80 CEOs lend names to 'Fix the Debt' project

WASHINGTON: The Fix the Debt organization has brought together the CEOs of more than 80 US corporations, such as Delta Airlines, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, to urge Congress to pass legislation to reduce the federal deficit.

WASHINGTON: The Fix the Debt organization has brought together the CEOs of more than 80 US corporations, such as Delta Airlines, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, to urge Congress to pass legislation to reduce the federal deficit.

Campaign organizers have raised more than $30 million to boost awareness. Promotional efforts include social and traditional media outreach, grassroots mobilization, and a paid media component. DCI Group, Glover Park Group, and Dewey Square Group are supporting the campaign.

The chief communicator behind the initiative is Jon Romano, who left his post as communications director for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue last month to become VP of communications for the group.

Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) founded Fix the Debt. Simpson and Bowles co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, created by President Barack Obama in February 2010, to address the US debt situation.

The CEOs released a statement on Thursday saying policymakers should “develop a fiscal plan that can succeed both financially and politically.” Such a plan should be bipartisan and reform Medicare and Medicaid, strengthen Social Security, and include comprehensive tax reform, the executives said in the letter. The statement first appeared in a story in The Wall Street Journal

“CEOs of both large and small companies across the country are calling for the attention of Congress and the president to tell them how imperative it is to avoid a fiscal cliff,” Romano said. “They want to see an environment that allows for the passage of a comprehensive debt solution that reflects both good policy and safe politics.”

The business leaders represent companies that employ more than 6 million people. More than 280,000 American citizens have signed the Fix the Debt petition.

The campaign will continue past the election until a federal budget bill is passed, Romano said. Moving forward, Fix the Debt hopes to establish state chapters that will oversee town halls and roundtable meetings on debt issues, he said.

Earlier this year, the State Budget Crisis Task Force hired Widmeyer Communications to promote a report on financial problems faced by US states.

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