U.S. business leaders on Tuesday sent both Congress and the White House a letter urging them to put America’s “fiscal house in order.”
Reuters reports: “After spending months quietly lobbying behind the scenes for an increase in the $14.3 trillion debt limit, a coalition of business groups from Wall Street to Main Street publicly called on Republican and Democratic leaders to set aside their differences and work together for the good of the United States.”
The letter reads:
“We believe it is vitally important for the US government to make good on its financial obligations . . . 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."
" . . . 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.”
Over 450 business leaders and groups including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a number of Fortune 500 companies signed the letter.
Currently, the point of contention between both sides of the aisle is the Treasury's suggestion that Congress raise the debt ceiling. The theory is that if they raise the ceiling, which caps how much the United States can borrow, by August 2, the U.S. will be able to avoid an unprecedented default.
Republicans are insisting on deep spending cuts before they entertain the notion of raising the borrowing authority.
Speaker John Boehner, commenting on the Democrats lack of resolve in addressing entitlement reform, said that, “Dealing with them the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-o. Some days it’s firmer than others. Sometimes it’s like they’ve left it out over night.”
Boehner explained that talks broke down over the weekend because, he said, the president backed off entitlement reforms so much from Friday to Saturday, “It was Jell-o; it was damn near liquid.”