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November 28, 2012

Corporate execs say meeting with Obama "constructive"

President Obama met tonight with the corporate chiefs of Coca-Cola, Macy's and Goldman Sachs, looking to rally support for his efforts to avert the fiscal cliff.

The execs who talked to reporters gave Obama generally good marks -- with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, saying that Obama and his team "obviously they came into the meeting wanting to communicate that revenue increases are a significant part of a deal but not the only part of the deal."

He told reporters that Obama's team was "trying to communicate that they mean business and were trying to do a deal that is reasonable. I think they would like the voice of business to be helpful in this and probably particularly be willing to say that we recognize revenue increases and tax increases are a part of that. I think there was a bit of an ask on that."

Joe Echeverria, the CEO of Deloitte LLP, said Obama repeated his support for increasing taxes on upper income tax earners, and that the CEOS didn't voice opposition, but were "supportive as part of a bigger solution.

"This by itself isn't the solution, but as part of a broader solution," Echeverria said. "There was a sense that if that's what it takes."

He noted most of the attendees are fairly well off. "Will 5 percent more (in taxes) change my lifestyle?" he said. "No, it won't."

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