Washington: President Barack Obama has launched a ‘double-pronged’ appeal in his latest bid to court business leaders.
Hr has asked a group of CEOs to back him on allowing a tax hike on wealthier Americans and also pushing back against Republican attempts to use the debt ceiling in budget negotiations.
He told members of the Business Roundtable that the only way to reach the amount of revenue needed for a balanced package to address the country`s deficits and avert the so-called fiscal cliff was to extend Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans while letting them expire for the top 2 percent of income-earners, Politico reports.
"By doing that alone, we raise almost a trillion dollars," he said, adding: "...The holdup right now is that Speaker Boehner took a position, I think, the day after the campaign that said, ``We`re willing to bring in revenue but we`re not going to increase rates.``
"We`re not insisting on [higher] rates just out of spite …but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue," he said.
Obama also told the group that he would not allow Republicans in Congress to try and barter a debt-ceiling increase in exchange for more spending cuts, noting that the horse-trading alone over an increase last year sent the economy reeling, the report said.
"We can`t afford to go there again," he said, adding: "...The only thing the debt ceiling is good as a weapon for is destroying your credit rating... I will not play that game."
His appearance at the Roundtable is the latest in a series of attempts to reach out to business leaders.
He has met at the White House with several groups of CEOs and also small business owners in recent weeks, the report added.