WASHINGTON (AP) — CEOs from more than 80 major U.S. companies are pressing Congress to reduce the federal deficit by raising taxes and cutting spending. With a sea of red ink confronting the nation, the deficit and how to tame it has become a looming theme in the presidential campaign.

The CEOs head a diverse array of corporations, including Aetna (NYSE:AET), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), General Electric (NYSE:GE), and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW).

They warned in a statement issued Thursday that uncertainty spawned by annual deficits that have topped $1 trillion for a four straight years is dampening businesses' hiring and investment and stifling the fragile economic recovery.

The CEOs say the solution requires a combination of higher taxes, reduced spending on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and reduced government spending and more investment in infrastructure and math and science education.

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