Letter to President & U.S. Congress on “Fiscal Cliff”

By at 12 September, 2012, 3:43 pm

To the President and Members of Congress:

The undersigned organizations call on Congress and the President to immediately enact legislation that averts America’s impending fiscal cliff. Failure to address the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would reduce economic growth and could jeopardize economic recovery. It is not responsible to wait until the end of the year to take action. The time to act is now. We urge you to be mindful of the absolute necessity of addressing the long-term fiscal imbalance through comprehensive tax reform and fundamental entitlement reform, but think it is imperative that action be taken now to avert a potential crisis.

Failure to act on the looming year-end tax increases would yield the largest tax increases in American history coupled with draconian, ill-designed, across-the-board discretionary spending cuts. Economists from across the political spectrum warn that such tax increases and spending cuts would have a devastating effect on a still sputtering U.S. economy, quite possibly returning it to recession.

The onset of harm to the economy will not wait until year-end. The very notion that the fiscal cliff exists has increased uncertainty, which has already begun to slow down consumer spending and hamper business investment. Businesses, large and small, cannot plan for the future and are delaying the hiring of more workers that will grow and strengthen the U.S. economy.

Thus, the undersigned organizations urge you to immediately:

Extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax rates (including current marginal rates, dividend and capital gains rates, and estate tax relief) for all taxpayers;

Extend vital expired and expiring business tax provisions;

Provide alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief; and

Find spending cuts to replace a sequestration never intended to go into effect.

Short term action is not a substitute for long term fundamental fiscal reform. In addition to immediate action on the fiscal cliff, we also urge you to:

Firmly commit to tackling comprehensive tax reform in the next Congress; and

Agree to develop a long term plan to address America’s excessive spending, particularly entitlement spending. 

The undersigned organizations recognize that these issues are daunting ones, that these times are difficult for many American families and businesses, and that America is entering the crucible of what may be one of the most heated elections in recent decades. But these factors cannot – and should not – serve as excuses for inaction, at least on an interim basis to avert a crisis. The threat  of further harm to the American economy is real, and the American people and business community should not be forced to wait. We urge Congress and the President to act now.


298 Business Associations and Chambers (including SBE Council)

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