On November 19, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry joined a bi-partisan group in a press conference at the Missouri Capitol to announce the Campaign to Fix the Debt. The campaign is a nationwide group of more than 300,000 business leaders, politicians and citizens working together to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.
“There is a better path that we can be taking as a nation,” said Mehan. “We need a comprehensive approach to this problem and this campaign urges policy makers to go big, go smart and go long to address the mountain of debt our nation faces.”
In regards to going big, the plan includes enacting at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction in order to stabilize and reduce the debt relative to the GDP. In addition, the campaign encourages policy makers to be smart by replacing mindless, abrupt debt reduction with thoughtful changes that reform the tax code and cut low-priority spending.
“Most important, this plan calls on elected officials to keep debt under control over the long-term by focusing on the long-term growth of entitlement programs,” said Mehan.
“No other issue is as urgent or important to the welfare of our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, said during the press conference. “The elections are over. Now it’s time for Washington to work together to create solutions or the economy will tank, jobs will disappear, and small businesses will be hit hard.”
The Missouri Chamber was joined by a distinguished group of current and former elected officials, including Sen. Bond, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, Democratic Treasurer Clint Zweifel and former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden.
The mission of the group is that they come together around the common belief that America’s growing federal debt threatens the country’s future and that must be addressed. The Campaign will mobilize key communities-including leaders from business, government, and policy-and people all across America who want to see elected officials step up to solve our nation’s fiscal challenges. Recognizing that the time for action is now, the Campaign will work in Washington, DC and around the country to educate people on the need for a comprehensive plan to fix our long-term debt and deficits.
The campaign has startling statistics to share. Today the national debt equals $16 trillion. The publicly held portion, the measure experts agree is the most meaningful metric, equals 73 percent of the U.S. economy and will continue to climb if left unchecked. On January 1, a series of tax increases and spending cuts – known as the fiscal cliff – totaling more than $600 billion in 2013 alone are set to take effect unless Congress can settle on a budget deal. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that going over the cliff will push the country back into a recession and shrink the economy by an annual basis of 3.0 percent in the first quarter of 2013.