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Campaign to Fix the Debt Launches Local Chapter in Michigan to Urge Lawmakers to Address Fiscal Cliff and Long-Term Debt

Press release issued by Campaign to Fix the Debt

Business Owners, Local Elected Officials, Community Leaders Call on Federal Lawmakers to Find Practical Solutions

November 14, 2012 (Lansing, Michigan): The Campaign to Fix the Debt – a national nonpartisan coalition of business leaders, elected officials, community leaders, academics, and individual citizens – officially launched its state chapter in Michigan, bringing together concerned individuals to call on lawmakers to address the ballooning national debt.

Campaign to Fix the Debt Michigan co-chairs include Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and current Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. Sikkema and Baruah called on lawmakers in Washington to put aside political differences to forge a credible plan to stabilize and bring down our national debt and encouraged Michiganders to ask their elected leaders to take action.

“There is no doubt that our national debt issue is a difficult one, but the size of the challenge should spur our nation to action – rather than shrink from it,” said Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Resolving this issue will take a smart combination of spending restraint, revenue enhancements and a robustly growing economy.  Any one of those goals alone is a challenge. Achieving all three simultaneously is daunting, but absolutely necessary.”

In addition to the long-term challenges posed by our debt, lawmakers will also need to confront the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff” – over $600 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes next year alone that will take effect on January 1 unless Congress and the White House sign meaningful debt legislation to avoid it. Analysts unanimously agree going over the cliff would push the country back into a recession.

“No other issue is as urgent or important to our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” Ken Sikkema, Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair and former Senate Majority Leader and current Senior Policy Analyst at Public Sector Consultants said. “In recent years the national debt has grown to unsustainable levels relative to the size of our economy, and now is the time for Washington to work together to create solutions.”

To date, The Campaign to Fix the Debt has attracted more than 300,000 grassroots supporters from across the county, including the active support from CEOs and employees at some of American’s largest companies operating in all parts of Michigan such as AT&T, Dow, Honeywell, and Weyerhaeuser.

“Michigan businesses can’t afford the uncertainty of abruptly falling off the “fiscal cliff,” said Tim Daman, President and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It is really a two-step approach – urge policy makers to address the fiscal cliff looming in January 2013 and then reach agreement on a comprehensive solution. Now it’s time for Washington to get to work to create solutions that protect our fragile economic recovery and the interests of businesses, while ensuring transparency and accountability.”

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is committed to advocating for our elected leaders to avert the cliff while gradually putting our debt on a sustainable course by generating more tax revenues and making smart spending cuts to programs that aren’t working or aren’t necessary.

“We are excited so many from Michigan have joined the Campaign to Fix the Debt,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who is spearheading the campaign. “Addressing the federal debt and the looming fiscal cliff is the biggest challenge we face today, and Michiganders realize that creating answers will take all of our efforts. Lawmakers in Washington will need to make some tough decisions, and those will be easier if they know that the people they represent do indeed value cooperation and demand a long-term, comprehensive agreement over our debt.”

Through grassroots organizing, earned media activities, and high-profile outreach, the Campaign to Fix the Debt is urging lawmakers to set aside political differences to formulate practical solutions to our nation’s debt problems.

For more information, and to sign the campaign’s Citizen’s Petition, please visit