In the Nation's Interest
Fiscal Health Endorsement Campaign
As concerned business leaders, we ask you to add your name to the attached public statement of concern about the danger of large government budget deficits and public debt.
Our goal is that you and the entire business community tell Washington in a clear, nonpartisan voice that the business community, and the public at large, recognize this challenge and accept that difficult steps are required. We call on every Member of Congress to level with the American public, present realistic solutions, and engage in bipartisan negotiations without preconditions.
Business Statement on the Nation’s Fiscal Health
The rapidly mounting U.S. public debt – soon to reach a staggering $10 trillion – could be the major threat to our nation’s future economic growth and financial stability.
- Today, every man, woman and child in the United States has a share of the public debt equaling approximately $30,000. (Think of it as a family having an additional mortgage for a home it does not own.) Without a change of course, over the next ten years the debt load will likely double. We are leaving a legacy of debt to future generations of Americans.
- Foreign investors, both private and governmental, own more than half of the U.S. public debt, making us the world’s largest debtor nation – the reverse of our position as the world’s largest creditor just 30 years ago. And as the world’s largest debtor nation, we are quickly losing credibility on the world stage and our ability to set standards of behavior for the community of nations.
- Large federal budget deficits and growing debt will at least raise interest rates and price millions of potential home and auto buyers out of the market, while squeezing businesses that need credit. That would cost jobs and slow our nation’s growth.
- But more alarming is the potential that a flood of Treasury paper will frighten off domestic and foreign lenders, triggering a financial panic that could make the fiscal crisis of the last three years seem trivial. This could happen at any time in the coming years; the longer we wait to act, the more likely it becomes.
Our nation cannot afford to run these risks
The prosperity of our children and grandchildren, and our nation’s standing in the world, truly are at stake right now.
We must call upon our elected policymakers to recognize our challenges and take action. This is not an opportunity for political gain; far too much is at stake. The nation needs strong leadership and bold action today to significantly decrease our deficit.
- The budget deficit is so large that we must look at every part of our budget – including both spending and revenue – to find solutions. Negotiations must have no preconditions.
- And just as everything must be on the table, everyone must be at the table. All sides of the debate must be heard and both political parties must accept responsibility if the American people are to accept a deficit solution as fair.
As leaders in the business community, we expect to share the effects of reductions in public programs or increases in taxes – or more likely, both. We do not seek sacrifice for its own sake. But we – and we believe all Americans – are prepared to contribute our fair share to make our country sound, secure and strong again. What is good for America is good for American business.
As voters and citizens, we say to our elected policymakers:
We will not penalize you for telling us difficult truths and taking potentially painful steps to put us on a path to fiscal stability. At the same time, we will not look kindly on political posturing and delay in this time of crisis.
For the sake of your country, commit now, publicly, to meaningful action as soon as the health of the economy allows to steadily move us toward a future free of crushing debt for the next generation of Americans.
We call on every member of the House and the Senate to share with the American people concrete, realistic ideas that will help re-establish our nation’s economic security.