It's no secret that the business community is frustrated with Washington. But now an unlikely source is leading a smart movement among business leaders to tell the President and Congress to rein in deficits. Bloomberg News reports on what trouble Starbucks' CEO has brewing for Washington:
"Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz urged other CEOs to stop donating to U.S. political campaigns to encourage leaders to solve the nation’s growing budget deficit.
'I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people,' Schultz wrote in an e-mail sent to business leaders that was obtained by Bloomberg News."
Schultz first voiced his frustrations with Washington in a letter to CEOs and other corporate executives on August 8:
"While very proud of the steps we continue to take as a company and the record results we turned in for the quarter, I found myself growing more and more frustrated at the lack of cooperation and irresponsibility among elected officials as they have put partisan agendas before the people’s agenda. This is not the leadership we have come to expect, nor deserve."
Attacking politicians' pockets to see results is not a bad idea. POLITICO writes on Schultz's call for American's to go on strike against their failed and vacationing leadership:
“'The fundamental problem is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is reelection. The lifeblood of their reelection campaigns is political contributions,' Schultz said. Whether big donors or small ones, Americans should stop giving and see if it galvanizes Washington to act.
'The debt crisis is really the symbol of a larger problem, which is that our leaders are not leading,” he added. 'America’s leaders need to put their feet in the shoes of working Americans…. Instead, all they think about is their own political self-interest.'"
In 2000 Schultz donated $50,000 to the DNC, and since has donated thousands to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, President Barack Obama, then presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, among over a dozen other Democratic and a few Republican candidates.
This past March, Schultz criticized the President's health-care reform overhaul. Schultz told the Seattle Times that he believed the bill was made with good intentions, but "under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great."