For all the partisan bickering in Washington over the national debt, there actually is a great deal of consensus on what must be done to address it. Those who want to ignore the problem are a distinct minority, as was underscored by our Common Ground Summit on February 6.
The event brought together nearly 100 leaders representing 72 organizations from a broad cross section of society, Including American Values Network, Bread for the World, Concerned Veterans for America, Corporate Voices for Working Families, League of United Latin American Citizens, Minority Business Roundtable, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Small Business Association, National Urban League, Sojourners, Women Impacting Public Policy and Young Invincibles.
Moderated discussion and real-time polling during the Summit highlighted the enormous amount of common ground between the diverse interests involved.
Some of the statements that received “Super-Majority” support from Summit attendees included:
- We can not cut spending in a way that undermines the economy and the recovery. (100% support)
- The longer we delay addressing the debt, the bigger the problem becomes. (95%)
- We must protect long term investments that promote economic growth (jobs, human capital, infrastructure), even as we tackle the debt. (94%)
- Addressing the debt will create a path to economic and budgetary certainty for business and programs. (86%)
- A debt deal should ensure that everything is on the table -- balancing solutions between revenues and spending. (84%)
- Solutions should protect and mitigate the impact on vulnerable populations. (81%)
- Addressing the debt will re-establish confidence in American economy. (78%)
- Long-term debt problems “crowd out” the nation's ability to invest in the future (e.g., innovation, science, technology, education). (76%)
- Not addressing the debt will decrease confidence in government’s ability to solve any problems; we go from one crisis to another. (76%)
- Any solution to the debt issue should involve shared sacrifice and a balanced approach. (74%)
The high degree of consensus is extremely encouraging. As Fix the Debt’s Maya MacGuineas said in a statement:
Whenever groups who normally sit on opposite sides of issues gather in one place and find consensus, we all ought to stand up and take notice.