Stebbins Touts the Campaign to Fix the Debt

In a recent op-ed in the Miami Herald, World Fuel Services Corporation chairman Paul Stebbins touted his membership in the Campaign to Fix the Debt. First, he details the challenge the country faces with regards to its fiscal issues and why they are problematic.

For decades, our national debt has stayed roughly steady at less than 40 percent of our economy — about twice the revenue we raise each year. Yet due to the economic crisis, irresponsible policy changes, growing healthcare costs, and an aging population that’s all changing. Our debt currently stands not at 40 percent but 70 percent; and it’s on track to exceed 100 percent next decade, 200 percent by the 2040s, and ever-increasing heights after that.

These crippling levels of debt would drive up interest rates on loans, reduce our standard of living, and ultimately risk a fiscal crisis down the road. The debt is a cancer eating at the heart of American prosperity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As William Jennings Bryan once said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

He then goes on to describe the task the Campaign is trying to accomplish.

In today’s highly polarized political climate we trivialize issues at a time when we should be restoring civil discourse to our political process. The need to act is urgent and transcends partisanship. It is a matter of citizenship.

That’s why I’ve decided to devote my time and energy to The Campaign to Fix the Debt. Joining with other CEOs, former elected officials, leading budget experts, and thousands of concerned citizens, we have come together from all sorts of different backgrounds around a common goal: to urge Congress and the president to enact a comprehensive plan to put the country’s debt on a stable and downward path as a share of the economy over the long term.

This unprecedented and nonpartisan coalition wants to make smart debt reduction a reality by July 4th of next year. If we fail to come together as a nation to address the challenge, abrupt and across-the-board spending cuts and tax rate increases are set to automatically go into effect. This so called “fiscal cliff” is no way to go about controlling deficits and debt — because these changes would force blunt and immediate changes rather than thoughtful and gradual ones.

Click here to read the full op-ed.