CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers today urged people to encourage their federal legislators to take immediate action to develop a more sustainable financial strategy for the country.
"With ever-increasing mountains of debt, the track our country is on is not sustainable," Rogers said. "At more than $11.8 trillion, the size of our publicly held national debt currently amounts to more than 73 percent of our entire economy, and is set to hit 100 percent by the early 2030s."
"A debt burden of this magnitude could increase interest rates, inflation and unemployment, and could even lead to a debt-fueled fiscal crisis," he added.
Rogers has joined the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a nonpartisan group of more than 350,000 citizens from across the country, who have come together to demand that federal leaders reduce wasteful and low-priority spending and simplify the tax code, among other actions.
"I encourage everyone to take a moment to sign the petition at www.fixthedebt.org and demand a common sense solution to prevent disaster and renew our nation's economic strength," Rogers said. "In my 35-plus years in the energy industry, 25 as a CEO, I have worked with dedicated teammates who have demonstrated that long-term success requires a commitment to sustainability, efficiency and reliability."
"Washington must show the same commitment."
"If we stay on our current course, a decade from now, more than three-quarters of all federal spending will be taken up by just two items: our entitlement programs and interest on our national debt," Rogers said. "This budgetary squeeze will crowd out other vital government functions, including investments in education, research and technology, which enable American companies to compete worldwide."
"Our leaders must find a way to make these programs sustainable over the long term so they continue to deliver for the people who need them most, without further increasing the financial burden we leave to our grandchildren."
"Washington also has an efficiency problem," Rogers added. "We need to take a look at where we can make smart cuts to eliminate duplicative and wasteful spending. The recently enacted 'sequester' spending cuts could cause economic pain, without doing much at all to increase the efficiency of our government or help reduce deficits in the long term."
"Spending isn't the only problem. Our government is also inefficient in the way it collects revenue. We need comprehensive reform that makes the tax code simpler and fairer for all Americans, while encouraging economic growth and business competitiveness because when the economy grows, we are all better off."
"Finally, Washington simply needs to be more reliable. Americans rely on their leaders to enact policies that put us on a stable path to a successful future."
"We expect members of Congress from both political parties and the president to work together and find a comprehensive solution," Rogers said. "We expect them to fix the debt."
For more information and to make your voice heard, visit www.fixthedebt.org
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.