Good Sense

Deficit-Hawk CEOs Bend Toward Obama

At least in principle, some of America’s most prominent chief executives support debt-reduction measures that sounds much like what Obama has proposed.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Swing voters care about deficit reduction, and while both candidates have said they would make cutting the debt a priority, they've differed on how to go about it. So when the CEOs who signed a letter his week pledging to push for a bipartisan debt deal look at the options before them for president, they are faced with some pretty stark and perhaps unexpected choices.

The fact is, Mitt Romney simply does not have a comprehensive blend of belt-tightening and revenue-generating measures prepared to address what both parties agree is one of the nation’s most pressing problems. Sure, bipartisanship sounds good, but in this case it also just makes sense – no one is going to get the deficit down without cribbing from both parties’ agendas.

In my latest CNN column, I detail some of the problems with the Republican ticket’s proposals:

“This aspect of Romney’s plan is so politically driven and math-illiterate that Paul Ryan doesn’t even like to acknowledge it on the campaign trail. Moreover, it’s worth remembering that the politically convenient model of huge tax cuts and higher spending pursued by President George W. Bush and embraced by Republicans during his administration turned Clinton-era surpluses into deficits.”

That’s why, when the moderate-minded businessmen took a look at the two tickets, hopes for a united solution to the debt lie with the Democrats:

“It may sound counterintuitive, but according to the outlines established by the CEOs, Obama’s reelection would actually be better for achieving long-term deficit reduction – because he is the only candidate who has put forward a balanced bipartisan plan.”

Read my full column at CNN.