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BRT CEOs Letter to the President Re: Smart Reforms and the Fiscal Cliff

BRT CEOs Letter to the President Re: Smart Reforms and the Fiscal Cliff

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Published by Business Roundtable

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Published by: Business Roundtable on Dec 11, 2012
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01/05/2014

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300 New Jersey Avenue, NWTelephone202.872.1260Suite 800Facsimile202.466.3509Washington, DC 20001Websitebrt.org
December 11, 2012The PresidentThe White HouseWashington, DC 20500Dear Mr. President:As CEOs of companies representing more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenuesand more than 16 million employees, we write to express our belief that theUnited States will suffer significant negative economic, employment, and socialconsequences for going over the fiscal cliff. In many cases the damage will belong-lasting, if not permanent. But it does not have to happen.We urge you to step forward and demonstrate that principled compromise isonce again possible and that the American political system that underpinned theeconomic success of our nation and others can function as designed. For far toolong, political paralysis has fueled global uncertainty that discourages businessesfrom investing and hiring new workers. This paralysis must come to an end, andin a way that resists the temptation to declare winners and losers.We pledge our active support for a compromise that includes comprehensiveand meaningful tax and entitlement reforms that result in market-crediblespending reductions and revenue growth. The deal should be a balancedsolution to the fiscal cliff and long-term deficit and debt issues. To address thesechallenges with the scale of response required, no options should be precludedfrom a potential solution.Compromise will require Congress to agree on more revenue – whether byincreasing rates, eliminating deductions, or some combination thereof – and theadministration to agree to larger, meaningful structural and benefit entitlementreforms and spending reductions that are a fiscally responsible multiple of increased revenues. By initiating these reforms simultaneously, and withoutundermining the broader reforms both parties believe should be pursued, youcan rebuild the trust needed for our political system to function and theconfidence needed for businesses to invest in new factories, equipment, andemployees.
Chairman
W. James McNerney, Jr.The Boeing Company
President
John Engler Business Roundtable
Executive Committee 
 Ajay BangaMasterCard IncorporatedUrsula M. BurnsXerox CorporationKenneth I. Chenault American Express CompanyDavid M. CoteHoneywell International, Inc. Alexander M. Cutler Eaton CorporationJames DimonJPMorgan Chase & Co.Michael T. DukeWal-Mart Stores, Inc.Jeffrey R. ImmeltGeneral Electric Company Andrew N. LiverisThe Dow Chemical CompanyGary W. LovemanCaesars Entertainment CorporationRobert A. McDonaldThe Procter & Gamble CompanyHarold McGraw IIIThe McGraw-Hill CompaniesDouglas R. OberhelmanCaterpillar Inc.Edward B. Rust, Jr.State Farm Insurance CompaniesRandall L. Stephenson AT&T Inc.Rex W. TillersonExxon Mobil CorporationMaggie Wilderotter Frontier CommunicationsCorporation
 
December
 
11,
 
2012
 
Page
 
2
 
For
 
most
 
of 
 
our
 
careers,
 
the
 
American
 
system
 
of 
 
governance
 
earned
 
global
 
respect
 
and
 
emulation.
 
Politicians
 
put
 
aside
 
partisan
 
rancor
 
and
 
ideological
 
purity
 
to
 
deal
 
with
 
major
 
challenges.
 
This
 
was
 
a
 
significant
 
asset
 
for
 
the
 
country,
 
a
 
source
 
of 
 
confidence
 
with
 
respect
 
to
 
investment,
 
trade,
 
and
 
commerce.
 
This
 
hard
won
 
asset
 
has
 
been
 
tarnished
 
over
 
time,
 
albeit
 
unintentionally.
 
You
 
now
 
have
 
an
 
opportunity
 
to
 
turn
 
political
 
swords
 
into
 
governing
 
plowshares.
 
This
 
opportunity
 
must
 
not
 
be
 
squandered.
 
The
 
U.S.
 
economy
 
has
 
been
 
stalled
 
on
 
the
 
road
 
to
 
greater
 
prosperity.
 
We
 
believe
 
it
 
is
 
primed
 
for
 
strong
 
and
 
sustained
 
expansion.
 
American
 
businesses
 
know
 
how
 
to
 
create
 
 jobs
 
and
 
compete
 
in
 
a
 
diverse
 
global
 
market.
 
We
 
are
 
poised
 
and
 
ready
 
to
 
do
 
so
 
if 
 
the
 
conditions
 
for
 
growth
 
are
 
set
 
in
 
a
 
comprehensive
 
agreement
 
on
 
the
 
fiscal
 
cliff.
 
When
 
all
 
is
 
said
 
and
 
done
 
Americans
 
are
 
interested
 
in
 
solutions.
 
Winston
 
Churchill
 
once
 
said
 
that
 
“Americans
 
can
 
be
 
counted
 
on
 
to
 
do
 
the
 
right
 
thing
 
after
 
exhausting
 
all
 
other
 
alternatives.”
 
We
 
 just
 
need
 
to
 
do
 
so
 
before
 
it
 
is
 
too
 
late.
 
Sincerely,
 
W.
 
James
 
McNerney,
 
Jr.
 
Chairman,
 
President
 
and
 
CEO
 
The
 
Boeing
 
Company
 
David
 
M.
 
Cote
 
Chairman
 
and
 
Chief 
 
Executive
 
Officer
 
Honeywell
 
International,
 
Inc.
 
Andrew
 
N.
 
Liveris
 
Chairman
 
&
 
CEO
 
The
 
Dow
 
Chemical
 
Company
 
Robert
 
A.
 
McDonald
 
Chairman
 
of 
 
the
 
Board,
 
President
 
and
 
CEO
 
The
 
Procter
 
&
 
Gamble
 
Company
 
 
December 11, 2012Page 3
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