The clock is ticking. Lawmakers have less than a month before the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, and we’re just days away from the President’s July 22 target date for a deal.

What happens in the coming days will have significant impact on the country’s economic future. With the stakes so high, almost 500 business organizations today sent a letter to the White House and the Capitol urging policymakers to reach a fiscally responsible agreement.

From the letter:

[I]t is critical that the US government not default in any way on its fiscal obligations. A great nation – like a great company – has to be relied upon to pay its debts when they become due. This is a Main Street not Wall Street issue. Treasury securities influence the cost of financing not just for companies but more importantly for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student debt. A default would risk both disarray in those markets and a host of unintended consequences. The debt ceiling trigger does offer a needed catalyst for serious negotiations on budget discipline but avoiding even a technical default is essential. This is a risk our country must not take.

The letter also calls on lawmakers to take steps to stabilize our $14 trillion-dollar debt and rein in deficit spending.  Lawmakers will have to make difficult choices, but they should not sacrifice economic growth by raising taxes on job creators.  NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons made that point recently, saying,

Manufacturers are urging our elected officials to work together to bring down our federal deficit by taking a hard look at government programs and making difficult     decisions to cut spending, especially in the entitlement area, without increasing the tax   burden on manufacturing or any individual manufacturing sector.

Americans are concerned about the nation’s unsustainable debt and anemic job growth.  Congress and the President can address both issues in the debt ceiling negotiations by making difficult decisions to cut spending and reform government programs and rejecting tax increases that would stifle job creation.