About the Campaign


Publication: 2012-10-29


Benefits of debt reduction done right: * Policymakers need to enact a plan that stabilizes debt as a share of the economy and then puts it on a clear downward path this decade. * Smart and gradual debt reduction can reverse all of the negative economic and generational consequences of elevated and rising debt. * A credible plan could help strengthen the recovery by improving confidence and reducing uncertainty, even if savings don't start until after the recovery. * Fixing the Debt could restore public faith Washington's ability to solve problems. * There are many proposals and ideas for policymakers to pick and choose from, including: the Simpson-Bowles Commission, Domenici-Rivlin task force, the Super Committee discussions, the Biden negotiations, and others.

The path we're on: * Over the past 40 years, the size of U.S. public debt has averaged below 40 percent of the economy, after having peaked at over 100 percent during WWII. * Today, debt is more than 70 percent of our economy ($11.1 trillion), but is set to continue to rise even after the economy recovers from the recent downturn. The debt is on track to exceed 100 percent of the economy next decade and exceed 200 percent by the 2040s. * Increased spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, unpaid for tax cuts, unpaid for stimulus and job creation bills, and the economic downturn have automatically pushed up spending and brought down revenues, increasing debt. In the long-term, debt will rise from other factors: health care and retirement costs growing faster than the economy and an outdated tax code that brings in insufficient revenues. Consequences of rising debt: * Rising debt will slow economic growth. Researchers have found that once debt reaches certain thresholds, some of which we have already passed, the economy grows notably slower. A slower economy will reduce our standard of living. * Ultimately, we will face an economic crisis if we don't change course - perhaps along the lines of what several European countries have experienced recently. * Higher debt means leaving the next generation saddled with it, reducing their budget flexibility and the ability of the United States to respond to crises in the future - including economic, natural, and security emergencies.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Campaign to Fix the Debt


The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. We come together from a variety of social, economic and political perspectives, around the common belief that America's growing federal debt threatens our future and that we must address it. The Campaign will mobilize key communities-including leaders from business, government, and policy-and people all across America who want to see elected officials step up to solve our nation's fiscal challenges. Recognizing that the time for action is now, the Campaign will work in Washington, DC and around the country to educate people on the need for a comprehensive plan to fix our long-term debt and deficits. In our history, America has always been able to tackle its greatest challenges -- we are confident we can rise to the occasion again.


  • Erskine BowlesCo-Founder, Fix the Debt Campaign & Co-Chair, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform -- Erskine Bowles served with Sen. Alan Simpson as the co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In the Clinton Administration, he served as the director of the Small Business Administration, the deputy chief of staff, and the chief of staff. He served as president of the University of North Carolina system from 2006 until 2010. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1967) and Columbia University's Graduate School of Business (1969).

  • Senator Alan SimpsonCo-Founder, Fix the Debt Campaign & Co-Chair, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform -- Senator Alan K. Simpson served with Erskine Bowles as the co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978 and served three consecutive terms. He was also the Republican whip from 1985 to 1995. An Army veteran, he has served as the assistant attorney general of Wyoming and a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming at Laramie (1954) and the University of Wyoming School of Law (1958).

  • Senator Judd GreggCo-Chair, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Judd Gregg served as a United States Senator from 1993 to 2011 and was a Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee. Prior to his tenure in the Senate, Senator Gregg served as Governor of New Hampshire (1989-1993) and as U.S. Representative (1981-1989). Senator Gregg is a national leader on fiscal policy, a well-known budget expert, and a respected voice on health care, economic, and financial regulatory issues. Senator Gregg served on the National Commission on Fiscal responsibility and Reform. Senator Gregg attended Columbia University (A.B. 1969), received his J.D. in 1972 from Boston University Law School and his L.L.M. in tax law in 1975.

  • Governor Ed RendellCo-Chair, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Edward G. Rendell was the 45th Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Governor Rendell has also served as Mayor and District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia. From 2008 to 2009, Gov. Rendell was Chair of the National Governors Association. He served as General Chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election. Gov. Rendell, along with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, founded Building America's Future, a national infrastructure-investment coalition. Governor Rendell is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and of the Villanova Law School and served in the United States Army.

  • Governor Phil BredesenSteering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Phil Bredesen was Tennessee's 48th governor, first taking office in January 2003. In November 2006, he was reelected, becoming the first governor in a century to win all 95 counties. By Bredesen's fourth year in office, Tennessee had passed four balanced budgets, received top rankings from national bond rating agencies, and raised its Rainy Day Fund to a record high. Prior to being elected governor, he served as mayor of Nashville, Tennessee from 1991 to 1999. Before entering public service, he worked in the health care industry and founded HealthAmerica Corp., a Nashville-based health care management company. Bredesen grew up in rural Shortsville, N.Y, and earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University.

  • David CoteChairman and CEO, Honeywell & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Dave Cote is chairman and CEO of Honeywell, a $37 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. He was elected president, CEO, and a member of Honeywell's Board in February 2002, and named chairman of the Board on July 1, 2002. In 2010, Cote was named by President Barack Obama to serve on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Cote was also named co-chair of the U.S.-India CEO Forum by President Obama in 2009, and has served on the Forum since July 2005. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.

  • Vic FazioSteering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Mr. Fazio served for 20 years as a member of Congress, representing California's 3rd District. During his tenure of distinguished public service, he was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, serving as a subcommittee chairman or ranking member for 18 years. He was also a member of the Armed Services, Budget, Ethics and House Administration committees. In addition to his role on the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Fazio was active in the Democratic leadership of the House, holding several appointive and elected positions. He served as the vice chair of the Democratic Caucus from 1989 until 1994, when he was elected chairman, the third-ranking position in the House. He was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the political arm of the House Democrats, for four years in the early 1990s. He also was a majority whip-at-large and served as a regional representative on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

  • Congressman Jim McCrerySteering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Mr. McCrery served nearly 21 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a member of the House, Congressman McCrery served on the Ways and Means Committee from 1993 through 2008, and from 2007 through 2008 he was ranking member of the full committee. Previously, he was chairman of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee and chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee. He also served for 14 years as a member of the Health Subcommittee. Mr. McCrery received his law degree from Louisiana State University and his undergraduate degree in English and history from Louisiana Tech University.

  • Senator Sam NunnCo-Chairman, The Concord Coalition; Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Nuclear Threat Initiative & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn served Georgia for 24 years, from 1972 to 1996. Currently he is co-chairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served on the Intelligence and Small Business Committees. His legislative achievements include the landmark Department of Defense Reorganization Act and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. He first entered politics as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Nunn attended Georgia Tech, Emory University and Emory Law School, where he graduated with honors and has served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

  • Michael PetersonPresident and COO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Michael Peterson is President and Chief Operating Officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. In addition, Michael is currently President and Co-Founder of GPX Enterprises, LP, a private investment firm focused on the sponsorship, development, and management of selected private equity investments. He worked on the Clinton and Dukakis presidential campaigns, served as a Congressional Aide to Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, and conducted research for both the Committee for Economic Development and the Institute for International Economics. After studying public policy and graduating magna cum laude and with honors from Brown University, Michael earned a Master's degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.

  • Steven RattnerChairman, Willett Advisors LLC & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Steven Rattner is Chairman of Willett Advisors LLC, the investment arm for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's personal and philanthropic assets. In addition, he is a Contributing Writer for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, the author of a monthly column for the Financial Times and the Economic Analyst for MSNBC's Morning Joe. Previously, Mr. Rattner served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Obama Administration. Until February 2009, Mr. Rattner was Managing Principal of Quadrangle Group LLC, a private investment firm. Before beginning his investment-banking career, Mr. Rattner was employed by The New York Times for nearly nine years, principally as an economic correspondent in New York, Washington and London. Mr. Rattner graduated in 1974 from Brown University with honors in economics.

  • Ambassador Robert ZoellickFormer President of the World Bank & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign -- Robert B. Zoellick is the former 11th President of the World Bank Group, which works with 187 member countries. Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Zoellick served as Vice Chairman, International of the Goldman Sachs Group, Managing Director, and Chairman of Goldman Sachs' Board of International Advisors from 2006-07. In 2005-06, Mr. Zoellick served as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. State Department. From 2001 to January 2005, Mr. Zoellick served in the U.S. cabinet as the 13th U.S. Trade Representative. He has also served as Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae and as Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House. Mr. Zoellick graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1975 and has earned a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and a MPP from the Kennedy School of Government.

  • James B. Lee, Jr.Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. & Steering Committee, Fix the Debt Campaign James B. Lee, Jr. is Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Co-Chairman of J.P. Morgan - its Investment Bank. Mr. Lee has financed and advised on many of the most historic transactions in the United States over his 36-year career with JPMorgan Chase. During the past 3 years, he led the J.P. Morgan teams that executed the $23 billion General Motors IPO, the largest IPO in the history of the United States, and the $9 billion re-IPO of AIG - both US Government-owned companies. Mr. Lee also advised Facebook on its $16 billion IPO. Mr. Lee is widely credited as the architect of the modern day syndicated loan market. Mr. Lee is on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, an many others. Mr. Lee received a B.A. from Williams College, where he double majored in Economics and Art History.

  • Committee for a Responsible Federal BudgetPartner -- The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a bipartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal policy impact. The Committee is made up of some of the nation's leading budget experts including many of the past Chairmen and Directors of the Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, and the Federal Reserve Board.

  • Moment of Truth ProjectPartner -- The Moment of Truth project aims to use the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission's findings to spark a national discussion on the need to implement a comprehensive budget fix, and to help further develop the policy ideas to improve the nation's fiscal outlook.

  • Concord CoalitionPartner -- The Concord Coalition is a nationwide, non-partisan, grassroots organization advocating generationally responsible fiscal policy.

  • The Can Kicks BackPartner -- The Can Kicks Back is a Millennial-driven campaign to solve America's fiscal crisis.

  • Come Back America InitiativePartner -- Promoting fiscal responsibility and sustainability by engaging the public and assisting key policymakers on a non-partisan basis in order to achieve solutions to America's fiscal imbalances.

  • Enact the PlanPartner -- A citizen awareness campaign to educate voters on the Simpson-Bowles Plan, otherwise known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

  • Center ForwardPartner -- Center Forward brings together members of congress, not-for profits, academic experts, trade associations, corporations and unions to find common ground.

  • Strengthening of AmericaPartner -- Former U.S. senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Warren Rudman (R-NH), and Evan Bayh (D-IN) have convened a bipartisan group of former senators and representatives to come together for four forums between now and the first presidential debate to raise public consciousness of the country's growing and unsustainable debt. They are calling their effort, Strengthening of America -- Our Children's Future.

  • Common Sense CoalitionPartner -- The Common Sense Coalition is a non-partisan group of voters around the country who are sick of the partisan gridlock in Washington. We're going to get rid of the ineffective politicians in Washington and replace them with problem-solvers who will put the needs of our country over the desires of their party. Stand with us to restore Common Sense and make America great again:

  • BIPACPartner -- BIPAC, a non-partisan organization, does not lobby, but assists thousands of businesses and their organizations to find and elect pro-prosperity candidates at the state and federal level.

  • The Citizen's Petition to Fix The DebtPartner -- The Citizen's Petition to Fix The Debt is recognized as the official petition of the Campaign to Fix The Debt. The bipartisan petition is a grassroots, outside the Beltway effort begun by six concerned citizens as a result of a Memorial Day barbeque in Vermont. The goal of the Citizen's Petition is to provide ordinary Americans, from across the political spectrum, an actionable bullhorn to tell Washington to Fix The Debt now!

  • Concerned AmericansConcerned Americans are encouraged to sign the Citizen's Petition to Fix the Debt and join the Campaign at

  • American VotersThe Campaign will mobilize key communities -- including leaders from business, government, and policy -- and voters across America who expect our elected officials to implement a comprehensive plan to fix our long-term debt and deficits.

  • Business Leaders

  • Government Leaders

  • Policy Leaders

  • CEO Fiscal Leadership CouncilThe CEO Fiscal Leadership Council is comprised of business leaders committed to mobilizing local, state and national support to persuade Congress to enact, and the President to sign, a comprehensive debt deal large enough to stabilize and reduce the federal debt as a share of the economy.