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August 2012
FIX THE DEBT: We cannot afford to go over the fiscal cliff!
By John Paul Galles

     You may have heard about the “fiscal cliff” facing the American economy. Major fiscal events can happen simultaneously at the end of 2012 and early in 2013. These include the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts, the payroll tax cut and other tax-relief provisions. They also include the first installment of the $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs required under last summer’s bipartisan deficit reduction agreement.

     It is also likely that lawmakers will have to raise the debt ceiling again, potentially triggering another standoff in Congress. If and/or when these events take place, many predict we will be driven into another deep economic downturn.

     We can do better, but you need to help. Here’s how!

     Local financial advisors and coaches, Bill and Mary Staton, recently wrote me about an incredibly important organization. This is their invitation.

     “Erskine Bowles and I have been friends since the early 1970s and for a brief time, we worked at the same investment firm. Today he’s spearheading a grass-roots campaign for the United States to get its financial house in order.

     “Business leaders, politicians, and policy experts are coming together to galvanize citizen support for a comprehensive debt-reduction plan. The challenge is to make Congress see the potential for an America beyond partisan politics, ultimately united to meet this challenge.

     “Erskine asks each of us: Will you get your neighbors and friends to join you to FixTheDebt by immediately signing up at:

    “As former Senator Sam Nunn points out, ‘This is not physics, this is not calculus, this is arithmetic.’

     “Mary and I realize this country faces the most predictable preventable financial crisis in history. And along with the FixTheDebt leadership, we know there are solutions to this gigantic problem. We also know that if our country is going to overcome Congressional impasse and infighting, it will require each and every one us to get involved—and stay involved.

     “ is an American movement for fiscal responsibility at the national level. Please sign up at By adding your voice, we can make sure that this country does not face a relapse into recession. When you do, you’ll demonstrate to Congress your commitment to a comprehensive debt-reduction deal.”

     Thank you, Bill and Mary Staton! Well said!

     You might like to know The Campaign to Fix the Debt is built around the following core principles:


Policymakers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States.


It is urgent and essential that we put in place a plan to fix America’s debt. An effective plan must stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path.


This plan should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget.


In order to develop a fiscal plan that can succeed both financially and politically, it must be bipartisan and reforms to all areas of the budget should be included. The plan should: (i) reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system, and limit future cost growth; (ii) strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and (iii) include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues, and reduces the deficit.


The recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which saved $4 trillion and addressed all parts of the budget, as well as other solutions and proposals that have been put forward, provide effective frameworks for such a plan.


The plan should be conducive to long-term economic growth, protect the vulnerable, include credible enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the debt reduction is achieved, and leave the next generation better off.


     It will take all of us to spread the word and bring fiscal integrity back to the halls of government. It can—and must—be done!!”


John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
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