Fiscal cliff: Obama calls Dimon, Buffett

US fiscal

President Barack Obama's intensive lobbying to avert big year-end tax hikes and spending cuts resumed over the weekend as he spoke with senior corporate chieftains, including JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Dimon has been a harsh critic of tougher rules imposed on the financial services industry after the 2007-2009 recession, but last month backed Obama's goal of raising taxes on top earners to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

The president, who is on a four-day Asia trip, also spoke with Apple's Tim Cook, Boeing's Jim McNerney, and Costco's Craig Jelinek, a White House official said.

Some, like Jelinek, who spoke at the Democratic convention, are long-time Obama supporters.

The president reached out to and spoke with each of these business leaders as a part of his continuing conversations and outreach on the need to find a balanced deficit- reduction solution that protects the middle class and continues to move our economy forward, the White House official said.

Unless Congress and the administration act, individual income tax rates will rise across the board and $109 billion in spending cuts will go into effect on Jan. 1. The so-called fiscal cliff may cut the federal budget deficit but is also forecast to drag the economy back into recession.

Obama began negotiations with congressional leaders last week to avoid the economic shock. The key sticking point for Republicans is his insistence that rates for top earners be allowed to rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent.

Republicans agree that more government revenue is needed to trim the budget deficit, but they don't want to raise tax rates to do it.

As part of efforts to pressure Congress to support his approach, the president has invited business, labor and civic leaders and non-profit groups to the White House to press his case. His re-election was expected to give him some leverage in the negotiations.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.