By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger
Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria said that he was reasssured by talks he attended between the president and business executives on how to handle the upcoming fiscal cliff.
Echevarria said that Obama “recognized that there needed to be entitlement reform and spending cuts, so he didn’t think there was one way to get to the solution,” adding that Obama remained committed to making a deal soon to look at a more long-term horizon. “I think without a doubt he understood that the fiscal cliff issue was short-term in nature. It was something that needed to get moved on, but that the bigger issue was tax reform for businesses,” said Echevarria in the interview.
Echevarria also said that he felt Obama valued the business community and its role in the economy. “Ultimately, he did acknowledge that it is the business community that creates jobs and jobs are the path to growth and growth is the path to more revenue,” he said.
Echevarria also said that the president seemed ready to compromise and work together with opposing viewpoints. “I think he was embracing views that were different,” he said of Obama’s approach to the fiscal cliff.
Amongst the other CEOs in attendence was Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, who focused largely on the future of tax rates in his discussion of the meeting. “It’s better to have as low a marginal rate as possible because the incentive is the marginal rate, but if we had to lift up the marginal rate I would do that,” Blankfein told CNN.