"We need the reduction," Cote said. "You could argue that the reduction would make more sense if we did it thoughtfully and spent a lot of time on it. I'm not sure that's a real option, though. The options seem to be let it happen or take it away."
Cote remains a leading voice in the corporate "Fix the Debt" group, which spent months last year lobbying the Democratic White House and Republican lawmakers to reach a deal to reduce the national debt and avoid a year-end "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases.
Having seen that deadline quickly replaced by the March 1 sequester deadline, Cote said that allowing the cuts previously agreed to take place may be the most practical way to start trimming the debt. (What's sequester? Click here to find out.)
"While there could be some economic impact, to me it looks like $100 billion on a $3.5 trillion government spend," Cote told reporters after addressing the Boston College Chief Executives' Club.
"So, yeah, there's some impact but at some point we have to start working to get our debt under control and if this is the only rational step they could seem to take to do it, then they ought to do it."