Talking with the president and other top business executives about the fiscal cliff was “reassuring,” Deloitte’s chief executive Joe Echevarria, who attended the meeting, said on Morning Joe Thursday.
The tone “definitely was better, it was constructive, it was reassuring, and I think [the president] was embracing views that were different.”
Deloitte’s CEO and 13 other top executives met with the president and vice president at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the fiscal cliff.
According to Echevarria, the president explained to the CEOs that raising revenue through tax hikes would be a part of any fiscal cliff deal. “[The president] also 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,” Echevarria said.
Several CEOs, including Echevarria voiced support for higher taxes at the meeting as part of a compromise, according to Reuters.
CEOs also asked the president how likely a deal was.“He said it would get done if there were people willing to move on both sides,” Echevarria said. “He was honest about that.”
“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,” Echevarria said. “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.
Speaking on CNN, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said “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.”