In the presidential campaign, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has promised to cut taxes by 20 percent through an overhaul of the tax system, which he says would not increase the deficit. President Obama is campaigning on a pledge to raise taxes for families who earn more than $250,000 a year.
Retired former Senate Budget Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., a co-chair of the Fix the Debt campaign that sponsored the event, said business leaders can provide backing to lawmakers who will have to make “difficult political decisions” to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course.
Amid re-election pressures, Gregg said, “You need somebody to stand behind you and say you’re doing the right thing.”
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, parent of the Fix the Debt campaign, said the business leaders in the organization are already having an effect on Congress.
“When they go to meet with members of Congress, instead of only talking about their company or their industry, they’re talking about this larger issue,” she said.
The CEOs have raised $30 million, which they plan to spend to raise public awareness through advertising as well as sponsoring educational events throughout the country.
Cote said if Congress and the White House agree in a lame-duck session to the outlines of a plan that includes reducing the deficit by $4 trillion, making a down payment on deficit reduction and having an enforcement mechanism in case Congress does not pass comprehensive legislation in 2013, “I think that could be a big boost to the markets.”