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Companies yearn for US debt-reduction plan, says Business Roundtable leader

With no plan to get US debt under control, Congress and President Obama are lagging in the business community's view, says Business Roundtable President John Engler. 

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Business Roundtable President John Engler at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., for a Monitor breakfast with reporters on March 22.

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor

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Business leader John Engler is president of the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executive officers whose firms employ 14 million workers and have $6 trillion in annual revenues. Mr. Engler previously served as Michigan's governor. He was the speaker at the March 22 Monitor breakfast in Washington.

The US as a business competitor:

"The country has tremendous strengths. We are underperforming, and we need to step up the game.... We can't have a world in which 8 percent unemployment becomes the new normal, where trillion-dollar deficits become the accepted thing."

Dealing with the nation's debt problem:

"A framework that truly begins to get our fiscal house in order is probably going to have support overwhelmingly from the business community.... What we don't have is a plan to get behind."

The business community's view of President Obama:

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