CEOs of leading U.S. companies who are members of the Business Roundtable are urging Washington to take immediate action during the “lame-duck” session of the 112th Congress to achieve a resolution to the pending “fiscal cliff” in order to move our nation forward and continue economic growth and progress on job creation. If Congress fails to act during the lame-duck session, the country will be hit by nearly $6 trillion in higher taxes, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to our nation’s defense and safety-net programs, and our nation’s credit will be harmed.
It’s Time to Act is an intensive new campaign by America’s top CEOs to urge Washington to take decisive action. As part of the campaign, policymakers will hear directly from BRT CEOs about the costs of inaction in a series of videos and print, radio and online advertisements.
Ernst & YoungJim Turley
American Electric PowerNick Akins
ITC HoldingsJoseph Welch
McGraw-Hill CompaniesTerry McGraw
AGCO Corp.Martin Richenhagen
Altec, Inc.Lee Styslinger
International PaperJohn Faraci
Motorola SolutionsGreg Brown
Deere & Co.Sam Allen
Frontier CommunicationsMaggie Wilderotter
Caesars EntertainmentGary Loveman
MassMutual Financial GroupRoger Crandall
The U.S. corporate tax system has failed to keep pace with the changing global economy. The U.S. system is an outlier at a time when capital is more mobile and the world’s economies are more interconnected than ever before. Modern, streamlined and fiscally responsible tax policies contribute to a competitive business environment that attracts new investment and supports strong economic growth and job creation. BRT CEOs believe reforms of the U.S. corporate tax system must focus on two critical components: Lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, and implementing a modernized, competitive system of international taxation.
Long-term fiscal health is a tangible indicator of effective governance and an essential aspect of an attractive business environment. BRT CEOs urge Congress and the president to coalesce around a multiyear growth and deficit reduction plan to restore long-term stability to the U.S. economy, including passing prudent reforms to reduce the growth of both discretionary and mandatory government spending; enacting a modern and fiscally responsible competitive tax code similar to the rest of the world; and stabilizing and reducing federal debt relative to the size of the economy.
Vibrant and open markets for international trade and investment are critical to generating new economic growth and job creation opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers. BRT CEOs urge Washington to pass legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia; modernize outdated U.S. export controls; engage in constructive engagement with China and other emerging growth markets; pursue trade and investment initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks; and provide the next President with updated international trade negotiating authority.
A nation’s regulatory system is one of the most telling indicators of its business environment – smart regulations clarify the “rules of the road, but regulations that create uncertainty and fail to consider less costly alternatives can impose unproductive cost burdens on businesses and consumers, undermine confidence, and delay investment. To ensure regulations support economic growth, BRT CEOs encourage policymakers to perform cost-benefit analyses using sound scientific and analytical methodologies; require agencies to disclose their cost estimates for new rules early in the process; and streamline and simplify the permitting process to lower operating costs, create jobs and increase economic competitiveness.
America needs an energy policy that ensures access to low-cost, sustainable sources of energy and power, which is key to GDP growth and job creation. BRT CEOs believe Congress and the president should implement a national energy strategy that addresses both supply and energy efficiency; allows the market, not the government, to make decisions regarding the appropriate mix of different energy resources and energy efficiency technologies, with an emphasis on technology neutrality; puts in place policies and mechanisms that will lead to the deployment of renewable energy technologies that are economically and technically feasible; and properly incentivizes energy efficiency to ensure widespread deployment
Reform of the Medicare and Social Security programs is essential to maintaining a dependable social safety net for future generations and addressing the nation’s long-term fiscal imbalance. To reduce the federal debt and improve the financial stability of the Medicare program, changes must be made that adopt the innovations in the private sector, protect the federal budget, and offer a safety net to protect the poor and disabled. This can be done by converting Medicare into a more efficient model of health care delivery for all Americans, whether through public or private plans that improve the quality of health care services. Similarly, Social Security’s long-term finances must be stabilized as soon as possible to ensure that the program can be maintained as a safety net from poverty for those individuals who have contributed to the program during their working years. To maintain an affordable, innovative and efficient health care system for all, BRT CEOs encourage lawmakers to increase transparency; enact medical liability reform; adopt policies to expand the private health care market and improve the current health care law.
A quality education is the lynchpin of a productive and prosperous society. U.S. economic performance and job creation require a workforce that possesses the skills and knowledge that employers need, particularly in STEM fields and fast-growing occupations that require STEM skills. BRT CEOs believe that the quality of instruction is one of the most important components of K-12 education. Congress and the White House should support policies and practices that emphasize STEM, early reading, adoption and implementation of Common Core State Standards in math and English/language arts and Next Generation Science Standards; and streamline federal workforce training programs. The Roundtable also supports the establishment of partnerships with community colleges that align technical skills training with business needs and employment opportunities.
"Economic recovery will remain stalled until Washington resolves this fiscal crisis and starts focusing on longer-term solutions."
"It's important to recognize that the stakes have gone up across the board when you combine the debt ceiling with the fiscal cliff."
"The most important thing for the next president and the new Congress is to make sure that the fiscal cliff issues are resolved successfully and expeditiously."