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Honeywell CEO: Get Behind Deficit Panel—or Else

Deficit commission member and chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, David Cote, voiced his support for the panel’s fiscal austerity plan in a CNBC interview Wednesday.

Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote
Dibyangshu Sarkar | AFP | Getty Images
Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote

“At the end of the day, it’s one thing to revel in our pluralism where everyone can yell and scream and from that cacophony you get a decision, but there come those times when you need to pull together as a country and this is one of those times,” said Cote, “We need to stop arguing — start agreeing.”

The head of Honeywell — a Dow component — said he supports a more flexible tax code.

“Everybody’s got to give a little bit and that includes companies, that includes individuals — the old, the young, Democrats, Republicans, everybody has got to give a little bit here or we’re going to end up in this real problem.”

Cote believes this is a crucial moment and decision for the U.S.

“I was disturbed by where we were. I had no idea what was going to happen over the next ten years largely because my generation the baby boomers are going to be retiring going through social security, Medicare, Medicaid. And when that happens we literally crush the system — we can’t handle it,” said Cote.

The key issue, he explains, is if action is not taken now the U.S. will go from $9 trillion in public debt today to nearly $20 trillion in the next ten years even if the gross domestic product was to grow at 4.6 percent a year.

“That’s astounding,” said Cote.

The panel is expected reach a decision on Friday.