Economists have warned the combination of the expiring tax cuts and reduced spending could hinder the economic recovery.
During Tuesday's meeting, participants said the president reiterated his contention that the wealthy should pay more in taxes and that his views were vindicated by the election. They said the president showed no willingness to extend the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. "He's standing firm on taxes, on the issue of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans," said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress.
The labor and liberal organizations said they made clear their opposition to any benefit cuts to Medicare recipients or increasing the eligibility age. Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, said after the meeting he was confident that "whatever savings come out of those programs would not come out of beneficiaries or citizens, it would be focused more on providers."
Obama meets Wednesday with a dozen CEOs from companies such as General Electric, Walmart, Ford and Chevron. Some of the participants are involved with The Campaign to Fix the Debt, which has pushed for a long-term plan to fix the nation's debt and deficits.
The gatherings set the stage for a Friday meeting with the top four leaders of Congress before Obama departs on a trip to Asia leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Associated Press writers Sam Hananel and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.
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