plan is not depressing growth.