“Now that level of decline cannot be sustained if America is to be a global leader for the long term,” he said.
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and a former Treasury Department official, agreed. He called the sequester “a reckless and blunt tool” that would harm the nation, quelling innovation and ultimately costing tax revenue by dampening growth.
As for new revenues as part of a grand budget deal, Bush said that “everything has to be on the table.” Blakey noted that both sides of the political aisle face tough choices ahead, as savings from popular entitlement programs — such as Social Security and Medicare — should be under serious consideration.
The groups also emphasized that even though the sequester hasn’t actually gone into place, the threat is already being manifested in consumer confidence and business investment.
“Our companies are laying off now,” Blakey said, citing previous budget cuts to her industry as well.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.