Heeding the White House’s call to become more vocal in the debate to raise the debt limit and lower the deficit, 300 business leaders signed a letter encouraging Obama and Congress to reach a deal to avoid default.
“We believe it is vitally important for the US government to make good on its financial obligations and to put its fiscal house in order,” they wrote in the letter. “To this end, we believe now is the time for our political leaders to act.”
Among the signatories are Citigroup, Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit, Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chamber, and Robert McDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble Co.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the letter came in response to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s request for business leaders to enter the fray on the issue.
The full text of the letter, via The Wall Street Journal, is below:
July 12, 2011
The President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Members of the United States Congress
United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,
We believe it is vitally important for the US government to make good on its financial obligations and to put its fiscal house in order. With our nation on a sound fiscal footing, we are confident that America’s businesses and entrepreneurs will foster generations of high value, well paying jobs and contribute to a prosperous future. To this end, we believe now is the time for our political leaders to act.
First, it is critical that the US government not default in any way on its fiscal obligations. A great nation – like a great company – has to be relied upon to pay its debts when they become due. This is a Main Street not Wall Street issue. Treasury securities influence the cost of financing not just for companies but more importantly for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student debt. A default would risk both disarray in those markets and a host of unintended consequences. The debt ceiling trigger does offer a needed catalyst for serious negotiations on budget discipline but avoiding even a technical default is essential. This is a risk our country must not take.
Second, our political leaders must agree to a plan to substantially reduce our long-term budget deficits with a goal of at least stabilizing our nation’s debt as a percentage of GDP – which will entail difficult choices. The resulting plan must be long-term, predictable and binding. As businesses make plans to invest and hire, we need confidence that, in the absence of a crisis, our government will not reverse
course and return to large deficit spending.
Now is the time for our political leaders to put aside partisan differences and act in the nation’s best interests. We believe that our nation’s economic future is reliant upon their actions and urge them to reach an agreement. It is time to pull together rather than pull apart.
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