Obama Meeting with
Corporate Executives on US Fiscal Cliff
November 14th, 2012
Chief executives of some of the most prominent U.S. corporations are
meeting Wednesday with President Barack Obama as he seeks to enlist
their support in resolving key end-of-the-year government tax and
The U.S. is facing a looming “fiscal cliff.” It is a financial precipice
with $600 billion in mandated spending cuts to crucial defense and
domestic programs and tax increases set to take effect January 1 if Mr.
Obama cannot reach an agreement on a compromise with his Republican
opponents in Congress.
Mr. Obama, the Democratic incumbent re-elected to a second term last
week, is hoping that leaders of such well-known international companies
as General Electric, American Express, Wal-Mart Stores and others will
support his call for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases for the
wealthiest American families, including those of the chief executives.
Some American corporate leaders are calling on Mr. Obama and lawmakers
in Congress to reach a compromise. They are fearful that a continued
stalemate on taxes and spending that started more than a year ago will
push the country's fragile economic recovery back into a recession.
Mr. Obama plans to meet with congressional leaders Friday in their first
face-to-face meeting on the contentious issues. The president is calling
for $1.6 trillion in new government revenue over the next decade, partly
through elimination of a decade-old tax cut for the nation's wealthiest
households, those making more than $250,000 a year.
Key Republican lawmakers have said they are open increasing government
revenue through elimination of some tax deductions, but have rejected
the president's bid to end the tax cut for wealthy Americans. They also
are seeking major reforms to cut the growing cost of funding pension and
health care programs for the elderly, as well as medical support for
The negotiations are likely to be long and difficult, and may extend to
just before the calendar turns from 2012 to 2013. Some of Mr. Obama's
Democratic supporters have suggested that he ought to allow the spending
cuts and tax increases that would affect all American workers to take
effect, and then negotiate a more comprehensive package in the new year.
But Mr. Obama has so far shown no interest in that scheme.
On Tuesday, the president met with labor leaders who widely supported
his re-election campaign. They called on him to reject any agreement
that would cut spending on the programs for the elderly and poor, and
voiced their support for ending the tax break for the wealthiest