We are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. America faces a number of serious challenges, including unacceptably low economic growth, unacceptably high unemployment, unsustainable budget deficits, escalating health care costs, a depressed housing market, an uncompetitive tax code and an incoherent patchwork of regulation. At the same time, political paralysis has gripped Washington, leaving Americans to wonder if our political institutions are still capable of tackling the major economic and social challenges of the day. But with a new Congress and Presidential term come new opportunities for cooperation and progress, and the CEOs of the Business Roundtable stand ready to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to find common sense solutions.
With these opportunities in mind, the Business Roundtable is pleased to present our 2013 CEO Growth Agenda — a comprehensive public policy agenda for restoring America’s economic strength. The CEOs of the Business Roundtable believe that restoring America’s economic strength remains the nation’s highest priority and that the business community has a special obligation to step forward because of the unique role it plays as a source of economic growth, job creation and infrastructure investment. We also believe, however, that sound public policies are essential to setting the stage for a strong and sustained expansion throughout the private sector.
Accordingly, the Growth Agenda outlines a two-pronged approach for rebuilding confidence, reducing uncertainty, and unlocking business investment and job creation through the adoption of sound public policies. Specifically, the CEOs of the Business Roundtable call on policymakers to:
- Stabilize and eventually reduce the federal debt relative to the size of the economy by boosting economic growth and reducing fiscal deficits. There are no silver bullets to solve our fiscal challenges, and a wide range of measures will likely be required; however, comprehensive tax reform and entitlement modernization must be part of the equation. Ultimately, boosting economic growth and reducing fiscal deficits is the surest path to rebuilding confidence and reducing uncertainty in the private sector.
- Unlock private-sector investment and job creation through policy measures that eliminate barriers to growth and capitalize on America’s strengths. These measures include opening markets for international trade and investment; ensuring a skilled, prepared workforce; realizing the promise of affordable, abundant energy; adopting smarter regulations; reforming the housing finance system; and implementing more effective, more intelligent cybersecurity protections.
Despite our nation’s serious challenges, the CEOs of the Business Roundtable remain optimistic about America’s future. We believe that the economy is primed for a strong and sustained expansion, but we also believe that the window of opportunity to effectively deal with our nation’s structural problems is rapidly closing. It’s time to demonstrate that our political system is still capable of finding sensible solutions to today’s most pressing problems. It’s time to repair America’s balance sheet in a manner that will rebuild confidence and reduce uncertainty. It’s time to unlock private sector investment and job creation. It’s time to act.