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Starbucks Gets Tough About Fiscal Cliff

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Lack of a "fiscal cliff" deal between President Obama and Congress has forced Starbucks Corp. to take action.

CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to employees asking those in the Washington, D.C., area to write "Come Together" on coffee cups when serving customers tomorrow and Friday.

The fiscal cliff refers to large income tax increases and large government budget cuts that will go in effect on Jan. 1 if no deal is reached. If an accord is not struck, many Americans will allegedly be forced to pay higher taxes and see their paychecks slashed.

"Rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity -- and I believe we all have a responsibility -- to send our elected officials a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to find common ground," Schultz wrote in the letter, which was made public today.

Schultz told CNN earlier this month that he believed no fiscal cliff deal has caused uncertainty among consumers and businesses and risks hurting the economy. "This single issue has a seismic effect on the rest of the world," he said on the TV station.

According to the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, Schultz may have a point. The index fell 9.8 points in December, down to 72.9.

"Americans have become increasingly worried over their personal finances, business conditions and the economic outlook," the report concluded. "The culprit is plain and simple -- the fiscal cliff debate and fear of higher taxes."

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office added that the looming fiscal cliff could lead to another recession in 2013. In an effort to further express its concern regarding no fiscal cliff agreement, Starbucks plans to purchase advertisements in the Washington Post and New York Times later this week.

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