Published: January 28, 2009
January 27, 2009
To Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
Business Roundtable supports the Administration and Congress’ goal to develop an economic package to put our economy back on the path of long-term growth and urges swift action.
In working with the Congress and Administration to put together this critically important economic package, Business Roundtable relied on several key principles that we believe are necessary to ensure growth and which are being incorporated into both the House and Senate bills:
We are facing one of the most difficult periods in the history of the U.S. economy. Business Roundtable believes that a stimulus package that targets projects that can be rapidly deployed in the economy is the quickest way to stabilize the economy and create new jobs. With more than two million jobs lost in 2008 – and accelerating job losses in the past three months – decisive action is needed if we are to return our economy to a path for growth and full employment and provide American workers and families with the opportunity to enhance their standards of living.
To be effective quickly, the stimulus package needs to focus on areas of the economy that provide maximum effects in terms of new jobs and investments that will enhance our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy. At the same time, it must reject policies, such as “Buy American” and other restrictions, which would lead to further net job loss or cause additional economic deterioration. It is also important that the economy’s response to any stimulus initiatives be carefully measured to ensure we are on a path to long-term, sustainable growth before the initiatives are withdrawn. As the Congress moves forward in shaping the stimulus package, it must ensure that these objectives are met.
We recognize that the stimulus package will increase an already significant deficit in 2009. Business Roundtable always has placed a high priority on deficit reduction as a means to achieving sustained economic growth. However, an increase in the deficit is an unavoidable outcome at this critical time if we are to avert a prolonged and potentially deep recession. Nevertheless, high deficits are unacceptable over the long term. Once we return to solid economic footing, the Congress, the Administration and private sector need to work together quickly to implement measures to control future spending, including a comprehensive “top down” review of all federal spending.
Business Roundtable's highest priority is to drive sustained growth in the U.S. economy in order to achieve higher living standards for all Americans. Our membership includes the CEOs of leading U.S. corporations. With a combined workforce of nearly 10 million employees and $5 trillion in annual revenues we are on the front-lines of the battle to prevent a prolonged and deep recession and to return the economy to strong growth with new jobs.
We look forward to working further with the House and Senate to finalize an emergency economic package that will work for all Americans — our workers, families, communities and companies.
John J. Castellani