Tackle Deficit Now

Last week, a group of business leaders, led by Business Roundtable President John Engler and former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, joined with leaders from the science, engineering and university communities to call or bipartisan action to “rein in the burgeoning national deficit.”  In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders, the group said that efforts to reduce the deficit must go beyond cuts in discretionary spending:

“An effective deficit reduction plan cannot focus entirely on decreasing discretionary expenditures; it must also include tax reform, spending prioritization and actions to strengthen economic growth.”

The group also stated that entitlement reform must be on the table:  

 Largely missing in the budget discussions to date are the entitlement programs, particularly the major ones:  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  These programs alone account for about 40 percent of the budget and their expenditures will grow dramatically in the decade ahead…. Any serious and sincere deficit reduction plan must include entitlement reform.”  

Shared sacrifice, the group believes, will be “required to put our fiscal house in order.”  The letter signers praised the efforts to the Bowles-Simpson commission for putting forward a bipartisan plan to address the deficit and debt.