November 29, 2014

CEOs Tap Political Leaders To Reduce The Federal Deficit

CEOs from some of the nation’s biggest corporations have called on political leaders in Washington to reduce the federal deficit by increasing tax-revenues and cutting spending.

reduce the federal deficit

In a statement signed by more than 80 corporate leaders, the executives said that regardless of who wins control of Congress and the White House in November, the Federal government must include:

“Comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit.”

Heads of companies including AT&T, Bank of America, and Microsoft, among others, put their names to the “manifesto” that attests tax increases are inevitable — no matter which party wins on Election Day.

The CEOs believe recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission offer an effective framework for a fiscal plan. Those proposals outlined several options, including cutting tax rates for people at all income levels, eliminating some popular tax deductions, and adding them back selectively, as needed.

Among the signatures on the letter urging deficit reduction are:

AT&T – Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO
Bank of America – Brian T. Moynihan, President & CEO
Boeing – W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President & CEO
Cisco – John Chambers, Chairman, President & CEO
General Electric – Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO
Goldman, Sachs – Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO
JPMorgan Chase – Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO
Microsoft – Steve Ballmer, CEO
Nasdaq OMX Group – Robert Greifeld, CEO
NYSE Euronext – Duncan L. Niederauer, CEO
Partnership for New York City – Kathy Wylde, President & CEO
Qualcomm – Dr. Paul Jacobs, Chairman & CEO
Sirius XM Radio – Mel Karmazin, CEO
Verizon – Lowell McAdam, Chairman & CEO
Walgreen – Gregory Wasson, President & CEO

President Obama believes tax increases on high income earners are necessary and fair to reduce the deficit. Mitt Romney backs a tax overhaul that closes loopholes and spurs economic growth, but he is against raising taxes. The CEOs are calling for an overhaul of the tax code to reduce deductions and loopholes and thus generate more revenue than the current tax code.

A balance approach is needed, and these CEOs are making a lot of sense. The deficit cannot be reduced without cutting spending and increasing tax revenues.

Deficit reduction is not just a Washington political issue or something for the leaders of large corporations to worry about. Interest rates are historically low for borrowers seeking startup loans, infusions of working capital, and business lines of credit.

However, the further the U.S. government gets into debt, the higher interest rates for small business borrowing will go. This will be a hindrance to business growth in the future.

I agree with the CEOs, we need politicians in Washington to stop grandstanding and take rational and equitable steps to cut the deficit.

Letter Photo via Shutterstock

4 Comments ▼

Rohit Arora


Rohit Arora Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder of Biz2Credit, is one of the country's leading experts in small business finance. Since its founding in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged $800M in small business loans and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Rohit was named Crain's NY Business "Entrepreneur of the Year 2011."

4 Reactions

  1. I also agree with these CEOs. Deficit reduction will require some tough choices and until elected officials make it a priority it won’t happen.

  2. Nice job with this post, Rohit.

    This is a pretty impressive list of business leaders.

    Something has to change.

    The Franchise King®

  3. Call me unconvinced.

    It’s easy to say “higher taxes.” But too many of the gazillionaires who call for higher taxes spend inordinate amounts of time and money on tax advisers to AVOID paying taxes themselves.

    Small business owners can’t afford offshore subsidiaries (or in some cases offshore HEADQUARTERS) to shelter profits. Small business owners can’t afford Wall Street law firms charging $1,000 an hour to develop complex tax shelters.

    I would take these gestures more seriously if they were accompanied by certified checks payable to the U.S. Treasury.

    I like the “cut spending” part though…. :)

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