In speeches Wednesday, President Obama decried the “endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals” that have prevented focus on the economy.
Government gridlock is of greater concern to High Net Worth investors than actual economic issues ranging from the federal deficit and national debt to the prolonged economic downturn, according to a new wealth level research conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
More than eight-in-ten High Net Worth investors said that government gridlock—the perceived inability of the White House and lawmakers to work together to fix the nation’s economic challenges—is their primary national concern. Eighty-two percent responded that the stormy political environment was their primary concern.
In comparison, here’s how a majority of High Net Worth investors rank other national issues of concern:
· Prolonged economic downturn (83 percent)
· Federal deficit/National debt (78 percent each)
· Tax increases (73 percent)
· Inflation (72 percent)
· Stock market performance (70 percent)
· Low savings rate interest (69 percent)
· European instability (67 percent)
· Terrorism (60 percent)
· Amount of goods produced outside of the U.S. (59 percent)
· Increase in interest rates (52 percent)
Concern over political gridlock had decreased over the past seven months among affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. In December 2012, when there was uncertainty whether a bipartisan solution would be reached in time to avert the fiscal cliff, 24 percent said that the Washington gridlock was the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals at that time. Concern reached a peak (27 percent) in September 2010, in anticipation of the midterm elections when the GOP recaptured the House and vowed to block President Obama’s agenda. “We’ll work with the administration when they agree with the people and confront them when they don’t,” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour proclaimed at the time.
Confrontation has been business as usual since then. In speeches Wednesday, President Obama decried the “endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals” that have prevented focus on the economy, and are likely to flare up again when the White House and lawmakers will once again address the debt ceiling in the coming months. In 2011, gridlock over this issue caused Standard & Poor’s to take the unprecedented step of lowering the U.S. debt rating, sparking months of stock market swings.
“I will not allow gridlock, inaction, or willful indifference to get in our way,” Obama proclaimed Wednesday ("Speeches don't create jobs, Mr. President," tweeted Rep. Darrell Issa in response).
High Net Worth investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner will be watching closely to see if their concerns will be allayed or further justified.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.