In an opinion editorial that appeared in the Financial Times on Friday, July 13, Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote called for American CEOs to speak up on the U.S. debt crisis and push our government to address the growing problem. Cote cites the findings of the Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that the national debt will reach $21 trillion in 10 years as an issue of critical concern to the long-term strength and success of American businesses and citizens.
“The lack of political will to address our debt problem creates significant uncertainty for companies making investment and hiring decisions. Without resolution, it could doom us to five years of 2% real GDP growth and 8% unemployment – or even worse: another financial crisis,” writes Cote.
He continues, “The problem can be addressed in one of two ways. The first is proactively and thoughtfully, the way a great nation does. The second is to wait until the bond market forces us to do it. This is not just a Wall Street problem. If 10-year US Treasury bond yields hit 7%, home mortgage rates will reach 10% and car loans will hit 13%. That’s a Main Street problem.”
Cote advocates that one of the three televised presidential debates focus exclusively on debt to allow both candidates to clearly and simply present their plans. Additionally, he calls upon American business leaders to support of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, an effort to build national support for a comprehensive debt reduction plan directed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who co-led a bipartisan commission on the topic.
Read the editorial online.