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The fiscal cliff is a very real, very serious problem. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that going over the cliff would shrink the U.S. economy by an annualized 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
That means our economy plunges back into recession: consumers will cut back on spending and the resulting decline in demand for products and services will force companies to reduce investment and eliminate jobs. The CBO estimates that unemployment would increase to over 9 percent.
That is an outcome no one wants. The American Dream is alive and well, and we want it to continue. I have joined with a group of business leaders, the President and Congressional leaders of both parties who are working together to build support for a bipartisan, long-term plan that effectively addresses our national debt and prevents a drop over the fiscal cliff. Such a deal would allow business to meaningfully invest again, creating a new period of sustained economic growth. To get there, we need:
During natural disasters, our leaders have put differences aside and worked side-by-side to do the right thing for Americans. We all—the President, Congress and the private sector--need to approach our debt crisis the same way.
We need to come together as a nation to tackle the problem. We do not have to agree on everything, but we do need to put aside political differences to head off a new economic crisis. Compromise is what’s needed, and that means we all may need to sacrifice something in the best interests of our country and our fellow Americans.
I hope you will join us and be part of the solution to put Americans back to work.