Obama takes up fiscal cliff case with Dimon & Buffett

Written by Reuters | Washington | Updated: Nov 20 2012, 06:59am hrs
US President Barack Obamas 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 Chases 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 Obamas 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 Apples Tim Cook, Boeings Jim McNerney, and Costcos 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 January 1. The fiscal cliff may cut the 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.