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What can get competitors to join hands? Deficit reduction, apparently.
The CEOs of more than 80 major U.S. corporations came together Thursday in a show of unity to urge Congress to tackle the country's fiscal situation. The group, which includes the heads of BlackRock (BLK), Broadridge, Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), as well as companies outside financial services like Boeing, Honeywell and Cisco Systems, released a statement meant to pressure politicians to act.
"Policymakers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States,” the statement reads. “It is urgent and essential that we put in place a plan to fix America's debt. An effective plan must stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path.”
This plan should be enacted now, they urge, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget, according to the signers. And it should be bipartisan and include every area of the budget.
The plan urges Congress to:
- Reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system and limit future cost growth;
- Strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and
- Include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit.
The group suggested Congress use the recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, “which saved $4 trillion and addressed all parts of the budget,” as a framework for such a plan.
“The plan should be conducive to long-term economic growth, protect the vulnerable, include credible enforcement mechanisms to ensure that debt reduction is achieved and leave the next generation better,” the statement concludes.
With less than two weeks to go until the Nov. 6 election, the statement appears to include Republican as well as Democratic supporters. Manufacturing, financial services, retail and entertainment, among others, are represented on the list of signatories, which includes such notable names as Jamie Dimon, Larrry Fink and Jeffrey Immelt.