BRT: Compromise on fiscal cliff should not split business
Business Roundtable President John Engler today rebuts a Dec. 21 Wall Street Journal column by Kimberly Strassel, which wrongly claimed that “Big Business Sells out Small Business.”
On the contrary, Engler writes in a letter to the editor, “The only goal of Business Roundtable CEOs on the fiscal cliff is to prevent it.”
BRT's Dec. 11 letter was clear: 171 CEOs of America's leading companies argued that Congress should agree to additional revenue while the administration should agree to entitlement reforms and spending reductions that are a fiscally responsible multiple of increased revenues.
In that Dec. 11 letter to the President and Congress, the CEOs urged a “principled compromise” that avoided the fiscal cliff that could do so much damage to the U.S. economy. But calling for a compromise should not pit large companies against small- or medium-sized businesses, Engler writes today.
We are not interested in harming one business structure over another, particularly when you consider that many suppliers to global businesses are small businesses. Businesses, small and large alike, depend on each other. In fact, large multinational companies bought $8 trillion in goods and services from American suppliers in 2010.
Moreover, we in no way believe that a tax system that favors one type of business over another is beneficial to the U.S. economy. Comprehensive tax reform—which includes reform for all businesses—needs to be accomplished soon so all businesses can compete more effectively in the global economy.
Engler also makes a critical point against the erroneous claim – repeated by columnists and bloggers elsewhere – that Business Roundtable is siding with the White House in the fiscal-cliff debate.
Any suggestion that Business Roundtable is part of or is seeking a back-room deal with other parties, including the White House, is false.
In fact we have avoided substituting our policy suggestions in favor of principled compromise within our political system.
We opted to encourage our political system to function as originally intended and to not favor one side over another.
The letters section of today’s Wall Street Journal also includes a response from Fred Smith, CEO of Fedex, who writes that Strassel misrepresented his position on taxes.