NRF: 'Time for Talk Is Over' on Fiscal Cliff

Warns White House that retailers, consumers will be hardest hit

WASHINGTON -- The National Retail Federation has issued a statement from president and CEO Matthew Shay on the new White House report, The Middle-Class Tax Cut's Impact on Consumer Spending & Retailers: "It is encouraging to see the administration's acknowledgement that retailers and their customers will be among the hardest hit if our elected officials fail to address ongoing economic uncertainty."

"However, just kicking the can down the road by cherry picking reforms only serves to reinforce the well-placed fears of American consumers and retailers that the status quo will once again rule the day," it continued.

"If brinkmanship overtakes bipartisanship, we will continue to see less capital investment by retailers large and small, stifled job creation and dampened consumer confidence, which will ultimately lead to lower retail sales and potentially another recession.

"The time for talk is over, and the time for action is now.

"In order to resolve the larger problem with a stagnant economy, Congress and the administration must take whatever steps necessary to not only avoid the looming 'fiscal cliff,' but to reform the tax code, fundamentally and structurally address federal spending and reduce the nation's deficit.

"We need leadership from policymakers in Washington, D.C. and a detailed plan based on fact, not fear … on reality, not rhetoric."

As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs--42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy. NRF's Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a jobs, innovation and consumer value agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.