Group Launches Campaign to Fix State Debt


LANSING — 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 individuals to call on lawmakers to address ballooning national debt.

Campaign 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.

“There is no doubt that our national debt represents a tremendous challenge, but the size of this challenge should spur our nation to,” said Baruah. “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.”

“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,” Sikkema 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.”

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.”

“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.”

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