“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.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.