November 1, 2014

An Open Letter to Our Leaders in Washington

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has repeatedly warned that policy changes must be made to prevent spiraling debt from harming our nation’s economic future.

Credit rating agencies have warned that the growth of debt must be reduced to avoid a downgrade.  

Experts from across the political spectrum echo the refrain that our fiscal path is unsustainable.

As the “fiscal cliff” nears, uncertainty about our country’s spending and tax policies has slowed the economy.

We urge America’s leaders to heed the warnings and take responsible action.  

Automatic across-the-board spending cuts and huge increases in tax rates are not the smart way to solve our longterm fiscal problems and it risks throwing the economy back into recession. The threat of the fiscal cliff should be enough to force a grand debt-reduction bargain across the finish line. 

If Washington leaders punt with a promise to deal with the debt problem later, it will send a message to the public and the markets that they aren’t serious about dealing with this problem.  

Legislation addressing the spending and revenue elements of the fiscal cliff needs to be accompanied by concrete steps toward a long-term debt reduction plan.

This binding framework for debt reduction must be credible to the public and to domestic and international markets, and must include effective enforcement mechanisms.

We believe leaders in Washington are in agreement that the fiscal cliff presents an opportunity to enact a longterm debt reduction plan. The President and Congress have received several comprehensive bipartisan plans from elected officials and other budget experts.  Use this opportunity to forge agreement.

By electing you to office, the American people have given you the power to pass such a plan.

Use it now to reduce the deficit substantially in the short term and stabilize the debt/GDP ratio over the next decade.

Act for the sake of the country and our children, because missing this opportunity to take responsible action now will leave a legacy of failure that will haunt us for generations to come.

 

 

The Bipartisan Policy Center
The Concord Coalition
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

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