07/19/2011 02:41 pm ET | Updated Sep 18, 2011

A Very Real Threat

This week, Moodys placed our country's AAA bond rating under review. We are now no longer weeks away from default, we are days. The threats are real, the consequences are great and the implications for our country's future financial health are frightening.

Over the past few weeks, we've seen divisiveness and political gamesmanship like we've never seen before. We've seen a new wing of the Republican party emerge with one goal and one goal only and that is to defeat President Obama in the upcoming election -- even if it means killing the jobs recovery and risking our country's financial stability.

I want to be very clear. If these Republicans do not join with President Obama to raise the debt ceiling, it will have a devastating effect on our state and every state across our country.

Public workers would be laid off, thousands of people would lose vital health services and every state would risk a downgrade to its bond rating -- a rating which helps us fund important public projects, like schools and roads, at a lower cost to taxpayers.

But there is a way forward, There's a way forward that doesn't involve a debt default or drastic cuts that hurt America's working families. There's a way to balance budgets, pay our bills and make investments that create and save jobs while moving us toward that better future that we all prefer. And I know this because this is what we -- and every other Democratic Governor -- are doing in our states every day.

Here's how we move forward. We must start by retiring the Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires -- tax cuts that helped created the economic mess that we're in now and the deficit we're working to pay down. We must look for cost-savings from efficiencies in Medicaid and Medicare. We must make cuts where they make sense.

But the best way to retire the Bush deficit and get us out of this mess is by accelerating our nation's job recovery. And the best way to do that is with investments in education, innovation and infrastructure projects that rebuild and restore our communities while putting people back to work.

We need to come together as Americans. We must educate, innovate, rebuild and restore if we want America to survive and thrive. There are very real threats facing our nation, but there is also a way forward. We have the wherewithal, we just need the will.