Obama's Economic Outlook

Ramping up his outreach to the business community as fiscal cliff negotiations continue, President Obama on Wednesday spoke with a group of Business Roundtable CEOs in Washington. The president told the assembled CEOs that they were more than “just business leaders” but also “economic leaders and thought leaders” who care deeply about “the well being of America.”

President Obama assured the group he is “passionately rooting for [their] success...[because] if companies in this room are doing well, then folks get jobs, consumers get confidence, and we’re going to be able to compete around the world.” The President also said he and Congressional Democrats are “prepared to make some tough choices when it comes to spending” but demanded a balanced approach that requires “smart cuts” to entitlement programs and brings in new revenues because the existing rates are “as low as they’ve been in most of our lifetimes.” The way forward, he said, is to combine revenue increases on the top 2 percent with additional spending cuts and long-term entitlement reform “to get us to a number close to $4 trillion, which stabilizes our debt and our deficits relative to GDP for at least a decade.”

According to reports, House Speaker John Boehner suggested the White House’s plans “couldn’t pass either house of Congress.” Nevertheless, the Speaker said he and fellow Republicans are “ready and eager to talk to the president and to work with him to make sure that the American people aren’t disadvantaged by what’s happening here in Washington.”